A new trailer for ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, which you can watch above, reveals that the new addition to the classic (and funky) series is coming out on March 1 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
Back in the Groove was originally set for a late 2018 release date, but it is missing that mark by a bit. The new trailer, however, makes it look like the wait will be worth it. The gameplay captures the spirit of the original ToeJam & Earl while utilizing hand-drawn graphics.
The first ToeJam & Earl came out in 1991 for the Sega Genesis. It was one of the console’s most memorable early games. A sequel, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, followed in 1993. It exchanged the top-down perspective of the original for a 2D world. ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth came out for the Xbox in 2003. That was the last entry in the series until now.
Back in the Groove received its funding on Kickstarter, raising over $500,000 back in 2015. Series creator Greg Johnson told GamesBeat that this gives him the chance to make the ToeJam & Earl sequel that he always wanted to.
“In Toe Jam & Earl, we got three or four — maybe three months — down the road on a sequel to game one. It was going to look like game one, and then Sega asked us to hold up and do a side-scrolling platformer instead,” Johnson explained. “Sales were slow on game one initially. The marketing department didn’t really get it. We were too different from the other stuff. We were young and naïve and wanted to please, so we said, sure, OK. We scratched our heads and tried to figure out how to stuff the spirit of Toe Jam & Earl into a side-scroller and did our best with Panic on Funkotron, but the fans were just kind of confused. A lot of fans were disappointed, in fact.”
I still stand by Panic on Funkotron as a great game, but it is very different from the original. Back in the Groove could finally give fans of the first ToeJam & Earl the dream sequel they’ve always wanted.