Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove

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Percentile Rank

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove is ranked in the 52nd percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 66 critic reviews
Fair Man

OpenCritic Rating

72

Top Critic Average

58%

Critics Recommend

Based on 66 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Polygon
Unscored
Unscored
Feb 28, 2019

There were moments where it felt like I was playing the same game that came out when I was 11. But the look was just a bit more lavish, and the funky bass line was arranged just differently enough. Back in the Groove is the perfect mix of polish and nostalgia, and one that I can’t wait to play through again.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Mar 6, 2019

I just kept thinking of so many different ways this could have been a much more ambitious take on a cheerful anachronism from an ancient 16-bit era. Sadly, I appear to have been the only one.

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Player2.net.au
D
D
Mar 6, 2019

Back in the 90s this was a very famous video game, but it should have died on the way back to its home planet. If you’re not already a fan of the series, you still won’t be.

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Nintendojo
B+
B+
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.

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Unboxholics
Worth your time
Worth your time
Apr 11, 2019

A reimagined version of the original Mega Drive game. Despite its many technical problems, its simplistic gameplay makes the game attractive and an ideal proposition for all ages.

Review in Greek | Read full review

GameCloud
No
No
Mar 28, 2019

My real question is: Why? Why was this made, and for whom? If ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove was intended as a remake, why try to emulate the original so closely in appearance and design while making everything measurably worse? If it was intended to be a sequel that only had a passingly similar design then, again, why make it so close to the original? Especially when the original is so much better in basically every regard. I’m not exaggerating when I say that in the process of writing this review, I ended up playing the original for far longer than this new version. At first, it was just to see if I remembered the game utterly wrong, as being something fun when it wasn’t. But it is, and I kept on playing it because it was preferable to this…”alternative.” The original is a great “arcade” experience, even by the standards of today, and you should definitely go play it if you want that nostalgia hit. Back In The Groove will just bore you at best and make you uncomfortable at worst.

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Scored Reviews

Destructoid
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
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.

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MonsterVine
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Feb 28, 2019

Back in the Groove is a triumphant return for Toejam & Earl, boasting an upgraded take on the gameplay and atmosphere that made the original game so fresh. It has some issues with its framerate, but that can’t stop Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove from being an overall excellent and wonderfully weird roguelike.

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ZTGD
9 / 10.0
ZTGD

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Mar 19, 2019

This game helped me understand why people love the original ToeJam & Earl so much. Back in the Groove basically renders the original obsolete.

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Nintendo Enthusiast
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 1, 2019

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.

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Rectify Gaming
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Toejam and Earl are back in a funky fun adventure.

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NintendoWorldReport
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

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.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove feels like the sequel the creators of the original game always wanted to make. It's a follow-up to the original concept, which ended up lost in the weeds for every previous sequel attempt. It's a roguelike sort of game, but one that wants you to laugh and have fun instead of constantly dread what's around each corner. That remains distinct, even after all these years. This isn't the most elaborate or intense game in its space, but it's the happiest to be there.

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Geeks Under Grace
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Sporting augmented graphics, remastered soundtrack, added items and earthlings, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a remake done right.

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Digital Chumps
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 10, 2017

HumaNature Studios' Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove has brought back and breathed life into the old gameplay design of the original game. It feels like a Toe Jam & Earl game, which I can appreciate immensely. While not groundbreaking with visuals, it still brings some real fun to a series that lost its way a long time ago.

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GameSpace
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
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.

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Game Informer
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Solid roguelike elements keep the action engaging and tense. No previous experience (or nostalgia) with the series required

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GBAtemp
8 / 10.0
GBAtemp
Lavar Pittman

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
Feb 21, 2019

I had a fun time playing this game, I still think there is some improvements to be made. Some good decisions was done such as making it a four player game and adding online mode. It also expands the original by a huge margin like you would expect and none of it feels out of place. My only question is what can come next, I do hope they try the platforming idea again like they did before.

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PC Invasion
Feb 28, 2019

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.

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Worth Playing
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
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.

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EGM
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
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.

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COGconnected
80 / 100
80 / 100
Mar 18, 2019

So what’s the verdict for this game? In one word – FUN!

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Wccftech
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove goes old-school and ignores those experimental sequels to create a spiritual successor that's even more charming than the original Genesis adventure.

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Game Revolution
Feb 28, 2019

This is exactly how a retro revival should be done and studios would be wise to take note.

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3DNews
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 10, 2019

A nice and very fun throwback to the past which doesn't require you to find out what these alien rappers were doing if this is the first time you are seeing them.

Review in Russian | Read full review

Nintendo Times
8 / 10
8 / 10
Feb 28, 2019

GREAT - I’m so happy to see this classic Sega franchise make a comeback. Crowdfunding is surely the best thing to happen to video games in the last decade and as we see more terrific indie games and franchise reboots created with this method. I’m still holding out for new Oasis and Shining Force titles. With Back in the Groove, the story, theme, and dialogue are all rather lackluster and dated, but that doesn’t detract from this being outstanding adventure game that is perfect for the entire family.

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PlayStation Universe
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Full of fun characters and unique presents to unwrap, the classic Sega Genesis game feels as unique as ever in Back in the Groove, and is well worth a trip back for older fans of the series. Newcomers can also look forward to finding out what made ToeJam & Earl so popular.

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GotGame
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

All things considered, it’s wonderful that ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove exists.

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PSX Brasil
80 / 100
80 / 100
Mar 1, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a trip to the past and a game that the fans of the original wanted. It's really good, fun and the multiplayer is great. The downside is the loading time and playing it alone can be boring.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

IGN Italy
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
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.

Review in Italian | Read full review

VideoTime
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 13, 2019

177/5000 ToeJam, Earl and his team of alien rappers are back in action with ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove the fourth game in a series that is about to turn 30 years old.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

GameSkinny
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove isn't a blast FROM the past, it's a blast TO the past.

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Cultured Vultures
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 1, 2019

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.

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Cubed3
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 20, 2019

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.

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Electric Bento
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

The singular sense of humor and music-themed touches that made the original so endearing are back, and the cooperative multiplayer is better than ever.

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GamingTrend
75 / 100
75 / 100
Mar 7, 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.

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Video Chums
7.4 / 10.0
7.4 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

As a revival of a very special Sega Genesis classic, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove will certainly give fans the funky good times that they crave.

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Hobby Consolas
73 / 100
73 / 100
Feb 28, 2019

Fans of the original game will find exactly what the missed all these years. It should be more appealing on the graphical side, but it's an OK adventure for those who seek a slow-paced experience.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Level Down Games
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Will this bring on a resurgence of ToeJam and Earl as a household series? Probably not. But it’s a great reminder of something special from gaming history, and I for one am glad to see it once again.

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PowerUp!
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

The new features and updates just miss the mark to carry the rest of what is one of the best attempts at bringing the 90s into the current time.

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Nintendo Life
7 / 10
7 / 10
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is 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.

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Gamer Escape
7 / 10
7 / 10
Feb 28, 2019

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove is definitely an odd title. It has a focus on exploration over combat, and embraces randomness in a way that keeps things exciting. While it’s likely not for everyone, it’s definitely a unique game in this day and age, and is worth a shot for that alone.

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NoesPaisparaFrikis
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 28, 2019

Human Nature has proven to be a brave fucking. All its mechanics are outdated, its graphic design is outdated and its sense of humor for decades that stopped being funny but they do not care. They have made the game that they played as children and they wanted, we wanted, to play again and they have done it without caring for a duck egg what the current batch of players think about their game. And that a developer develops a game under the motto "If you do not like it !! do not play it "has a lot, but that much, merit. Human Nature Chapeau and thank you!

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Xbox Achievements
70%
70%
Feb 28, 2019

Bristling with energy and a bright, breezy '90s-inspired style, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove harks back to a simpler time, when life was a little bit funkier. And fun. This is a fun game.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 4, 2019

On the whole, the game is fun for short bursts or with a friend but there's little reason to play repeatedly unless you want to unlock all of the power hats.

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IGN Spain
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 4, 2019

A nostalgic look to the videogames' past that may be a bit lackluster for those who didn't played the original games, but it's a welcomed return for this two charismatic characters.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

NoobFeed
70 / 100
70 / 100
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam and Earl is a cult classic among older gamers, with much of its appeal coming from the graphical style and unique characters. ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove! captures much of the original's atmosphere and gameplay. It won't appeal to everyone but those with fond memories of the duo will get a lot of enjoyment with ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove!

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Pure Nintendo
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Mar 6, 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. For the unacquainted, the co-creator, designer, and studio head Greg Johnson worked on Star Control II – if that's not a selling point, what is? Concerning ToeJam & Earl, I can say the series, and Back in the Groove! especially, has a style all its own. There isn't anything quite like it.

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Shacknews
7 / 10
7 / 10
Apr 4, 2019

ToeJam and Earl are definitely back in the groove with this remake, and this game has been welcomed by fans who backed the Kickstarter back in 2015. I certainly wanted to see a more fresh take on these characters, but the game we got will keep fans of the franchise happy while introducing a whole new generation of gamers to the series.

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AbsoluteXbox
3.4 / 5.0
3.4 / 5.0
Mar 25, 2019

For those that have played ToeJam & Earl in their distant past and became fans, you will love Back in the Groove, as it captures the feel and look of the original and gives you a game you’ll be very familiar with.

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CGMagazine
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
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.

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God is a Geek
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a weird and wonderful world filled with colourful characters, but some of the movement feels archaic.

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Push Square
6 / 10
6 / 10
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a relentlessly faithful retread of the 90s classics. Fans of the funky alien duo are sure to enjoy it, but clumsy gameplay and some frustrating design choices date it in a bad way. Mixing elements of the two Mega Drive titles works well, and the oddball stylings and music are as good as ever. However, it just feels a bit tired, and maybe could've benefitted from a modern shot in the arm. If you love ToeJam & Earl, this is well worth a look, but fans of other PS4 roguelikes might be less impressed.

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Flickering Myth
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Mar 3, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove shamelessly coasts on nostalgia and has little time for finessed gameplay or appealing visuals, but it nevertheless knows what its audience craves most.

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DualShockers
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Gaming's most funky duo are back from Funkotron in a nostalgia-fueled experience that doesn't appeal to anyone but its limited fan base.

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TheSixthAxis
6 / 10
6 / 10
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a hard sell.

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CDavis_Games
Nintendo Insider
6 / 10
6 / 10
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.

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Twinfinite
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Mar 7, 2019

If you don't like it, then hey — guess you can go get funked.

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RPGamer
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Jun 4, 2019

Back in the Groove can be completed in a single evening; subsequent playthroughs extend the experience, but feel like a pancake-eating contest where the prize is more pancakes.

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GameSpew
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam and Earl may have gained cult status for their past escapades, but unless you’re a hardcore fan of the series, the magic doesn’t quite carry over to the 21st century. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is initially charming thanks to how offbeat it is, but it soon wears thin when you realise how barebones the gameplay is.

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Nerd Much?
5 / 10.0
5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

Unfortunately, 28 years after the first game’s release means doing more of the same won’t necessarily get the same results.

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GameSpot
5 / 10
5 / 10
Mar 8, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is an endearing throwback whose charms and frustrations both feel unmistakably like products of 1991.

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TechRaptor
4.5 / 10.0
4.5 / 10.0
Feb 28, 2019

ToeJam & Earl: Back in he Groove is a straightfroward game that really struggles to find any form of relevance beyond its nostalgia factor.

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Gameblog
4 / 10
4 / 10
Mar 8, 2019

ToeJam & Earl : Back in the Groove is so similar to the original version released in 1991 that it fails to deliver the needed innovations that would have gave a new appeal to the game, instead of this dated gameplay that will bore any un-nostalgic gamer.

Review in French | Read full review

We Got This Covered
Mar 1, 2019

Fans of the original Sega Genesis titles will probably find a lot to like about ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove. The rest of us, unfortunately, will need to fight off waves of annoyance and irritation while trying to determine what all the fuss is about.

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