ToeJam & Earl may finally get the funky sequel it deserves

A co-creator of the incredibly fun ToeJam & Earl video games wants to finally build the sequel the game deserves, and he's looking to Kickstarter to help make it happen.

Anthony Domanico
CNET freelancer Anthony Domanico is passionate about all kinds of gadgets and apps. When not making words for the Internet, he can be found watching Star Wars or "Doctor Who" for like the zillionth time. His other car is a Tardis.
Anthony Domanico
2 min read

A new ToeJam & Earl game will get the rapping space aliens Back in the Groove, if the developer raises $400,000 on Kickstarter. Kickstarter

Earth is about to get invaded by rapping aliens from the planet Funkotron... again! Greg Johnson, one of two co-creators of the ToeJam & Earl video games, wants to finally make a sequel to the beloved original game that's true to his vision, and he has turned to Kickstarter for help.

Johnson and team are seeking $400,000 to build what will technically be the fourth game in the ToeJam & Earl series, called ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove. In the introductory video below, Johnson notes that there have been two ToeJam & Earl sequels, but both were taken in different directions than he had hoped by the publisher, and, according to Johnson, disappointed fans of the original game.

As a result, Johnson and co-creator Mark Voorsanger haven't been able to build the follow-up they envisioned, and with the rise of crowdfunding in the video game world, Johnson felt it was time to finally try to make the sequel fans want and deserve.

Originally released for the Sega Genesis in 1991, ToeJam & Earl was a far-out game featuring two rapping aliens who crash-landed on Earth and were tasked with finding pieces of their wrecked spaceship so they could return to their home planet of Funkotron. Throughout the game, ToeJam and Earl had to fight baddies of varying degrees, and used funky moves to defeat their foes.

Back in the Groove features the same fixed-camera perspective and gameplay mechanics as the original game, but updates the graphics to a more modern comic book-inspired design and adds 3D environments. Unlike the original game, however, the levels will be randomly generated so no two playthroughs are alike. Back in the Groove will encourage multiplayer action, and up to four people can play either locally or online with the same dynamic split-screen view that made the original multiplayer so great.

The finished product will debut on Windows, Mac and Linux in November, provided the team meets its funding goals and the development cycle isn't delayed (as of this writing, the campaign's raised more than $121,000, with 28 days left to go). If you're interested in helping build a new ToeJam & Earl game, you can head to the game's Kickstarter page to back the project for as little as $15 (about £10, AU$19) for a copy of the game.