Thanks to the development team at Humanature Studios, a compiled earning of $400,000 could earn the world another Toe Jam and Earl, true to the original source material developed for the Sega Genesis.
Announced on Kickstarter officially in reply to the first content released earlier this month, Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove plans to take the formerly illustrious brand back to its roots with indie development. Focused around the original title and a “fun retro-comics style”, Humanature Studios plans to bring back “plenty of funk,” to the series.
Lead by TJ&E owner and series creator Greg Johnson, the title is set to revitalize the series by featuring classic split screen capability and a new graphical styling that takes the best pieces of Don’t Starve and mixes in the floating world in the Sega series. Mixing this element with a 3D environment, characters won’t feel clunky while reaching back to that classic feel outside of a pixelated world. Here’s a look at the direction of Humanature Studios:
Game One Gameplay: As you can see we’re going with a game one rogue-like play style. We’ll have the stacked, randomly generated levels, and all the old Earthlings and presents, plus a pile of new ones.
A New Look: We’re going for a retro vibe with this game. That’s why it all looks like underground comics from the 90’s. Neat, huh? That’s all thanks to our awesome artist Nathan Shorts. “Hi Nathan!”
Game Two Elements: As we said, this is mostly like game one, but we’ll be bringing back some of the things you’ve asked for from game 2. Things like the Jam Out, hidden presents, and buttons and coin meters. Maybe we’ll even be able to bring back the Hyperfunk Zone!
Which Platforms? Initially we are focusing all of our efforts on the PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux). We hope to eventually put this onto all platforms but this will, of course, depend on funding and on getting arrangements set up with the platform vendors.
4-Player Coop Play: Toejam and Earl is a multi-player game at it’s heart. We’re going to allow for 4 coop-players, and online play. We will have split screen.
Meta-Play: Unlike the original TJ&E game, we now have elements that carry over from game to game, and players can gradually build up as they play repeatedly. We’ll be introducing the idea of secret winged presents. Find and catch these to introduce new presents into the game. Collect hats that you keep from game to game, that boost your stats or give you abilities.
Growing Comic Book: Every time players reach the end of a game, they get to meet Lamont and he shares a few more pages of the Toejam and Earl comic book he is writing (it’s TJ and Earl’s origin story!). Eventually players have an entire comic book.
More Fun New Features: Imagine that you’re Toejam and you can ride on Earl’s back and shoot a rapid-fire tomato gun? Or you remember that little red 3-eyed dog from game 2? Suppose he could follow you around and help you find hidden stuff and chase away Earthlings. Or how about if the Wiseman in the Carrot suit let you apply your experience points to different attributes, so you could customize your character? Guess what! We plan to do all that and lots more.
Toejam and his homeboy Big Earl go out for another joyride in their RapMaster Rocketship, and this time Peabo and Lewanda and a few other friends come along. Of course, TJ and Big E. have to take their friends to see Earth, where all the craziness started. While in orbit around Earth, TJ can’t resist showing off and pressing a mysterious new button on their ship called “Black Hole – DO NOT PRESS!”
The Earth now breaks apart in one of those Time-Warp-Black-Hole-Displacement thingies. Who could have guessed, right? Well, TJ, Big Earl, and their playable-character-friends must once again put that darned ship back together. The good news is that this time, when you find the ship pieces, much cooler stuff happens, AND once it’s all put together you get to fly the ship around. Neat, huh?
If you’re interested in the Kickstarter, and supporting the new development of a Sega classic that will stay true to the heart of the game, jump on board over on the official Kickstarter, or simply check out the rewards list right here: