Monday, September 12, 2016

Back To The Past: ToeJam & Earl

A few months ago I found out that I could get this gem from the 90s on Steam for only $5. I quickly picked it up and the memories of my childhood came flooding back. I only had Nintendo growing up, but my friend had the Nintendo and Sega consoles. We used to get together and try to beat this game. We never came close. I do remember always finding the secret level, but after that we would just die a lot and never finish the game. ToeJam & Earl was released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis and was created by an american company called Johnson Voorsanger Productions which would later be renamed to ToeJam & Earl Productions, Inc.

Fast forward to 25 years later, and only four to five hours of gameplay, I was finally able to beat the game. What made it easier this time is the ability to save your game in the Sega Virtual Console, you couldn't do this in the original game. The Virtual Console is downloaded for free if you buy any of the Sega games on Steam. Without the save feature it would have taken me a lot longer to beat it.

ToeJam & Earl are aliens from another planet who love hip-hop and funk. The sound track is hip-hopish, but very enjoyable to listen to. The songs can get stuck in your head for days. So the story goes, ToeJam & Earl are traveling through space when Earl crashes their ship on Earth. This is where you can either play with two players or by your self by either choosing Earl or ToeJam as your character. From here you are on your way exploring 25 random levels to find ten pieces of your ship so you can get back home. As you are exploring the planet, the creatures of earth are out to get you. So to help keep you safe you get to collect and use presents. Each one does something different and can be very helpful in your journey or can literally kill you. All the presents are seen with ????, so you don't know what is in them. But you can collect money and find a guy in a carrot suit who will identify them for you for $2 each. As you progress through the levels they start to get harder and harder, but if there is a ship piece on a level the game will tell you. You just have to explore that level and find it. Once you get all 10 pieces of your ship, the game ends and you fly back home.

I had loads of fun playing this game again, even 25 years later. It has aged very well. ToeJam & Earl is still challenging and fun to play. I am glad I was finally able to beat it and bring back some of my childhood memories. If you get the chance, pick this game up and play it. It truly is a classic.

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