Toejam Jammin'

I remember seeing Toejam and Earl in 20/20 video as a kid, and thinking “This game cannot possibly be any good. This cover art is ridiculous and terrible.” To this day, I maintain that the cover art is ridiculous and terrible. The game, however, fares much better on hindsight. You control one of two aliens trying to reassemble their ship which crash landed on earth, while avoiding being harassed or killed in some way by the hostile denizens of this planet. Also, Toejam (the red one) and Earl (the one with glasses) happen to be two exceptionally funky aliens. Who knew?

What it has going for it:
There are a lot of things. The basic exploration format and the randomized levels ensured a different game every time, and most of the enemies were a not-so-subtle parody of some ridiculous human behavior, which was entertaining. However, it really all comes down to one thing:


If that doesn't get your red, sneaker wearing spaghetti alien bumping, I don't know what will.

What it doesn't:
Dealing with enemies in this game consists of two behaviors: Running away from them, or hoping that you happen to have some sort of weapon in your inventory (mostly consisting of tomatoes), using the weapon, and running away from the enemy anyway, because the control you have over throwing tomatoes is terrible, and you can't hit the broad side of a funky alien barn. Likewise, earth apparently consists of a bunch of floating islands vertically arranged, connected by space elevators, such that if you fall off the level, you end up on the previous level. Given your slow walking speed, this can become tiresome very quickly.

Defining Moment:
You know how I said that when you fall off one level, you end up on the previous one. Well, that's not entirely true. Every level is the same size, so when you fall off one level, you end up, on the previous level, in an area roughly corresponding to where you fell off. If there happens to be a pit in the area where you fell off on both the level you fell off and the previous level... well, you know where this going. I'd have to give my defining moment as my record of successfully falling through 11 levels in a row. Given that your progress is measured pretty much entirely on the number of the level you've gotten to, that'll turn you off a game real fast.

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