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Toejam and Earl bust a funky fresh beat

It's hard to believe, but the beloved ToeJam & Earl franchise is coming back for its fourth installment and, wouldn't you know it, the game is set to launch on the Nintendo Switch.

Truth be told, ToeJam & Earl and the Switch are a perfect match. They're bright, colorful and have a sense of fun about them.

We were shocked to be reminded by a recent report from Polygon that the ToeJam & Earl series is actually 25 years old at this point, having first launched on the Sega Genesis way back in 1991. Those same folks had the opportunity to go hands-on with the latest offering in the series, ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, during PAX East. While they didn't get to play the game on the Switch, it was at least confirmed that the game will definitely be launching on Nintendo's latest platform.

We're excited to hear that the series is going back to its roots in this latest offering, returning to the 2.5 isometric view for world exploration. Unlike the original, though, you'll now have nine characters to play as boasting different stats. World exploration is a bit more involved this time around, giving players more things to do while checking out the sights and sounds of the various islands. You'll also discover secret staircases along the way that open the path to several minigames. Those highlighted include an endless runner that grants extra rewards depending on how long you can keep moving, as well as a (very appropriate) rhythm game.

Along with a tutorial and hard mode, this latest ToeJam & Earl will follow a similar formula to the original, including 25 main levels that get thrown at you in a random fashion.

Sadly, we're still absent a launch date, but it sounds like everything is coming along nicely at this point. With games like PaRappa the Rapper and Full Throttle making a comeback these days, it's nice to see even more oddball classics getting brought back for a whole new generation to enjoy. Unlike those other games, though, Back in the Groove is technically a brand new offering that simply harkens back to the series' glory days.

With the Switch added to the launch roster, it'll be joined by releases on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That means pretty much anyone who wants to check out the new ToeJam and Earl should be able to do so with ease. For our money, though, playing Back in the Groove on the go seems pretty fantastic, and the Switch will be the only way to do exactly that.

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