It’s been quite a long time since we last saw ToeJam and Earl in their very own game. More than 11 years to be exact, when they and Latisha traveled to Earth to find the 12 Sacred Albums of Funk in ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth on the original Xbox. Man, that seems so very long ago, doesn’t it?
It’s been well documented that series creators Greg Johnson and Mark Voorsanger would like to create another TJ&E game, and Johnson shared his thoughts with us in this week’s SEGA Nerdcast on what could happen in ToeJam & Earl 4.
“Back when I was thinking about it, I thought I was going to head back to the roots a little bit and build a game that was more like ToeJam & Earl 1, that was more roguelike and I got kind of enamored with the idea of ToeJam & Earl through history,” Johnson said. “So I kind of wanted to have them go through all this different cultures … where you’re going through Egypt, Rome and (visiting) caveman people.”
Johnson said that unlike in TJ&E 1, he’d allow players to go into buildings, where they’d see randomly generated interiors with non-playable characters that interacted more with ToeJam and Earl.
In fact, Johnson had planned to go down this path with TJ&E 2, but said SEGA wanted a sidescroller instead.
“We got about three or four months into it when SEGA asked us to sort of switch gears and build a sidescroller with big characters instead of doing the isometric view like in Game 1,” he said. “At the time, they were kind of confused by it, and ToeJam & Earl 1 got off to kind of a slow start. It eventually did well, but it was more by word of mouth, kind of a groundswell sort of thing. So, in the early days, SEGA was looking at it and going, “Hmmm, this isn’t really doing that well, and we don’t really get it, so can you do this instead.'”
We really hope Johnson’s and HumaNature Studios’ recent release, Doki-Doki Universe, does well because it would go far in giving him the momentum he may need to convince a publisher to fund the development of ToeJam & Earl 4.
You can hear our full interview with Johnson, in this week’s SEGA Nerdcast.