ToeJam & Earl: Back in The Groove review

ToeJam and Earl are back, and there funky as ever! Sega fans rejoice, children of the 90’s get your groove on, the dynamic duo are back. No not Batman and Robin, the jamming duo that is ToeJam and Earl, and if you’ve never heard of Toejam and Earl, what rock have you been hiding under.

ToeJam and Earl have crashed back into our lives, and they bring with them, suave, original Funk, old skool jams, topped with a little bit of panache. If you have never played the original, then your in for a treat with this version.

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the groove, is an astonishing throwback to a golden generation of gaming. This sequel to the cult classic is full of charm, classic gameplay, old Skool hip hop, classic-lines, presents and adventure. Once again you crash land on Earth, with your Rapmaster rocker in pieces, it’s up to you to track down the key components that have been scattered across the land.

The game is played out by traveling through levels in a quest looking for the lost pieces to your spacecraft. The first few levels are used as a learning curve, you start with your navigation map hidden and as you walk to the beat around the landscaped level, you will notice that you begin to unlock the map, which show’s where the key features are located throughout the level. Find the elevator to progress through each level, but be careful not to fall of the map, as each level is stacked vertically. For example, walk off the map in level 5 and you will find yourself in level 4, thus having to navigate the level again.

Throughout the different levels are formidable foe, from the devil, to cupid, with the added distraction of characters such as the hula girl that mesmerises you in to la la land.

As you go on your way, trying to stay clear of said distractions, you will quickly become aware of the densely populated world, with a whole stack of things to collect and ever-changing terrain to explore, you will succumb to the funky charm of this quirky little gem of a game.

The adventure is packed with classic characters to meet. Each character has their own distinctive personality, some offer help via some pretty unique solutions, the other’s well let’s just say, you might wish you never come across them, such as the annoying super fan, that just gets in your way and slows you down.

There are stall owners which sell food, so that you can replenish your energy if you get yourself in to a tight spot. shifty spy-like traders who are creepy looking but offer a chance to obtain that very special present, and a wise man with the knowledge to upgrade your unique abilities and that all import name tag, as you look to desperately lose the nick name name dufus.

And what of presents…. Well presents are like little boxes of joy, providing some rather tasty power ups and level cracking help. Present’s are often hidden throughout, so it pays off to shake every bush and every tree, sometimes even the odd house. Presents can also be obtain in other ways from dance offs, to chasing Santa!

Yes, as if the Devil, Cupid and a wiseman wasn’t enough, Santa makes an appearance too, told ya this game was wacky.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the groove is wonderfully presented throughout. The graphics are bold and beautiful, with its bright vibrant colours, the game just oozes class. The menus are clear and full of options, its cartoon like approach works fantastically well.

The Character’s in the game are excellently created and wonderfully brought to life. Unique, fresh and full of funk adding to the very soul of the game, the game adds other possibilities with extra playable character’s too.

The developer’s choice of terrain changes is a joy to behold, adding different elements to the game, such as sinking in the sand, if you stay on the path to long. The games enemies are wacky yet quite formidable foes, offering all sorts of ways to overcome them, from simply just out running them, to hiding amongst the sunflowers, this game thinks of every possible way you could avoid these dangerous yet very lovable creatures.

As you wander around the maps of the levels it becomes clear that there is a ton of items to collect that help you over come challenging obstacles and reach areas of the map that appear to be unreachable. The game is littered with mini games, addictive, with the ability to set your own challenges. Conquering the mini games results in presents galore, and that very much lucrative xp.

ToeJam & Earl is all about the feel-good factor. The gameplay is that of a classic nature from a forgotten era. With it’s easy to pick up and play style, its funky beats, its lush colours, to its wacky content, you’ll always come back for more.

The soundtrack is catchy, with a certain old skool hip hop funk, that you come to expect with games like these, add to that the play the beat challenges, and this really does warm the soul and get you in the groove.

As with these kinds of remakes, sequels if you would, developers miss the ball when it comes to multiplayer, but I am so thrilled to tell you, not on this occasion.

ToeJam & Earl has local co-op and Xbox live co-op options, so that you can head back to the dizzy days of couch play, which was all the rage back then, or find a like minded fellow fan and get your jam on via Live.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the groove is quite simply how you should produce a remake of a classic. The developers don’t just open the door for fans of the original or that genre, they blast the doors wide open for the world to see. This game welcomes everyone.

I really enjoyed my play through. Packed with features from the original, with a whole host of fresh content and improvements, this is one game not to miss, especially for the nostalgic ride that it will take you on…… all aboard the funk train, next stop Funkotron!

CX Score
  • 84%
    Overall - 84%
84%

Summary

Pros

  • Funky Beats
  • Excellent gameplay
  • Whole host of content

Online play

Cons

  • A bit repetitive
  • The ride ends too soon

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