First Takes: TMNT Pinball by Stern Pinball

First Impressions of TMNT Pinball from industry leaders and the pinball community.
8 / 10 Industry Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Community Rating (9 first takes)

Design and Layout
Current Rules/Code
Sample of Industry Overall Impressions

Reviewer 55

Flow looks terrific, lots of great combos. Love upper flipper, love player-controlled diverter on the higher-end models (though the lockdown bar is a terrible place to put that control). Code seems solid for an initial release, though saw some unbalanced things. Variety of co-op modes is interesting if maybe a little confusing. Display design just wasn't doing it for me, though. Felt like too many conflicting styles, with different status messages popping over each other in weird ways. Enjoyed the music and sound effects, and now the earworm TMNT song will be stuck in my head for hours.

Reviewer 175

Seems like a solid game. Visually stimulating. Fun shooter (the inner orbit to center ramp may never get old). The Lair shot seems very difficult to hit as of right now not sure if this is a design issue or I'm just horrible at the game. Glad to see a game launch with complete code for a change. The voice work is done well. The animations are lacking. I found myself skipping them by the 3rd game. Would have loved to of seen a subway/sewer system worked into the layout/theme. Overall I think Stern did a great job bringing this theme to life.

Reviewer 12

As someone who grew up watching the early TMNT cartoons and movies, I have to say that barring a few minor exceptions, it looks like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will definitely make the fans of this franchise very happy. Jeremy Packer (AKA Zombie Yeti) delivers 3 unique custom art packages and was faithful to the classic look of the original animated series (1987–1996), whilst still giving the overall color scheme and small details his own personal touch. The LE/Premium is a definite must buy for any collector/fan, as it includes a substantial amount of thematically integrated mechanical action which the pro model is lacking. The voice-work (as with a few recent Stern titles) is a bit spotty depending on which character is doing voice call-outs (even though I haven't watched the show in over 20 years, I easily could tell it wasn't the original music and voice actors). Also, the LCD screen animations, while still obviously not anywhere need 100% still look very repetitive and character poses and animations seems stagnant and sort of off-putting). Overall playfield seems to be a tested and proven John Borg style design (albeit a little derivative) and the code/rules seem to off many interesting challenges and strategic choices which will satisfy beginners and seasoned players. The co-op and team play modes are a welcome return, it is only a shame that the game has no wi-fi connectivity for groups of players to play remotely at the same time. Online connectivity/competition has been a feature Stern Inc. has toyed with since Sharky's shootout was released, yet have never really delivered it in a meaningful way. This game seems like a missed opportunity to present that kind of new technology to new players and excite the already established fan base (and create potentially new revenue streams for game operators). Over the long term, I predict this title will sell as many, if not more units than Jurassic Park.

Reviewer 188

May be John Borg's best layout ever. Playing this game has so much color on it that it makes me want to eat Skittles.

The biggest worry is Dwight Sullivan's rules. The good news is that he seems to be paying attention to what Keith elwin and Scott Danesi have been up to.

I played this game with a casual in a room full of incredible games. The only game that was liked more was the mmr premium. This was over afm, MB, creech, Wonka and a slew of newer sterns. That's a good sign. Am excited to try the preem/Le.

Reviewer 37

TMNT is nostalgia in new game form. The artwork is phenomenal, and the lightshows, music, and overall code are very polished out of the box (as one expects from Stern). The addition of co-op mode, as seen on Multimorphic and some Spooky machines, is welcome, and the entire package reminds me of the 4 player arcade games. Nicely done!

Animations and toys, while fitting, legible, etc. are not the best aspects of the machine. The glider appears to add quite a lot of player choice.

Looks fun, will be interested in playing one day!

Reviewer 158

Overall Borg and Zombieyeti captured the look and feel of the classic retro TMNT of the 80’s. Looks to be one of Borgs better layouts and nice ramps and toys for lots of variety. Early play code looks great and the multiplayer co-op mode is a nice take on the theme. Should be a great seller.

Reviewer 88

The theme is a winner. Since they have the original show theme song and the music iterations from that, then the music is covered well. The callouts not being from the show voice actors can be forgiven since they are close enough. The game has great flow, including the expected quick shot to feed the upper flipper to the side ramp combo that we have seen work well before. The Pizza magnet improves on Magneto's magnet in that the balls explode well when separating. Adding your pizza toppings to make your own multiball is a fun concept. It will be great to see how players will create their favorite version of a multiball. I imagine it will be fun to figure out which kind of multiball is better depending on the player, just like its difficult for people to agree on the best pizza toppings.

Reviewer 65

Great theme! Very flowy, fast, and fun!! I really like the co-op play idea, it fits the theme perfectly! A great team put a great game together! As always, Zombie Yeti did an amazing job on the art packages!!

Reviewer 200

TMNT looks like a blast to play with smooth shots and a fun theme. All of that and you get the added modes of play; including Coop, 2 on 2, etc. The new modes of play push this game way over the top. Instant hit for Stern.

Reviewer 131

Playfield seems pretty reasonable. Player-controlled diverter is nice, otherwise toys are not particularly noteworthy. Theme seems implemented well even if it doesn't do much for me. White LEDs major letdown. Not a lot of light activity yet, though there are a couple of decent (for white-only) playfield effects. Display work is probably the best Stern has done so far. Rules are a lot better than previous Dwight multiplier-fests, but are starting to enter Extreme Geek territory with Every Single Rule having a bunch of modifier stuff applied to it. New play modes are interesting if anyone ever uses them.
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