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Classic funk-infused game 'ToeJam & Earl' revived on Kickstarter

Jessica Conditt, @JessConditt
February 26, 2015
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It's odd to feel excited about the return of something that sounds as awful as "toejam," but here we are. The co-creator of ToeJam & Earl, a cult-hit dungeon crawler that launched on the Sega Genesis in 1991, is developing a brand new entry in the series, subtitled Back in the Groove. That's fairly adorable, considering the franchise involves a bunch of hip hop and funk. Creator Greg Johnson and his new team at Humanature Studios have gone full-on indie, currently seeking $400,000 by March 27 on Kickstarter. As of publication, they're more than a quarter of the way there, so things are looking groovy.

Back in the Groove features an old-school, 90s-comics art style and resurrects a few fan-favorite aspects from past ToeJam & Earl games. This includes co-op play -- split-screen and online -- funky music, hidden presents and 2D sprites. It's a roguelike, meaning once you die, you lose basically everything, and it has randomly generated levels, with worlds stacked on top of each other on a 3D terrain.

"TJ&E has always been a game of the heart for me," Johnson says. "It holds a special place that no other game does. This particular game is sort of a love letter to the fans.... What does that mean? It means that I'm going to be giving it my all, and so is my team. Here's hoping we get the chance to make something awesome."

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