"Crank it, Earl!"
It was a typical day in space. ToeJam (the red one with three legs) was driving his spaceship through the galaxy with Earl (the fat one with the swimming shorts) at his side, the funk jamming in the speakers. Just casual hang time for two aliens. But then Earl wanted to drive... and at the vertiginous speeds of space travel, they ran into a large object that came out of nowhere — Earth!
ToeJam & Earl was designed by its creators to introduce a number of things into the gaming world: more character, more humor, and perhaps most important of all, more funk. After crashing down on Earth, ToeJam and Earl must search for the ten parts that their spaceship broke into, accompanied by funk music, so they can return to planet Funkotron. Portrayed from a top-down view, the earth is an absurd world consisting of grassy or desertic islands floating in a starry sky, complete with water, trees, and boogeymen. Presents lying about on the ground would help ToeJam and Earl in their quest by providing them with upgrades such as spring shoes, rocket skates, and wings, or weapons like tomatoes. The whole game aims to be innovative and hilarious, and it even includes a game mode that allows the player to make the two characters dance to the music!
ToeJam & Earl was sequeled in Panic on Funkotron, in which the two return to their home only to find out they've accidentally brought back some earthlings with them, which they then have to catch and send back home. The game's change into a platformer side-view took away some of the game's original feel, which was restored when the third game in the series, a 3D follow-up on the first game's style, was released on the Xbox nine years later.
In between these games, ToeJam and Earl have appeared in a minigame shipped with the Sega light gun the Menacer called Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!, in which the player uses the gun to make ToeJam throw tomatoes at all sorts of things (while Earl keeps score), as well as in Orly's Draw-A-Story, which is a children's game that focuses on computer-based drawing/painting.
Selected game appearances
- ToeJam & Earl (1991)
- Ready, Aim, Tomatoes! (1992)
- ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (1993)
- Orly's Draw-A-Story (1996)
- ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth (2002)