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Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove rocket skates to Kickstarter

UPDATE: Funded with two days to go.

UPDATE 03/26/2015 12.27am: Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove has successfully hit its $400K Kickstarter goal with two days to go.

The crowdfunded sequel has currently raised $415,336, though it still has some stretch goals to shoot for.

At $425K, developer Humanature will add oldschool skins for the titular duo; at $450K the Hyperfunk Zone from TJ&E 2 will be added; $500K will fund more playable characters; and $500K adds new guest composers.

The console ports for PS4, Xbox One and Wii U are set at $600K, $700K and $800K respectively.

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ORIGINAL STORY 02/25/2015 8.52pm: The new Toejam and Earl game teased earlier this month has finally been announced as a Kickstarter project by the series designer Greg Johnson and his studio Humanature.

Greetings from Funkotron!

Johnson explained in his Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove pitch video that the original game's two sequels (1993's Panic in Funkotron and the 2002 Xbox-exclusive Toejam & Earl 3: Mission to Earth) weren't true to his vision of where the series should head, but were rather him meeting the demands of Sega who insisted he radically deviate from the designs he wanted.

But this time there's no publisher, so Johnson can do whatever he wants with the series. And what's that, you ask? A true successor to the original game with an isometric perspective, 2D sprites, and an emphasis on exploration and cooperative play.

Only this time there will be support for up to four-player online multiplayer. And don't worry, oldschool fans, for splitscreen play will still be included.

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Another neat addition to this modern reboot will be 3D terrain. "We can zoom in to see characters better, or zoom way out to see the stacked levels," Johnson explained on the Kickstarter page. "You can now see the levels way below you, and when you fall, where you land on the level below makes sense.

"Also, we'll have hills! So what? I can answer that with two words... ROOOCKET SKAAAAATES!!"

The plot will be similar to the original TJ&E where the wacky duo sees themselves shipwrecked, only now they'll be joined by a couple of their friends: Peabo and Lewanda. "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," Johnson noted. "Neat, huh?"

Johnson would like to bring Back in the Groove to all platforms, but will begin by developing it for PC, Mac and Linux then go from there.

Humanature Studios is looking for $400K to bring Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove to fruition. So far it's only achieved $2,385 of that, but it just launched and has until 27th March to make the rest.

Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is estimated for a November release and backers can secure a copy for $15.

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For more on Toejam and Earl, our Chris Donlan reminisced about the original 1991 Sega Mega Drive adventure in a retrospective a few years back.

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