ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: The iconic ‘90s duo is back in the groove with all-new presents to help them navigate this wack planet ”Earth” and retrieve all the lost pieces to the Rapmaster Rocket. Team up for co-op play to discover secret locations, hidden presents and new friends.

Trailer

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ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove . -Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 28, 2019
    85
    A fantastic return to form for an underrated franchise.
  2. Feb 28, 2019
    80
    ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is an extremely welcome update to the first game in the series that retains and expands upon everything that made that game a classic.
  3. Feb 28, 2019
    80
    All these years later, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from ToeJam & Earl beyond a blast of nostalgia. In some ways, the original was ahead of its time, and it only took a little tweaking to bring it up to contemporary expectations. Back in the Groove is a great gift, tucked inside an earnestly funky wrapper.
  4. Mar 18, 2019
    80
    It’s a casual laid back type of game that possesses tons of character. And characters. As you play you’ll come across many colorful – both in terms of personality and design – NPC characters. My personal favorite is a Gandhi type character who spreads peace and love. The hip-hop funky aesthetics of the game crossed with Dr. Suess visuals make for a chilling, laid back experience whether you play it solo or cooperatively.
  5. Mar 20, 2019
    80
    Nearly thirty years was a mighty long time, but ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! proves that the wait was worth it. This is an excellent sequel, and it's not just because it captures the spirit of the original. The new features, as well as quality-of-life improvements, really enhance the experience. Each level is filled with things to do, and they all serve a purpose. There aren't any meaningless distractions. Even today, where roguelikes are exponentially more common, this is one that shouldn't be passed up.
  6. Feb 28, 2019
    60
    While the commitment HumaNature Studios made to make an actual sequel to the original ToeJam & Earl is commendable, the gameplay just feels way too dated. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is truly the sequel fans were probably waiting for, it’s just 20 years too late.
  7. Jun 5, 2019
    60
    The value is clear to nostalgic fans, who have probably already purchased the game and had fun with it. However, newcomers to Funkotron are more likely to enjoy it for a few hours and move on in search of more variety, a bouncy bass beat in their hearts.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 5, 2019
    10
    An absolutely phenomenal follow-up to the 1991 original. Straight forward Rogue-like gameplay concepts executed to perfection. Graphically itAn absolutely phenomenal follow-up to the 1991 original. Straight forward Rogue-like gameplay concepts executed to perfection. Graphically it looks like 90's animation, in the best way. Soundtrack is a perfect update to the original game with some great new additions. Do yourself a favor and don't hesitate to buy this one. A steal at 20 bucks. Expand
  2. Mar 4, 2019
    10
    If you liked the original on Genesis/Mega Drive, then you will love this. Its essentially a remake of the first game, but has a lot of newIf you liked the original on Genesis/Mega Drive, then you will love this. Its essentially a remake of the first game, but has a lot of new enemies, playable characters, etc. It combined the hyperfunk zone from the second game as a bonus stage on the first game.

    For those who had never heard of, or played this game, the idea is its a 90s hip hop style game, imagined by non-minorities (think vanilla ice era lame), where you go around picking up wrapped presents. The presents can contain many good, and many bad effects, like tomatos which allow you to pop enemies, or a total bummer, which instantly kills you. There are 26 levels (25 + a secret level 0), you have to traverse them to pick up all of your missing ship pieces. The goal is to collect all 10, and the last piece is on the final level every time. You gain experience by doing things in the world and can rank up to increase your health. Its a very fun game
    Expand
  3. Mar 7, 2019
    7
    Massive fan of the original. Played it co-op many times over with my big sister. This remake does successfully recreate the fun personality,Massive fan of the original. Played it co-op many times over with my big sister. This remake does successfully recreate the fun personality, features and systems of the original game, but is not as playable or as well-made. The original game had two invisible, excellent, features - a slower, deliberate pace, and plenty of visual breathing room. In this remake everything slides around fast and loose, clamoring to overlap and occupy more of the screen, ruining what made the original so approachable. New features have been added - new biomes, day/night, a stats system and a bigger variety of presents & unlockables add replayability, but the *core game* - the control response, movement, field of view, scale and readability of the enemies' (for dodging), the 'stealth' and 'combat' (sneaking and tomatoes) -- all of these things were great in the original but here they are a hot mess, lively at best but utterly frustrating and unplayable on the harder difficulties. Example - random generation places important objects directly atop eachother - impossible to see clearly and interact deliberately. Most enemy characters are oversized compared to your viewing area, they move fast and their sprites flail around so wildly you can't read and judge their collision area so as to negotiate dangerous situations - late in the game there'll be literally entire screens filled with oversize enemies flailing wildly and you can't hope to see what's coming and avoid it, and don't rely on tomatoes or a slingshot because they aren't easy to aim or satisfying to use. Sure it's a game about funky personalities and weird popculture gags, but the core mechanics have been slapped together with minor consideration for what made the original game so playable underneath it all. It's a damn shame that so many good new ideas have been piled atop a shoddy remake of the core mechanics. This game gets lots of new things right but screwed up what made the original so playable and satisfying. Tons of personality, lacking in basic playability. Expand

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