Top 100 Games of All-Time: #89

Toejam & Earl

Release Date: March 12, 1991

Platform Played On: Wii (Virtual Console)

2018 Placement: Unranked

toejam-and-earl-03

What It Is:

Toejam & Earl is a very unique game that’s hard to describe. The title characters are from Funkatron and crash their ship on Earth, so they have to navigate past hazardous Earthlings while recovering their spaceship’s parts that have been scattered to the wind. It’s kind of like a co-op roguelike in some ways, because one mode involves going through randomized levels of Earth trying to find the ship parts. It’s not super action-heavy though; as a player you rely on presents that can be good or bad to spice up the gameplay and make it past everything trying to kill you. And if you play with a partner, sometimes they’re trying to kill you too which makes the adventure even more hazardous.

The music is funky (since Funkatron is the planet Toejam and Earl hang from) and the humor is wacky (you identify presents through a Carrot Man and can sneak up on Santa Claus to get more presents to use). Boogeymen sneak up on you and shout “Boogie boogie boogie” as they take away your health. You’ve gotta watch out for lawn mowers, scientists, and more as you reveal map tiles through exploration, trying to find the exit to the next level along with your ultimate goal of rebuilding your spaceship.

Why It’s Important To Me:

Sometimes a game becomes a favorite simply through osmosis. My podcast partner-in-crime HarveyZ lists this as one of his favorite games of all-time, and therefore I’ve played it many times with him (and also watched him play it with others as well). And if you play a game enough and spend enough time with people who love the game, you start to love it yourself.

While this wasn’t a game I grew up with – I was a Nintendo kid and never had any Sega system – it was a game my friends did. So when it showed up on the Wii’s Virtual Console, I ended up buying it to partake in the joy and have learned to respect why it captured their hearts. It’s a light-hearted, fun, shooting-the-shit game where you can grief your partner but also high-five them. And I appreciate that.

My Strongest Memory:

Back when I was recording Let’s Plays for YouTube, me and HarveyZ sat down and did a full playthrough of Toejam & Earl together. I still think it was one of the best (if not the best) thing to come out of the year’s worth of videos I did for the channel and was one of the first rumblings that eventually led me to start a podcast with him later. If you want to watch it, you can start here (it’s divided into six parts  – please ignore the bad audio, I’ve learned a lot podcasting and did not do any audio editing for YouTube in ignorance).

Anyway, this playthrough had a lot of the fun, ridiculous moments that playing video games with friends result in. And in this case all of those moments were caught on camera to relive over and over! It’s the camaraderie that comes along while play this game (and games like it) that endeared Toejam and Earl to me. I even ended up buying a special edition of the new Toejam & Earl just because of how much I bonded with my pal over the original and it’s earned a special place in my heart.

Why It’s #89:

I have a feeling this would have ended up a lot higher on my list if I had the same nostalgia for it as I do other games I played in my childhood. I still love it, but it’s a different kind of love that misses the high emotions of it being a game that was formative to my opinion of video games in general. As it is, though, it’s still a timeless classic that can be enjoyed just as much nowadays – it doesn’t lose anything with age.

 

Episode 42 – I Can Be Your Keanu

It’s been one whole year of Make Me A Gamer! Join TMan and HarveyZ as they celebrate one year of podcasting by doing what they do best – making everything up as they go along!

This Week On Make Me A Gamer

Harvey Z Snaps: Genesis Mini vs Switch Lite

New Segments: Topic Thunderdome and the Make Me A Gamer Minute!

Main Course: The Nintendo Direct (Smash Bros characters, Overwatch on Switch) and what co-op games we’ve enjoyed.

TMan’s Game of the Week: Control

(This episode was recorded September 5, 2018.)

TMan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tmanplaysgames

HarveyZ on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThaZIsSilent

Make Me A Gamer on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MakeMeAPodcast

E-Mail Us at: makemeagamerpodcast@gmail.com

As always, thank you so much for listening and please leave us ratings and feedback however you’re listening to our podcast!

Episode 38 – Pokemon Poop & Pee

HOLY CRAP WE’RE BACK! After a long hiatus, Make Me A Gamer Season 2 starts right now! SURPRISE!

This Week on Make Me A Gamer

Harvey Z Snaps: Board Games vs. Video Games

Main Course: Gamer Girl bath water, Switch Lite, Slay the Spire, Cadence of Hyrule and other games for the Switch, Mortal Kombat 11, Overcooked 2, and more!

TMan’s Game of the Week: Teamfight Tactics

(This episode was recorded July 11th, 2019.)

TMan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tmanplaysgames

HarveyZ on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThaZIsSilent

Make Me A Gamer on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MakeMeAPodcast

E-Mail Us at: makemeagamerpodcast@gmail.com

As always, thank you so much for listening and please leave us ratings and feedback however you’re listening to our podcast!

 

Episode 29 – A Roguelike For Your Ears

After some schedule pinball, Make Me A Gamer is back on Tuesdays! We start off this episode with a rare, completely unedited audio intro just as a quick look to see what Make Me A Gamer sounds like behind the scenes pre-editing. Then TMan gets into his adventures at PAX East, talking about video games like Sparklite and Creature in the Well, and board games such as Shifting Squares and Visitor. HarveyZ talks about his experience QA testing a board game, and then they both discuss the upcoming Genesis Mini and finally getting to play the new Toejam & Earl game! We hope you enjoy! (This episode was recorded on April 4, 2019.)

TMan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tmanplaysgames

HarveyZ on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThaZIsSilent

Make Me A Gamer on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MakeMeAPodcast

E-Mail Us at: makemeagamerpodcast@gmail.com

As always, thank you so much for listening and please leave us ratings and feedback however you’re listening to our podcast!

Episode 17 – This Man Did Some Cocaine

It’s the first episode of Make Me A Gamer in the year 2019! We’re starting off with a bang as HarveyZ talks about some fan interactions he’s had over a specific game reference he made. Then TMan tells the story of how a single game nearly destroyed the video game industry in America, and they wrap up the episode by talking about some games scheduled for release in 2019 that they’re looking forward to. Happy New Year everyone, and we’re looking forward to sharing many more episodes with you! (This episode was recorded December 18th, 2018.)

TMan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tmanplaysgames

HarveyZ on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThaZIsSilent

Make Me A Gamer on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MakeMeAPodcast

E-Mail Us at: makemeagamerpodcast@gmail.com

As always, thank you so much for listening and please leave us ratings and feedback however you’re listening to our podcast!