Kickstarter for New ToeJam & Earl Game Surfaces

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove | oprainfall

Gettin’ funky since 1991.

Yet another developer is seeking out help on Kickstarter to revitalize an old game series. ToeJam & Earl, a series that originated on SEGA Genesis and hasn’t seen an entry since 2002, has reappeared on Kickstarter seeking funding. Unlike the sequels to the original game, none of which performed too well, Back in the Groove, as this one is subtitled, will be much more like the original game. Originally a top-down dungeon crawler-type game, ToeJam & Earl became a platformer in 1993’s Panic on Funkotron and was re-imagined as an action-adventure game in the Xbox-exclusive Mission to Earth. These changes, according to the original co-creator Greg Johnson, were due to publisher demands; specifically in Mission to Earth‘s case, it was to make something that didn’t feel “too old-school.”

That “old-school” feel is exactly what the devs want to recapture with this new game, though. “Fixed isometric camera, 2D sprites, simple controls and an emphasis on coop (sic) play. It will also pull in some of the more beloved elements from game two, AND we have a list of exciting new gameplay elements planned, as well,” Johnson says in the written pitch. The game’s world is rendered in 3D, as well, and, though the pitch features a very early prototype, it gives a good idea of how it will look with the 2D models in the 3D world — an interesting prospect to be sure. In addition, the new ToeJam & Earl will feature funky music (naturally), four-player co-op, randomly-generated levels and more. The game is currently in development for PC, Mac and Linux only, though a console port hasn’t been entirely ruled out.

Though the Kickstarter for ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove ends March 27, and the physical merchandise ships in November, Johnson states that the actual game could take a couple of years to make. “We really want to do this right, and deliver a game that is a worthy sequel, and this is our priority over doing it fast,” he states in the FAQs of the Kickstarter. “So… it may be a while. What does this mean in practical terms? Well, I’d guess probably somewhere between 1.5 and 2 years.” Until then, check out the pitch video below and the Kickstarter page, where you can see a couple other quirky videos related to the project, including one with Tim Schafer and Will Wright!

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About Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones is a 24 year-old with a BA in History and has been gaming as far back as he can remember. Growing up, he was raised strictly on Nintendo consoles, but this fueled a passion for Japanese gaming and design. Though he does still have a soft spot for Nintendo, he has grown to love any developer and console with fun, enjoyable games. Some of his favorite games of all time include Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy XIII, Chrono Trigger, and Katawa Shoujo.