Turtle Tale Review (Nintendo 3DS)

Turtle Tale - Nintendo 3DS
Turtle Tale is largely inspired of 2D platforming games from the NES and SNES era. You will see how each level tries to incorporate every feature known to games like Mario, Contra, etc., in each of the area you play.

You play the role of a turtle named Shelldon. Your mission is to reclaim your invaded land from Captain O'Haire and his gang of pirates. You squirt water from a watergun, your sole weapon for survival.

There are five main areas in the game. Each area have 3 parts or sub-levels, but there's no boss to fight in each end. Finishing the 3rd level automatically promotes you to the 1st level of the next area. The main objective is to reach the end of each level. There are fruits to collect along the way which promise of more content to unlock later, but you can also just skip them if you like.

Turtle Tale 3DS Screenshot 1Turtle Tale 3DS Screenshot 2Turtle Tale 3DS Screenshot 3Turtle Tale 3DS Screenshot 4

What kind of platforming game would this be without enemies? There are different kinds of enemies in Turtle Tale, ranging from birds, crabs, to monkeys and cavemen. Trying to kill them all doesn't really gain you anything as there is no point system involved in the game, but most of the time, you have to deal with them anyway because they will surely try to get in your way.

Turtle Tale's enemy AI isn't what you can call advanced but they're not dumb either. Instead, they seem to know of their own territories, like dogs, so if you come close to most of them they will start trying to kick your ass. And since there is no time pressure, all this game really asks is some patience and careful observation of the terrain and enemy behavior.

In what you will expect to emulate the NES ans SNES era, Turtle Tale's graphics isn't what you can call pixel-style. Instead, it looks more like a flash game, those games we used to play on the web browser around the year 2000. Each character in the screen, including the hero, is reasonably animated. Although, it's very easy to notice how the designers could have added more animation frames.

Some aspects of the game tries to be as detailed as possible, such as the pArticles.html spread when you fire off the watergun. Other notable things are the sand pArticles.html that come out when you walk on the beach, and the random rains that appear in the forest levels.

The Stereoscopic 3D in this game is very obvious. Depth is given more emphasis in worlds succeeding world one, the beach level. The second level which is the forest level might be the best time to turn 3D on. Still, like many other 3DS games, you'd probably prefer to play in 2D most of the time.

Turtle Tale's music jives really well with the game. The style use seems to be Samba, with some strings and percussion instruments. It feels happy and very close to nature. Almost all the enemies have sound effects. You can even hear the buzzing of bees even when you're still several steps away from them and you don't see them in the screen yet.

The game presents a very simple control scheme. The character is controlled using the circle pad or directional buttons, and then you can use the Y button to shoot water and the B button to jump. As with old school platformers, the jump sensitivity is controlled by the pressure you apply on the button.

The bottom screen was used sparingly for the menu and to relay additional info such as the number of fruits you've collected and the level you're in. You can use the touchscreen for menu navigation, but it feels more comfortable just sticking with the physical controls.

After you've finished all the 5 main areas, you will finally encounter the boss in the game. The boss has a reasonably fine AI, which is the type we platforming fans really like — a predictable pattern. After that, you're given a short ending cutscene.

It's sad that the game doesn't have any StreetPass or Spotpass feature. Quite a number of games on the eShop don't as well. The game tries to compensate with an expanded content. If you want to explore the game for more content, You can go back to previously completed levels and collect 100 fruits each before trying to finish the boss once more.

It's possible to finish the 5 main areas in one sitting for something close to 3 hours. The second quest will require a bit more patience and skill.


Turtle Tale delivers the platforming promise you'd expect. We can guarantee, with the pressure that the game gives you, you'd be swinging your 3DS like a Wiimote while jumping over to another platform. It has a reasonable amount of content - a drastically increased difficulty once you have unlocked the second quest.

Rating for Turtle Tale
Fun Factor:
Game Info:Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Saturnine Games
Publisher: Saturnine Games
Release Date: 05/22/2014
Price: $2.99 (load-up)
Distribution: Digital (eShop)
Rating: E (Everyone)
No. of players: 1
The Good
  • Short levels that are ideal for traveling gamers
  • Delivers old school platforming challenge as promised
  • Expanded content after collecting all fruit in each level
  • Simple controls
  • Happy and relaxing music
The Bad
  • Graphics is too simple and doesn't represent the old school games it claims to be inspired of
  • No scoring system means no on-line leaderboards
  • No StreetPass or SpotPass feature
This Turtle Tale Review was based on the North American digital version and played on a regular Nintendo 3DS. If you liked the review, you can make your friends know about this game by liking it on Facebook or sharing it on Twitter!

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