Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Feb 28, 2019
    Even if you don’t have an ounce of affinity for the first game, or weren’t around to experience it to begin with, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove still comes together as a modern roguelike that everyone can enjoy.
  2. Feb 28, 2019
    Playing this game is equivalent to downing some orange soda and Cool Ranch Doritos while watching Rocko’s Modern Life with the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff playing on my parents’ six-CD player. With a little more variety in objectives this could be the killer co-op game to end all co-op games, but even with the same basic goal each run, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is one of the illest, dopest, most hella fly experiences I’ve had on my Switch. And while I know that vernacular is terribly dated, it totally works when talking about this game.
  3. 90
    After years of relative obscurity, ToeJam & Earl is back in a big way. Back in the Groove likely won’t push the franchise beyond its cult status, but it is a good game that fans both old and new should check out. Pick up and play this one with a friend for the best experience.
  4. Mar 12, 2019
    Capturing the essence of the 1991 classic, HumaNature Studios hits all of the right notes with ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove. With nine playable characters, light RPG progression, online co-operative gameplay, and a whole lot of funk, the latest entry into the ToeJam & Earl franchise rests solidly in the pocket where it is meant to be.
  5. 85
    Despite some apprehensive dalliances with repetition, I loved ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove. The sublime style drips with funk, and the cadence of roaming through floors using my presents to try to avoid failure and find my ship parts is one that made for a charming experience. It didn’t matter if I saw some of the same things several times over my multiple playthroughs. The whole thing is spectacularly goofy and weird, even if I eventually do figure out why the hell the yeti has a pencil.
  6. Mar 13, 2019
    With new opponents, a faster experience and great bonus modes from Panic on Funkotron, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is the quintessential experience for nostalgic fans, or those experiencing the franchise for the very first time.
  7. Mar 4, 2019
    A brilliant return for the funky alien duo! Back in the Groove is everything that ToeJam & Earl fans ever asked for. Even if sometimes is a bit broken and repetitive.
  8. Mar 1, 2019
    All in all, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! is as solid of a remake of the classic title as you can hope for. It plays the same, sounds the same, looks better, and has a fair amount of new content. It's fun and accessible, and it's a solid roguelike for players of all ages. Nostalgic fans of the original will find a lot to love here, and newcomers should enjoy this retro trip back to the radical '90s.
  9. 80
    Back in the Groove is a reboot that maintains the franchise's classic feel with a few worthwhile tweaks. Whether it is for nostalgia or a new adventure, this is a shattered Earth worth exploring.
  10. Feb 28, 2019
    While the gameplay definitely shows its age in spots, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! is exactly what was advertised to Kickstarter backers in 2015. An updated version of the duo’s original Genesis exploits both in spirit and design, it manages to remain a charming experience no matter how ruthless its old school gameplay can be at times.
  11. Feb 28, 2019
    ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a literal return-to-form for the series, and longtime fans should be happy about that. While it might not be a hardcore roguelike or fully integrate its more modern design choices, it does exactly what it sets out to do: give players a true sequel to the original Genesis classic. It’s hard to say how far this formula could have come in 28 years if the series hadn’t taken detours into other genres, but for now I’m just happy that it’s gone back to its roots.
  12. Mar 8, 2019
    While still in need of some technical polish, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a loving flashback to the good old 90s, filled with some lighthearted laughs and killer beats in an easygoing adventure setting. Fans of the original will definitely find something to love, and those who are new to the craziness can find some great fun here.
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 »