Captain O’Haire’s territorial takeover of Turtle Island continues, as Turtle Tale swims ashore on Wii U. With his band of Monkey Pirates joining him as he sails across rocky waters, the peaceful isle is thrown into sudden chaos by their rowdy invaders. Shelldon, woken from an otherwise serene slumber as the rampant horde crash into the beach nearby, is overcome with instant heroism and arms himself with his water gun to chase down the bucktoothed villain.
The tale itself isn’t one that will feel particularly memorable, mainly as it isn’t carried beyond the opening cutscene, but Shelldon is a likeable hero even if we only ever learn of his love for drenching his enemies with water. With the wheel set in motion, this immediately feels like an adventure that feels squarely aimed at the younger generation.
That is through the 2D action-platformer’s easy to learn controls, which sees players place their focus on splattering their foes and making careful leaps as they journey toward the level goal. It works well as an introduction to the genre, even if more experienced players may find it all overly simplistic. Fruit lines each level, although these are relatively easy to collect with only a mistimed jump resulting in you ever leaving one behind.
You will spray your way along crab-infested beaches, murky caves, Tiki-ridden sand dunes and leap high in the sky before you reach Turtle Tale’s somewhat early conclusion. The transition from Nintendo 3DS allows such colourful locations to feel mesmerisingly bold, and while the character animations are notably limited the extra oomph that the Wii U provides rewards with a rich palette to beam into your eyeballs. This is superbly matched by a sauntering soundtrack that perfectly captures the game’s tropical essence, and sounds all the more jubilant blaring out of your TV’s speakers.
Completion will reward you with the Second Quest, dismissing the fruit-grabbing antics of the first by instead placing the emphasis on more challenging level design. Having built confidence in the First Quest this steadily helps to build proficiency and continually pushes the player, again serving the game’s introductory nature to those new to the genre.
Turtle Tale certainly has its shortcomings but finds enough relative success that will be apparent to those seeing it as intended. I’d argue that it probably feels more at home on Nintendo 3DS, but that doesn’t mean that Shelldon’s Wii U outing isn’t any less joyous.
Version Tested: Wii U
Review copy provided by Saturnine Games