Strange, Quirky, and Awesome! ToeJam & Earl

ToeJam and Earl is an adventure game focused on exploration and avoidance. It was very different from the other games I had played in the early 90s, and it was a ton of fun to play with my friends. This is one of the games that made me want a Sega Genesis.

The two alien main characters were like mascots for the system. They were cool and quite the contrast from Nintendo’s characters. I remember liking them more than Sonic.

Two of my friends had this game. However, most of my memories come from playing it with my friend Eric. I don’t think we ever beat it, but it was so much fun to see how far we could get or waste some time hanging out in the zero level.

TLDR: A Unique and Quirky Adventure Game with Great Controls and Music.


You play as two aliens, ToeJam and Earl, who crash land on a version of Earth. This is explained in the opening cutscene. Once you start the game, this story isn’t mentioned until you win.

Your spaceship has broken into ten pieces, which have been scattered across the levels. Standing in your way are a bunch of bizarre enemies. These are supposed to be humans but come in many different forms.

The story is simple. It does a good job of setting up who the main characters are and what they’re doing. There isn’t anything special here, and the lack of explanation allows players to fill in the gaps themselves. I like this, but you might want more story in a modern game.


The gameplay is simple. You need to avoid enemies while exploring the many levels in the game. You need to look for two things in each level. The first is an elevator so you can move to the next level, and if you receive a hint at the beginning of a level, you need to find a part of your spaceship.

The ship parts are scattered across the game, and it can be a pain in the butt to find them. As you advance through the game, the difficulty will ramp up with more and stronger enemies. When you start the game, you don’t have a way to defend yourself. Fortunately, you’ll find presents on each level, and these presents can occasionally have items that will help you.

These presents don’t always have helpful items, and you won’t initially know what is in a present. However, once you open a present, you’ll know what is in that specific present. Unless you find a Randomizer in one of the presents, this will change what is in each present. It can get confusing.

There are two playable characters, Toe Jam and Earl. Toe Jam, my favorite, is a bug-eyed red alien with three legs. Earl is a chubby orange alien who wears sunglasses and shorts.

I didn’t notice a big difference between the characters. There might be minor differences, like Toe Jam being faster and Earl having more health.

When you play the game with two players, you’ll occasionally get a split screen when the two players get away from each other. This helps you explore each level, but if you don’t like split screens, you probably won’t like this. I think having a second player makes the game more fun.

There are health items as well as food that kills you. This is probably the most annoying thing in the game, and there are many annoying things in the game. It is easy to lose health in the game; these items only worsen things.

It is easy to avoid once you find out what can hurt you. The enemies are more straightforward. Everything is trying to kill you, and you need to do your best to avoid them. You can sneak past, outrun, or use one of the tomato weapons to kill them.

Yes, your primary weapon is tomatoes. These come from random presents you pick up as you wander the levels. You can throw tomatoes, use a slingshot to shoot tomatoes or get tomato rain. I don’t find these weapons to be as helpful as they could be.

Overall, the gameplay is excellent, even if it can sometimes be annoying. Your goal is straightforward, the controls are good, and the game is more fun with a friend. When I played it for this review, I enjoyed myself, but I wish I had someone else to play Earl.   


ToeJam and Earl looks very good! The characters looked different from other games, the enemies were hilarious and unique, and the levels were very interesting despite little variety. I liked the strange look of this game an awful lot!

Think about how an alien might view our world. Things would probably be different from what they’re used to, and their descriptions would reflect their view of where we live. I could see an alien thinking our planet resembles the insanity in this game.

The levels aren’t all that interesting. They mostly consist of grass, desert, and lakes. Once you get passed level one, each level is in a void, and you can fall off to the other levels. Back in 1991, this probably wouldn’t be a problem.

Overall, the game looks great! I like the art style because it reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon show. It would fit in with the other strange cartoons I watched in the early 90s.

8.5/10. There is some bullshit in this game that keeps it from being ranked higher. I love the game and have some wonderful memories of playing it. It is a fun game that looks great and has excellent gameplay.


  • Great Gameplay
  • Great Graphics
  • Easy to Play


  • Random Power-ups
  • Can be too Difficult
  • Only two Playable Characters


I spent a lot of time playing this game in the 90s. It was one of the many games I looked for when I started collecting. It seemed like everyone knew about ToeJam and Earl when I was growing up, and everyone I heard from liked the first game more than the second.

I mostly played this with my friend Eric, even though I remember playing it with my other friends. When I got into high school and started collecting games, ToeJam and Earl was one of the games we would play.

There is a modern version of this game. ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove is a spectacular game, and I think it breathed some life into the series. It returns to the same gameplay style as the first game, and I love its artwork; having more playable characters is awesome!

ToeJam and Earl is a game that I can repeatedly return to. This is one of those games that is like comfort food. It might not be the best game, but it is always there. It is one of my favorite games from the 90s.  

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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