TOEJAM & EARL / Sega / Genesis

Is Toejam and Earl the first game with a hip-hop theme? Hmm ... sounds like way too much work to research. Anyway, these two aliens who are very old-school have crashed on Earth and their ship parts are scattered all over the planet, you have to go around and collect them all so they can escape. T&E has one fixed world that you can play, or a random world generator that really kicks up the replay value. Basically on each level you just roam around and explore, trying not to get killed by insane earthlings while picking up presents (which can be good or bad, ranging from generating an enemy nearby to giving you rocket shoes), junk food to restore health and money to buy food from vending machines or pay off the wandering carrot guy in certain levels to identify presents for you without opening them. Pretty cool minimalistic soundtrack makes good use of the limited Genesis sound chip and there's split screen action for simultaneous 2-player co-op.

The only major complaints are that the slow pace at which you roam the levels sometimes makes things tedious (though the games does toss you a bunch of speed shoes at the outset of each new game to partially offset this), and that you have to complete the game in one sitting and it takes a rather long time to get from start to finish, so you need to probably have a couple hours free if you want to actually put the spaceship together. A neat game despite these quirks, however, and if you have the spare points and are curious about it anyway I'd say go ahead and check it out. It's more fun if you've got a friend to reliably play with than if you're going solo.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video