ToeJam & Earl review - Sega Megadrive

Read Original Review PDF for ToeJam & Earl

ToeJam & Earl box artYo! Chill! And other such confusing Californian expressions! It would appear that Toe Jam and Earl are having a couple of problems. On the way home to the planet Funkatron. Earl went and crashed their rocket. Now this wouldn't be so bad, but by a twist of fate, they've crashed on Earth, and now they're being hunted by such everyday sights as man-eating mailboxes and gangs of tomato-hurling police-chickens. Fortunately, the other inhabitants of the planet have left loads of goodies lying around, like spring shoes and munchies, which prove invaluable to our pals.

To escape the planet, the two alien funksters must find the ten lost pieces of their ship, including their twin four-hundred megawatt speakers, and achieve the dizzy heights of Supreme Funk Lords. If they don't they'll be doomed to spend an eternity evading bogey-men, giant hamsters and a jet-packed Father Christmas…

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Toe Jam and Earl is a hilarious adventure. From the opening sequence (lasting several minutes) to the in-game banter between the two characters, the emphasis is definitely on comedy. This would mean nothing if the gameplay wasn't up to scratch but fortunately there is little to worry about in that department. The going is a little slow for the first couple of levels, but once you get into the swing of hunting for food and rocketship pieces and experimenting with the mystery items, it's a great game. However, the game does move a tad on the slow side, which does distract from the action. If you're after fun and frolics in a Megadrive cartridge, Toe Jam and Earl is a very worthwhile purchase. "

" What a bonkers game! Toe Jam and Earl is packed with wonderful things - from the whacked-out belly dancers to the jet-packed Santas, it's trip central all the way! The gameplay is quite laid back, but then it needs to be so that you can appreciate all the completely mental features. There are loads of really funny touches, especially when two players strut out together, and it's these that give the game it's incredible addictive qualities - you just want to keep playing and playing to see what comes next. It's not a difficult game to finish, but it's the compulsion to find and do everything possible that keeps you coming back. Toe Jam and Earl is definitely the strangest game I've ever played. Not everyone will like it - it's not normal enough for mass appeal - but I think it's destined to become a massive cult classic with those who like to hang out on the weird side… "


Overall Score87%

Retrospective comments


This is a very strange game. It was hugely popular at the time and most Megadrive / Genesis gamers at the time will probably remember this. So how does it fare now? Well it's a bit like marmite. You either love it or you hate it!

The action is played from a top-down view. As either Tom Jam or Earl you must search the planet Funkatron for all the scattered parts of your spacecraft. All manner of strange beasties will throw tomatoes and such like at you. This game has a very strange sense of humour, it's very psychedelic in places.

To combat yourself against the weird inhabitants of Funkatron you can pick up a variety of weapons and "hi-top sneakers" which will help you run away, which is probably the best plan! The two player mode gives you a split screen. It works quite well, this game is best played with two. The graphics are nice and colourful and the music is midi funk at it's best.

Whilst with nostalgia glasses on it will be easy to score this game 5 stars looking at it from a newcomers point of view it is a bit dated. The gameplay is very slow moving and there are many things that are unfair like presents which impact you negatively and aliens who you have little chance in escaping from who might knock you off the planet's surface and make you fall several levels! Not to say that it isn't worth a look, just don't blame us if you hate it! For a 2 player laugh we think Tom Jam & Earl is still worth a look.

I am still haunted by the invisible monster who appears and chimes 'booga booga booga'

Dan - 10 Mar 2009, 15:55 GMT

This game is the junk-food of retro-gaming, full of crap and no good for you but mystifyingly addictive. It was a game developed basically for when you're stoned, and worked a treat in that respect. Boring and repetative after a while, if your having a toke with a mate and want something to play when your fed up with soggy buscuit then id giv it a go.

mitzibishi - 22 Jul 2009, 03:39 GMT

cult game you may want to play if your into oldskool. definitely try it if your an enthusiast

JoseJones - 02 Dec 2009, 14:28 GMT

This has to be one of my all time faves of the megadrive
original funny and funky.
I still play this game now some 18 years after it was released
A true classic

Draco-yoh - 19 Oct 2011, 14:36 GMT

This game was way ahead of it's time, actually really awesome and nothing has come out similar since. The second game was good but the fact is SEGA didn't understand it, they had made a more advanced version of the original and expanded on the idea on the MD (T&E2) with different levels like snow jungle and urban but were made to change it to a platform game(Sonic the needlemouse is to blame) and the XBOX version? again, ruined by corporate heads with no idea of gameplay. This game in my opinion is as freash as the day it came out.

Mean Machines Issue 14 - November 1991
Platform Game Sega Megadrive
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ToeJam & Earl

ToeJam & Earl

ToeJam & Earl

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