Since their creation in the mid-1980s, there have been dozens of video games released based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. From side-scrolling beat ’em ups to pinball tables, the Turtles have been a mainstay across arcades, home consoles, and portable gaming systems for the last three decades.
Unfortunately, not all of the games have been high quality products. For every classic like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, there’s a notoriously bad game like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Melee. As the years have passed, a good Ninja Turtles game has been increasingly rare, with Activision’s 2013 game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows failing in almost every conceivable way. The Turtles’ last outing on consoles was slammed by critics almost universally (making the choice to appropriate that title for the upcoming 2016 TMNT film even more bizarre.)
The future of the Ninja Turtles games isn’t all grim. Earlier this month, rumors began circulating that Platinum Games, the team behind Bayonetta and Transformers: Devastation, were now working on a new TMNT game. Though the game has yet to be officially announced, the Australian ratings board recently rated a game titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan for current and last-gen consoles.
Seemingly corroborating that rumor, a new leaked image appears to be the box art for the upcoming game (below). The art was discovered by Twitter user lifelower and reported by Gematsu.
Mutants in Manhattan pic.twitter.com/HrbQqsPQAq— lifelower (@lifelower) December 30, 2015
As the game has yet to be officially announced, this cover art is the only glimpse into what the rumored game might entail. The designs of the Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello clearly deviate from their recent, live-action adaptations. This indicates that the game is not intended to tie in with the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 next year. The characters are stylized, bringing the designs of the current IDW ongoing Ninja Turtles comics to mind.
The IDW connection is likely intentional, as Platinum Games recently worked with the publisher on Transformers: Devastation. The events in Devastation were actually tied into the cross-media event Transformers: Combiner War spearheaded by IDW and Hasbro. It’s likely that when the game is finally, officially revealed, it will have a connection with the comic series.
It’s hard to imagine another property more perfectly suited to video games than the Ninja Turtles. At the basic level, there are four different main characters with different fighting styles (five if you count Casey Jones). There are a number of faceless soldiers that players can fight before facing off against more iconic villains such as Bebop and Rocksteady. Platinum Games has a reputation for creating solid action games. The developer could easily embrace the unique, acrobatic fighting style of the Turtles and create a stellar action game worthy of the franchise.
There is currently no release window for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opens in U.S. theaters on June 3rd, 2016.