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.
This game helped me understand why people love the original ToeJam & Earl so much. Back in the Groove basically renders the original obsolete.
So what’s the verdict for this game? In one word – FUN!
Solid roguelike elements keep the action engaging and tense. No previous experience (or nostalgia) with the series required
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is an endearing throwback whose charms and frustrations both feel unmistakably like products of 1991.
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.
This is exactly how a retro revival should be done and studios would be wise to take note.
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.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a hard sell.
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
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
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
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a weird and wonderful world filled with colourful characters, but some of the movement feels archaic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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