Night mode




Written by on

Developed by

Published by


If Just Adventure had been in existence eleven years ago (that would be 1991 for those not mathematically inclined) we surely would have reviewed – and praised – the original Sega Genesis release of Toe Joe & Earl. But since we weren’t, we’ve decided to atone for our past omissions and now present you with this review of a game that even though it is over a decade old, still outshines anything else on the market. Ha! Just kidding, thought I’d freak you out there for a moment. Actually, I was just trying to throw off-guard those of you who are wondering why we are recommending a game that is not pure adventure. Nor is it action/adventure, nor is it strategy or puzzle or….well, exactly what genre is Toe Jam & Earl III: Mission to Earth? I really don’t know, but to quote that great seafaring sage Popeye, “I knows what I likes and I likes what I knows.”

Toe Jam & Earl III, with its offbeat humor, endless inventory items and well-defined characters, would appeal to any adventure gamer fond of Tony Tough or theMonkey Island series. It is basically a remake of the original, albeit with gorgeous 3D graphics and hilarious double entendres that would have been previously unthinkable in a console game a decade ago. Two quick notes of interest about the game’s title: it is interesting that Sega decided to use the III since the last installment in the series – Panic on Funkotron – appeared almost ten years ago (1993) and the game’s original subtitle was All Funked Up, but was changed to Mission to Earthapparently for the same reasons that the now immortal Pac Man was renamed from its original moniker of Puck-Man (I’m going to let you figure this one out on your own).

So what’s TJ&E IIII all about? Well, it doesn’t really matter as the plot is just an excuse to unleash all the zaniness, but just for the record Lamont the Funkopotamus, a Yoda-like blue creature who harbors the mystical powers of ‘The Funk’ sends his disciples Toe Jam, Earl & Latisha to collect the stolen twelve Sacred Albums of Funk and rid the earth of the nefarious Anti-Funk. What ensues is a madcap adventure that takes place on areas of Earth – urban, desert, snowy, etc. – that for some reason are floating disjointedly in space.

Quite simply, you choose which character you want to play as and then wander around looking for the Sacred Albums. It’s a simple concept that succeeds because it never gets overly complicated. On every level you must collect keys that will allow access to higher levels and presents for your inventory that help you overcome the funkless earthlings. The list of presents could fill another page, but some of the funnier ones are: Bad Opera – open this present and Earthlings terrified of opera will leap off cliffs and Stupid Hiding – a present that disguises you as a tree. While these presents are used to protect yourself from the Earthlings until you can grant them funk, there are also ‘bad’ or unknown presents that will thwart your best laid plans like a School Book that when opened will put you to sleep and at the mercy of the Earthlings.

As for what you do when you encounter an uncool Earthling? Why you funkify him baby! You can either use your acquired Funk Fu to smack some sense into him or your funk rhythm that will get their toes a tappin’. The cast of characters: the Boogie Man, a Wiseman in a Carrot Suit, Fat Man With Mower (who tries to mow you down) and Nasty Little Girl (“My mommy says you’re my real daddy and you should be paying us a lot of money every month”) and I’m just scratching the surface. Almost every new level of each area introduces either a new character or a new type of present.

But – and there are lots of butts in TJ&E III – if there is a downside to the game, it is that the later stages have so many characters running around that the lunacy becomes almost impossible to corral and you find yourself proceeding little by little, reloading to start again or progressing and saving little by little. There are times when I found myself donning Icarus Wings so I could fly above the chaos, locate the stolen album and jump into the elevator to return to safety and while this is a quick way to proceed, I also missed out on many presents that could have useful in later levels.

For those who don’t like to play alone, there is a two-player option that is a hoot. The game is the same but you can share health with you partner by giving him a high-five and teamwork makes it easier to progress (though I did play through with the single-player mode). There is also an option to download new characters and presents if you are playing the game on Xbox Live. While I think this is a great idea to increase the game’s playability, unless Microsoft or Sega offer to pay my subscription fee for this service, I can’t really comment on its effectiveness.

This is a game that you’ll either fall in love with quicker than Rosie O’Donnell in a cupcake factory or be turned-off faster than a Kathie Lee Gifford Christmas special. If you’re offended by the thought of a heavenly Harlem choir or remarks about Toe Jams third leg (he is an alien after all) then play Sly Cooperinstead. But if your idea of fun is hiding from chickens brandishing rocket blasters firing eggs or cheap, tawdry jokes about cheerleaders and their enormous pom-poms, then you’ll find Toe Jam & Earl III: Mission to Earth to be funking hilarious.

Randy Sluganski

Randy Sluganski

Randy Sluganski was a true adventure gamer and his passion for these games made him just as important as the developers and publishers of these games. Randy passed away after battling lung cancer for over 10 years. Randy can never be replaced but we would like to light a torch in his memory for what he did for us with his love of adventure gaming.We dedicate this site to the Memory of Randy Sluganski and his love for adventure games.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.