Gather round, kids, and let the old-timer talk about the olden days of 16-bit gaming. Seems like most of the platform-specific classic games people talk about were only on Nintendo. Sega had Sonic, sure, but that wasn’t their only exclusive game. One of the most memorable classics was Toejam & Earl. With an unusual design, killer ’90s soundtrack, weird weapons, and atypical gameplay that crossed a run and jump with a puzzle game, it was also the first game I remember beating.
Despite two sequels, they haven’t really been around in years. Now the original developer has gone to Kickstarter. Turns out he has plans for a new game incorporating the classic gameplay and marrying it to modern graphics plus the ability to play with lots more characters (4 player local, online co-op play as well). The goal is to raise $400,000 to release Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove for home computers (PC, Mac, and Linux). Could we see it on a console too? That really depends on how well it takes off and what the platform makers say.
The new game’s graphics are much easier on the eye than the third game. Instead of going full 3D, it uses a mix of 3D terrain and 2D sprites. In the classic game, every level had a set design, so after a while you could just breeze through. In BitG, every level is randomly generated. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Considering the theme to the original game is the ringtone I use for my brother, you can bet I’ll be backing this one.