Toejam & Earl (Sega Genesis, 1991)
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|Funky aliens ToeJam & Earl need your help! While on a routine trip across the galaxy, their spaceship got caught in an asteroid field and crashed into some strange planet called Earth. Now they have to find the ten missing pieces of their ship so they can return home!
Choose either pot-bellied Earl or three-legged ToeJam and get ready to explore levels filled with presents, food to replenish health, comical Earthlings, and hopefully a piece of the craft. To exit the level, simply find the elevator that will move you up to the next stretch of land.
The game is played from a three-quarter overhead perspective as you walk around trying to avoid getting attacked by the Earthlings. The presents contain objects to help you, including an Inner Tube to cross water, Super Hi-Tops to move rapidly across the screen, Icarus Wings to fly, Tomatoes and Slingshots to hurl at enemies, Spring Shoes to jump high in the sky, and Rocket Skates to blast over chasms.
Two players can play simultaneously on the same screen, but if one decides to explore on his or her own, the screen will split into two views. Players can also help one another by "high-fiving" characters to share life bars. Once you've found all the pieces of the ship, don't assume the fun is over. Random maps and object locations help ensure that every game is a new experience.
ToeJam & Earl received positive reviews, which Bill Paris of UGO described as "almost unanimous critical acclaim". However, Sega deemed it a commercial failure due to low initial sales. The game built a cult following through word of mouth, and it was further aided by the Mega Drive's Christmas 1991 sales spike, caused by the release of Sonic the Hedgehog. ToeJam & Earl was later considered a "cult" success.
Mean Machines found the game addictive and original, but found fault with its slow-paced combat. One of the reviewers said, "Not everyone will like it—it's not normal enough for mass appeal—but I think it's destined to become a massive cult classic". GamePro called the game's originality "incredible", and praised its graphics, music and humor. MegaTech praised the graphics, and the 2-player option, and said the game was "great fun - pure and simple".
Mega said that it was "An OK game, but one which becomes completely essential when played with someone else. Got any friends? Buy this. Haven't got any friends? Buy this and make some". The game also appeared at number 26 on its list of the best games of all time.
|Publisher||Sega of America, Inc.|
|Game||ToeJam & Earl|
|Number of Players||1 or 2|
|Game Series||ToeJam & Earl Series|
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