Toejam & Earl (1991 Sega Mega/Genesis)

We have been playing the shit out out Toejam & Earl, a brilliant co-op adventure for the Sega Mega/Genesis. The perfect game for you and your pal to kick back, have a couple of brewskies before you got out or just whenever you have an hour or so to kill. At first the game comes off a little weird and maybe a little slow even but believe me when i say that the fun sets in very quickly.
You and a pal take control of funky aliens Toejam and Earl who come from a funky planet called “Funkotron” and they have crash landed on Earth resulting in their spaceships blowing up to smithereens. Their goal is to round up the 10 scattered pieces of their blown up spaceship on notorious planet Earth and go back home to their home planet of Funkotron.

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A horde of nerds out to get you, a spaceship part(the thing that looks like shit) and a present(item) that will hopefully aid your quest

What you do is that you and your pal have to search the map for two things: 1. a spaceship part if there is one on this level 2. an elevator to the next level. You repeat this process until you have all 10 spaceship parts but believe me when i say that the dangers of Earth will not make this an easy task for poor Toejam and Earl. In your adventure you will encounter swarms of bees, Hawaiian chicks that force you do dance, mad scientists, a group of nerds, stalkers, evil mailboxes and more shit that might just drive you crazy.
In Toejam and Earl you are not walking around and killing anything you see like you would in most games.

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The screen splits in two if you and your pal gets separated so you have the luxury of being able to split up and search for spaceship parts or elevators. Also if you drop off the stage (the black stuff) then you drop down to the lower level and you have to go to the previous elevator again.

Here you just walk around and the only thing you can do is to look at the map and avoid enemies until luckily you can find help in presents(items) that you will see just about anywhere. These presents you pick up are unidentified (a la Diablo) so you won’t know what they do until you open the present. By opening the present you identify that item  and that present will be identified for the rest of the game. The presents can for example let you fly, run fast, raise your health, raise your level, 1 up but it can also be something disgusting making your health drop, it can be a thunder cloud that just might kill you or it might be a “TOTAL BUMMER!” which is a presents that just shocks and kills you. So you will want to be very careful about opening the presents and try maybe to find a carrot man that can identify the presents for you for 2 bucks (yeah you can also find money wherever).
The presents are incredibly fun and the randomness can be super fun or they can fuck you up(which is fun really, at least knowing of the possibility of you getting fucked up is fun).

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The spaceship in question, pretty groovy.

The game is tough to beat which makes up for many stressful moments trying to running away from nerds with just a sliver of health, or opening an unidentified present a moment before an evil mailbox mauls you hoping that it will give you the ability to run fast or fly and these moments are so fucking amazing and WE LOVE THEM! There are some sick awful moments in the game where enemies make you fall down to the previous stage which just prolongs the game and makes you lose more life. You only have a few lives and if you get game over you have to start from the beginning so you better focus on what you are doing or you won’t be able to clear this game.

If you do clear the game? No problem! the stages in this game are randomly generated in each playthrough so no one game will be the same and the spaceship parts/elevators will never be in the same stage. This is a spectacular feature that give the game a TON of replay value.

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Man i wonder what is inside that…?????

While the lack of action might be a deal breaker for some we think that this gameplay is perfect for if you just want to chill and be able to have a sip of beer without having to pause the game because a lot of the time you are just searching for parts. At other times it gets nerve rackingly fun, frustrating and exciting which can give you so much pleasure especially with a good fun co-op pal.
Just check out the absolutely incredible highlights of our playthrough for when we beat the game for the first time. Aazing stuff really.

The game looks fine, nothing great but ok for an early Sega Mega game. What stands out is the cool art style and fun design on characters/sprites that gives the game its cartoony joke theme. You will not be bothered by bad graphics at all.
The music however really stands out. By this time you’ve probably figured out that this game is pretty funky and groovy and yes the music is just like that. The game has a few tracks and all of them are great, easy to listen and just pure enjoyable and in tone with the theme and the gameplay of the game.

Overall Toejam & Earl is a great co-op game which can change the action, fast reaction pace of games like Contra or Streets of Rage for example to a chill mood for two pals to just hang out and chill (until shit hits the fan in the later stages that is). I would totally recommend this to anyone looking for a couch co-op game since this is a game really likely to be replayed a bunch of times.

Gameplay 9
Visuals 8,5
Music 9
Lasting appeal 9
Is it fun? 9,5

Overall 9 an awesome game!

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One thought on “Toejam & Earl (1991 Sega Mega/Genesis)”

  1. The RNGesus is insane in TJ&E, I could only beat it if I got a really lucky roll. I remember beating it one time where I found the carrot man on 2nd level and I luckily guessed the Total Bummer present and randomiser.

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