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ToeJam & Earl

Time to find those spaceship parts!

Name: ToeJam & Earl

Genre: Action

Publisher: Sega
Developer: ToeJam & Earl Productions


Review by Swift


I love Virtual Console. Purely for the reason that, without it, I would never get the chance to revisit some of the titles I used to play in my childhood years. There were many titles I wanted to revisit and one such title was ToeJam & Earl for the Sega Mega Drive, which I downloaded recently.

ToeJam & Earl was an incredibly odd game for it's time. To get straight into the story of this game, ToeJam & Earl was about two aliens from a planet named Funkotron, and, as the name suggests, both aliens had pretty funky attitudes. When you start the game, if you do not press anything, the two aliens will tell you the tale of how Earl took the controls for the ship ToeJam was piloting, and accidentally crashed it, before it landed on – you guessed it – Planet Earth. The parts of their ship scattered, ToeJam & Earl explore the planet to search for the pieces of their ship so they could rebuild it and be on their merry way.

You get to choose between the two aliens, not that there is much of a difference, both play similarly with only minor differences. You also get to choose whether or not you want the levels to come in a random order, or if you want them to be in a fixed order. Of course, it's more fun to explore the levels in a random order, because you never quite get what you expect. There are presents to collect, which contain items which can either help or hinder you. One part of the game is to try and figure out what these items do.

The game is a lot like a dungeon crawler but in a different environment. You'll explore areas of Earth trying to find parts of your space ship; very different to what Earth is like now (as there are devils and all sorts of weird things hanging around), and while it's very slow-paced, it's something that slowly but surely becomes quite fun. That's the thing with this game; some people will try it out and get bored with it very quickly. But once you really get immersed into this game, it actually can be quite fun. It's not perfect though – single player will get dull after a short while, but the multiplayer is a different story.

Multiplayer sees you and a friend taking control of both aliens, and it effectively plays the same as single-player, though it has that one thing that makes it better; the split-screen. When the two aliens are no longer in the same screen, it will split in half enabling both aliens to explore in areas away from each other, and will merge back into one screen when the aliens are reunited.

The graphics aren't that brilliant. ToeJam and Earl are quite small, and while the levels certainly are colourful and appealing, it would have been better if the aliens looked better as well. Graphics aren't everything though, and so long as the rest of the game is enjoyable, it's fine. The music is pretty good and extremely memorable. Even when I had forgotten the name of this game having played it so young, I still remembered the music over the years.

With ToeJam & Earl, I'd say it truly depends on whether or not the idea of a slower paced game requiring searching for parts of a space ship appeals to you. If it does, feel free to try this game out. If you don't like the idea of any of that though, you might want to give this game a miss.





Fans and their reviews of video-games. xD