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ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove revives the 90s cult favourite

90s-as-heck aliens ToeJam and Earl have returned in ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove, one of the more surprising fruits of the recent retro revival crowdfunding craze. The designer of ye olde original ToeJam & Earl from Sega Mega Drive in 1991, Greg Johnson, took this follow-up through Kickstarter in 2015 and now it launched this morning. TJ&E is… a roguelikelike actually inspired by Rogue, except it doesn’t have much fighting, and you collect loads of random items with weird effects, and it’s funny, and it’s silly, and it has hot jams, and it still can’t be easily compared to another game after 28 years, which speaks to how curious it is.

Have a peek in the launch trailer:

So you’re aliens, right, crashed on Earth and needing to gather the parts of your ship. Earth, it turns out, is a pretty weird place, full of strange creatures with even stranger behaviours, many of which end up hurting you. So off you trot, dodging many of these so-called ‘Earthlings’, hanging out with others, fighting some, gathering random items with surprise effects, and going through levels collecting spaceparts.

It’s on the roguelikier end of the roguelikelike scale, but with a great deal of silliness, colour, and personality. Which is what made it a bit of a cult favourite back in the day, I understand. And this is basically that. So I’m told. It’s got local and online co-op and all.

ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove has been delayed a fair bit, pushed back from 2017 to 2018 then again, but it’s finally here. You can nab it on Steam for £15/€17/$20. It’s made by Greg Johnson’s crew, HumaNature Studios.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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