Kickstarter is no stranger to reboots of classic video games: the crowdfunding platform has been used to fund everything from a new Shadowrun to a spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion. And if a new campaign is successfully funded, you'll be able to add Toejam and Earl to that list.
"That ultimate Toejam and Earl sequel."
Greg Johnson, co-creator of the original game on the Sega Genesis, has just launched a Kickstarter to fund what would be the fourth game in the series. Dubbed Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove, the game aims to build on the success of the very first game in the series and not its sequels. "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," Johnson says. The crowdfunding campaign is aiming to raise $400,000 to build the new game.
Back in the Groove maintains the same isometric, fixed-camera perspective of the original game, but updates it with 3D environments and a comic book-influenced art style. However, it will change things up by offering randomly generated levels that are different each time you play, and once again there will be a focus on co-operative play, with a mode designed for up to four players. Like the rest of the series, the new game appears to have an appropriately goofy story as well:
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!"
If funded, Johnson and his small team are aiming to have the game completed by November, with a debut on Windows, Mac, and Linux (other platforms have been discussed, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet). And he sounds pretty confident that the game will be completed on schedule, unlike many Kickstarter projects. "I'm a big supporter of experimental games," says Johnson, "but this isn't one of those games."