The Manhattan project is the third of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games to be released on the NES. The player is able to pick from all four turtles: Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo.
The game builds from the template established by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, ported to the NES as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, including a few new features. The player is not only able to jump attack, and regular attack, but also by holding down and the attack button they can spear/pick someone up and throw them. There is also a special attack for each character that can be used by hitting both the attack and jump buttons at the same time. This however costs one point of health every time it is performed and so makes the game more challenging with the limited amount of pizzas/health available.
The levels range from a beach, to a floating section of the city in the sky, and even a submarine. There are also vehicle sections, such as a hoverboard trek across the sea to reach the submarine.
- Level 1 - Rocksteady (Rhino)
- Level 2 - Groundchuck (Calf)
- Level 3 - Mini Boss - Slash (Turtle)
- Boss - Bebop (Warthog)
- Level 4 - Dirtbag (Rat)
- Level 5 - Mini Boss - Mother Mouser (Robot)
- Boss - Leatherhead (Crocodile)
- Level 6 - Mini Boss - Rahzar (Wolf)
- Boss - Shredder (Man)
- Level 7 - Tokka (Snapping Turtle)
- Level 8 - Mini Boss - Krang (Brain and Robot)
- Boss - Super Shredder (Man)
Considered by many (except maybe Raph) to be the leader of the Turtles and the most strong-willed Turtle, Leonardo wears the blue bandanna and has a long reach but a somewhat limited special with his Cyclone Sword Swing. The Cyclone Sword Swing is a move where Leonardo stands still and swings his two swords around his body, which will hit anyone around him. The problem with this move is that it has a limited range and is best used when surrounded.
The goofball and joker of the group, Mike (or sometimes called "Mikey") wears the orange bandanna. Like Raphael he is a short-range striker with his nunchuck weapons. His special ability is the Kangaroo Kick which is a front-hand spring where Mike jumps backwards on his hands and then pushes his body upward in an arc with his feet kicking forward.
Raphael is the independent and rebellious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle of the group and wears a red-colored Bandana and wields the three-pronged sai short-ranged weapon. Raphael's reach is even shorter than that of Michaelangelo's which can make him a challenging choice. He makes up for this with the Power Drill Attack which is a spinning headbutt attack that launches Raph forward and damages any enemy in his way.
Donatello wears the purple bandanna and wields a wooden bo staff. Donatello is the smartest and most knowledgeable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle of the group and is not only level-headed but is always the Turtle that uses or builds devices and knows how to operate machinery and computers. Donatello is the easiest to use because of the long reach of his bo, he has the longest reach of all the characters. Additionally, Donatello's Knockout Roll is similar to Raphael's Power Drill Attack in that launches Donatello forward. In the move Donatello holds his staff out as he tucks in and spins forward vertically as he hits all the enemies in his path.