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ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove

Nintendo "were really keen" to have ToeJam & Earl on Switch

We talk to TJ&E creator Greg Johnson about getting Back in the Groove.

We caught up with ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson at PAX East to learn how the comeback game of the funky alien duo is shaping up.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove was part of the big "Nindies" reveal, and Johnson was really pleased to get on Nintendo Switch and explained how it came to be.

"I was really happy to hear that Nintendo is especially excited about our game. They approached Adult Swim and were really keen to have us be part of their initial line-up."

"I think it's a good fit too. I was standing in line at 1am at Best Buy to get our Switch, you know, and it's been getting a lot of play in our house. I think it's a great system and I'm really excited to be on there. I think it's a good fit."

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Much of the conversation revolved around the process of creating a game that has the same sort of appeal as the original, and how they arrived at various decisions with the help of their fans (who came on board via the Kickstarter).

"So far they've pretty much all have said that it seems to hit that nostalgia spot for them that they've wanted," says Johnson of backer feedback. "Which is great. The best thing that any of them can say to me, which I've heard a few times, is that it seems to capture the spirit of the old game, but also be fresh."

The conversation also touched upon the various playable characters (up to four players co-op with a dynamic splitscreen), including how modern ToeJam and old school ToeJam interact as well as Earl and Earl's mom.

As for a release date, nothing is set in stone, but development is in the final stages and Johnson hopes to have it out this year before "the Christmas rush", presumably meaning an early fall release is on the cards.

"We're a few months out from being done with the basic game, and then we've got to do our porting. We're working with an external house, a great group in Austin called 22nd Century Toys and they're doing our console ports. So we don't know exactly yet when that's going to be done.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove