About ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove
Developed by Humanture Studio, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove published on PC, PS4 and etc. is another instalment in the series about the adventures of two strange aliens who look like rappers from the 1990s. Filled with humour and absurd, the story comes back to its roots developed by the first instalment, but at the same time, it utilises elements of the second part.
The story kicks off when the two aliens, having come back from interstellar journeys, decide to go on yet another space joyride. Unfortunately, this one ends up tragically – the ship crash-lands on a planet called Earth. In order to go back, the heroes have to gather replacement parts for their ship and at the same time avoid dangers the planet pose. During gameplay, you take control of a rap duo – ToeJam and Big Earl. The first one is a three-legged, snail-resembling bloke, and the other is an obese lad wearing characteristic glasses. Apart from those two, you sporadically control their friends – three-eyed and two-legged Peabo and charming Lewanda.
Gameplay largely draws on the mechanics from the first instalment. This translates into coming back to the isometric perspective and free exploration. There is no more permadeath characteristic to roguelike productions – instead, once defeated, you spawn at the checkpoint. During travelling through Earth, you come across a number of absurd enemies, such as mad doctors and bizarre wizards. Sometimes, you find mysterious presents – obtaining them is one of the most important part of the game, as they contain power-ups. However, you can never know whether they will help you or harm you. The title also introduces a set of minigames. Importantly, each adventure can be played solo or with up to three other players.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove utilises a good-looking retro style. The world and the characters seem like they were cut out from paper, and implementing the 3D perspective to some locations gives the title more depth. Naturally, the soundtrack is a mixture of funk and rap, which draws inspiration from the music trends of the 1990s. Thanks to the characteristic bass tunes, the soundtrack is really catchy.