Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Apr 18, 2019
    HumaNature have executed the retro revitalisation of ToeJam & Earl exactly in the way that backers will have wanted. Whilst it might not be a revolutionary game in 2019, the updated features and trimmings are more than enough to keep fans of the series happy.
  2. Mar 24, 2019
    I do wish the time-honored gameplay was offset a bit more by balanced, polished, and tighter design at times. But if you’re “ready for a blast of funky nostalgia” the sense of déja vu that comes from familiar fun won’t be a negative.
  3. Feb 28, 2019
    A faithful enhancement to the classic original. It might not satisfy those looking for their next big blockbuster or 'prestige indie' title as the design may feel somewhat dated, despite the game’s own attempts to obfuscate the obsolete with the arbitrary. This funky, distinctive game should please the nostalgic while being unique enough to attract, and satisfy, the curious. Details such as the exhaustive documentation and varying minigames definitely show some heart in the development. Ultimately, this is a package that is designed to appeal to pre-existing fans rather than create entirely new ones, but if you're a fan of this kind of game and don't mind the odd spot of randomness, then you should give it a try.
  4. Mar 4, 2019
    ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove just feels like more of the original game sprinkled with some modern-day trimmings (rogue-lite progression, for example) that feel like an afterthought.
  5. Feb 28, 2019
    Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove does offer a lot of the same fun found in the original, but a meaner edge and some annoying changes keep it from surpassing its still easily available predecessor.
  6. Mar 7, 2019
    It has the unlockables and online functionality of its modern contemporaries, while sticking to its roots and showing us that a good game can still be a good game, even after all these years.
  7. Feb 28, 2019
    As loving a recreation of the Mega Drive original as fans could ever hope for, but without any major evolution of the concept it has far less to offer anyone else.
  8. Feb 28, 2019
    The visuals are pretty, and the music is brilliant, but ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove! is the same game it was nearly three decades ago. This is fine I suppose, but it feels like more could have been done. It’s an enjoyable experience with friends, but a bit dull on your own. The whole experience is just a bit lackluster when compared to games of today.
  9. 50
    Back in the Groove might satisfy series fans that just want some new toys to play with, but the sluggish speed and obtuse design of the dated original remains.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 76
  2. Negative: 33 out of 76
  1. Apr 2, 2019
    When playing this game I couldn't help but think back to the good ole days of sitting up in my room, a Dew and Doritos 3D at the ready, justWhen playing this game I couldn't help but think back to the good ole days of sitting up in my room, a Dew and Doritos 3D at the ready, just jamming out to the dynamite soundtrack of the original ToeJam & Earl. This newest entry in the series is ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! and boy is that name fitting. Everything you remember from the original T&E is back, but it’s all cranked up to 11. The music is fantastic! The whole time I was playing this game I kept finding myself doing a little jig while sitting on my couch. My girlfriend who normally just falls asleep whenever I play games even pointed out how good the music was.

    The level design is simple but not underwhelming. There are plenty of humans, bushes, houses and random objects for you to interact with throughout the level. You’ll also encounter hidden areas and magically appearing ground that leads you to either a new area or some teleporters.

    The game is simple: you explore an area while finding presents that aid you on your journey while avoiding interaction with humans and trying to find your missing spaceship parts.

    Nostalgia definitely plays a factor when playing T&E:BITG because its roots run deep, but don’t let that fool you. There is still plenty of new features to come with it. There’s also couch co-op that adds a whole other layer to the game. There’s something to say about local co-op modes. There’s nothing I enjoy more than scavenging a torn apart earth, looking for crazy, wacky presents with the people closest to me.

    This game will take you back to a simpler day while still adding to your experience, but it seems like it’s leaving something out. Eventually the environments get stale and the enemies (humans) grow old; not really evolving as you play but rather repeating the same monotonous steps over and over until you find that last spaceship part. The levels change and they even add in different climates but it just feels like it it’s not enough. Each step of the way you’re avoiding humans on the same 3D platform, searching for presents and paying tolls. The characters have a variety of stats but all in all it doesn’t seem to matter, you still end up doing the same thing with all of them.

    Although the game is fun, I couldn’t fully commit to it. It’s not the same level of enjoyment as it once was for me. One might say that it feels like I’ve grown up, and ToeJam & Earl... hasn’t.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2019
    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. Full Review »
  3. Mar 7, 2019
    My previous review I turn back. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a thrill. A completely revamped version of the original ToeJam & EarlMy previous review I turn back. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a thrill. A completely revamped version of the original ToeJam & Earl (1991) - Complete with new features and adjustments to guarantee a fun experience.

    Edit: Bugs have been heavily tackled by this team and not ignored.
    Full Review »