ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove delayed into 2018

As the year crawls to its end through the leaves and snow — uphill, both ways — games that were slated vaguely to launch in 2017 are now looking at the two final pages on their calendar and thinking: 1) heck yes I’m stoked to turn over for December’s Christmas cat picture; 2) oh god, did I say THIS 2017? One such game is ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove, a crowdfunded revival of ye olde oddeballe roguelikelike. It was due some time in 2017, now it’s pushed back to some time in 2018. If it’ll cheer you, here’s a new trailer:

“We tried super hard to get ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove out in 2017,” ToeJam and Earl co-creator Greg Johnson said in a Kickstarter update last week.

“Game development is an inexact science and it’s our priority to deliver the best, most solid game we can. To get the game across the finish line we need to push into 2018, but rest assured we are working our butts off and you guys are going to get an awesome game.”

Okey cokey.

I’ve been quite looking forward to this. I missed the series back in the day but I’m into the idea of a weird cartoony roguelikelike (or maybe it’s so far from the norms it’s a roguelikelikelike? I’ll have to consult the Roguelike verifier). Still, plenty of games around so I’m happy to wait. The first two TJ&Es from the Sega Mega Drive are on Steam too, if I get desperate (I believe Back in the Groove is more like the first than the platform-y second).

Ta for pointing out the delay, PCGamesN.


  1. Eraysor says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but I actually prefer Panic on Funkotron to the original…

    • Da5e says:

      You seem to have misspelled ‘I’m a big silly oaf, please disregard my opinion’ ;)

      • Jalan says:

        Don’t go raking them over the coals for that. It’s not like they said they preferred ToeJam & Earl III above the original.

    • Rane2k says:

      Actually, I also prefer “Panic on Funkotron” over the first one.

      The humour was simply funnier, the levels were well designed and the two-player mode was hilarious (ridding bubbles!).

      I have re-played both of them a few years back, and I´ll have to say, the original did not age well.
      Slow-paced and luck-based, and the gameplay (evading various wacky enemies) had little variation.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Panic on Funkotron is fantastic but the one thing over all overs that it should be praised for it’s being a platformer with huge levels that aren’t tightly packed mazes.

    • ElGordoFreeman says:

      I agree with you, wich is weird thing since the 2nd game got messed by producer and changed a lot from the vision of the creator. I hope this new one is good, at least it will be better than Toejam 3

  2. stringerdell says:

    I will be shocked if this is half as creative and charming as the original.

  3. poliovaccine says:

    I remember this series but I never “got” it. What is the gameplay appeal to these games? Or is the central appeal not even about that? Basically, what even is this series?

    Always mystified me a little as a kid, I just never could quite figure out what these games were *for,* what itch they scratch, I think partly cus I saw at least two different games where the style of gameplay seemed to vary widely from each other, and the only thing they had in common, from the parts I saw at least, was the characters. I mean, is that right, were they like guiding Virgils to a genre-romp picaresque? Or was there a more central gameplay loop I never caught from secondhand observation at friends’ houses?