The ‘90s were a weird time, spawning bizarre franchises like Ren & Stimpy, Earthworm Jim and one of our all-time favorites — ToeJam & Earl. Looks like that last one is coming back to life.
The bizarre videogame about two alien rappers who crash-land on Earth and have to reassemble their spaceship was a surprise hit on the Sega Genesis, and spawned a handful of sequels before fading into obscurity once the 16-bit era came to an end. Normally that’d probably be the end of the story, but that’s where crowdfunding comes in to save the day.
Original co-creator Greg Johnson has turned to Kickstarter to mount a long (long, long)-awaited sequel, which will feature a mix of modern-day effects with the vintage 2D style that made the original so iconic. They're also going deep with the throwback design to make sure fans of the original will feel right at home. Johnson is looking to raise $400,000 and has already netted more than $117,000, with a month still to go on the campaign.
Johnson sees the new sequel as the true sequel to the original game, and they’ll get to be as weird and quirky as they want by going the indie route without a major publisher providing notes. Here’s what Johnson had to say when pitching the project:
“So what’s this all about? My name is Greg Johnson, and I am one of the two original creators and owners of the Toejam and Earl games (just to be clear, Sega doesn't own it). I, along with some bright and talented friends, are finally going to make that ultimate Toejam and Earl sequel that the fans have been asking for all these years.
Will it be like game one or game two, you ask? Well... (holding breath)... mainly like game one. We plan to go old school with this one. Fixed isometric camera, 2D sprites, simple controls, and an emphasis on coop play. It will also pull in some of the more beloved elements from game two, AND we have a list of exciting new gameplay elements planned as well.”
We’ve already seen the power of crowdfunding to revive fan-favorite television shows such as Veronica Mars, help finish unique comic book projects and launch awesome geeky stuff like the Pebble smart watch. Now it’s going to (hopefully) bring back one of the greatest things about the 1990s. Welcome to the future — now, let's get funky.