You may have missed the news a little while back that hip-hop aliens Toejam and Earl, beloved heroes from the Sega Genesis era, were priming for a comeback with Back In the Groove, complete with a gameplay system similar to their very first adventure. Well, get ready, funkonauts, because they’ve officially got a release date!
HumaNature Studios has announced this morning that the action roguelike series featuring the funky fresh duo will be making its debut on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC starting March 1. And to get you in a “jammin’” frame of mind, a new trailer has also been released, which you can see above.
Here are the game’s features, provided via the press release:
The iconic ‘90s alien duo is back. ToeJam and Earl, hoping to impress Latisha and Lewanda, have…”borrowed” the Rapmaster Rocket. One black hole-related accident later, they are back on the floating remnants of Earth, scrambling to pick up the pieces of their ship before their home planet of Funkotron notices anything missing.
Hidden throughout the procedurally-generated levels are presents with random effects that help the duo find their ship parts. Rocket skates, Icarus Wings, Boomboxes and more than 60 other presents make each run feel fresh. Characters and unlockable hats that offer awesome hidden powers persist across playthroughs so there’s more to strive for beyond getting back home.
You would think a three-legged alien in dope threads would be the weirdest thing on the planet, but Earthlings give ToeJam and Earl a run for their money. Sneak around humans like the Hula-Girl so you don’t get hypnotized into shaking your hips, leaving you vulnerable to attacks. Over 50 Earthlings ranging from King Tut, armies of chickens and Internet Trolls roam around each level, so get to know which are friends and which are foe.
Back in the Groove’s got all the classic moments which made the series a staple of ‘90s gaming with modern improvements like online play, all in a nostalgic underground comic style.
Up to four friends can play together through online multiplayer and choose from nine characters -- some blasts-from-the-past, some new and funky fresh. Each character has their own stats and special abilities. Console players can enjoy couch co-op with two players total, while PC will enable local co-op accommodating four players.
Minigames keep ToeJam and Earl on their toes. The side-scrolling HyperFunk Zone from Panic on Funkotron is back so players can earn extra presents and cash. Feeling the beat? Jump into a rhythm-based dance-off. Get ready to jam out with your homies to more than 30 groovy tunes, including classic remixes from the original games.
“ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! is what I’ve been wanting to do for the series for over 20 years,” said Greg Johnson, founder of HumaNature Studios. “We’ve included pretty much all of the original 'old skool' characters and presents, and we have a TRUCKLOAD of new surprises, many of them fan-inspired. I think we’ve captured the spirit of the original game, as well as a lot of what people loved about game two. I think this is what our fans have been waiting for. I can’t wait to see what they think!”
The game will sell for $19.99 upon release, making it quite the bargain for fans.
In the meantime, if you want your fix of classic Toejam and Earl adventures, you can play the first two games in the Sega Genesis Classics compilation, available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, and releasing later this week for Nintendo Switch.