Hey gang, Valkor here. In just a few days the gaming masses will descend upon the city of Los Angeles to take part in one of video games biggest events – E3 2014. After missing out last year, I’m all but ready to walk the beat and get my grubby mitts on some up and coming titles. Until then I’ll bide my time and soak up a couple of relaxing titles such as the latest from Saturnine Games to enter the cave - Turtle Tale for the Nintendo 3DS. Hardcore gamers need not apply, but if you’re one of the younger set or looking to take a break from all the crazy destruction and in-depth storylines or whatever, then this is definitely up your alley.
In Turtle Tale you play as Shelldon, a turtle dude just chillin on Turtle Island when suddenly it’s invaded by the likes of Captain O’Haire and his goons. Armed only with a water gun and no power-ups, Shelldon must make his way through 15 stages of play each down into three area with the final battle against O’Haire himself to save his happy home. There are no boss battles (other than facing off against O'Haire), no crazy puzzle solving, only retro 2D gaming at its easiest. Again, your only weapon is a water gun that doesn’t get any sort of upgrades, but if you’ve got fast fingers you can make short work of the baddies, plus most of them you can take out half a screen away.
The 15 stages are broken up into 5 themed stages, each with their own hazards to face. You’ll breeze through the first few stages, but once you get to later areas like the Tiki stage do things get slightly complicated. You’re only objective is to get to the end of each level – no time limits or any other goals necessary save for collecting fruits. If you collect 100 in every stage you’ll unlock a second quest.
Before Turtle Tale strolled into my life, there was only one other game I could call a “comfort title” and that was Attack of the Friday Monsters, also on the Nintendo 3DS. But that game had more depth to it, a pretty interesting card game and loads of nostalgia attached to it. Can Turtle Tale even compete?
Not really, but it stands well on its own; if you’re looking for a simple run and gun – and this would be the simplest - then you’ve found it with Turtle Tale. The game is fairly easy even at its hardest, which makes a great starter game for the little TOVers in your life. But if you’re a fan of 2D platforming then you might – and I repeat “might” enjoy this one. I certainly did. Without power-ups or puzzle solving, all you’re doing is going from one end to the other. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Turtle Tale is a fun game for a quick commute and it even has a satisfying ending. I still haven’t gotten all the fruits necessary to unlock that second quest, but I’m OK with going back in to “try and catch em all”. The graphics are basic, the music is fun and catchy and the added 3D works, though not as good as with Gunman Clive, but it works. In the end, Turtle Tale is a simple, solid platformer that’s very entertaining and lots of fun.
Turtle Tale... might be “too simple” for some. If you need something with a bit more edge, then this is one title that’s definitely not for you. The pacing is kinda slow and I would have liked more power-ups, even if it’s just one more on top of Shelldon’s basic weapon, would have worked for me. Finally, Shelldon is a turtle; the very first stage takes place over water. How is it possible that he dies as soon as he falls in? The lava stages and the areas that take place in the air make more sense. But seeing Shelldon die over water… ugh! OK that last one was a nitpick, but it kinda threw me off.
I like Shelldon and I'd like more of Shelldon and his adventures Turtle Tale. Bring me more Shelldon with crazier levels and more weaponry to play around with. Sure that would take away the simplistic aspect of the game, but I feel Shelldon, given the proper treatment, is a new mascot just waiting to happen. I really enjoyed Turtle Tale with its throwback to 2D platforming and simple run and gun action. It’s a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out if you can handle toning it down. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give Turtle Tale a 3.5.