I don't see any differences between this and the Sega Genesis version. The music, sounds, characters and the same. The only difference is that you have to use the keyboard as a controller. It's just not the same as the old Genesis controller. You get used to certain thumb/finger movements and have to re-think it when you're using the keyboard now. I assume once you get used to the keyboard, it's not so bad any more... but I didn't wait that long. I just liked hearing the sounds and seeing the game once more. Maybe you could do the same by just viewing a YouTube video instead of buying the game?
My wife and I loved this game when it came out on the Sega Genesis, and we played it for years. This PC port is really just converted code running in an Emulator that Sega's put together and has used for a lot of other Sega PC games. It works really well on Windows 8.1; I didn't have to make any adjustments, just install and go.
Sometimes emulators can have pet peeves like sluggish controls, slowness, or being stuck on a low resolution. ToeJam & Earl plays just fine on my laptop. We run an HDMI cable to the TV and it fills the screen (with black borders left and right to compensate for the aspect ratio). We also plug in a pair of Xbox 360 controllers and play two-player using those. You have to go into the settings and tell the program which buttons should do which things, but once you do, it saves those settings and you don't have to go back and do it again. The emulator can also save your position in the game, which you couldn't do on the Genesis.
If you're not familiar with ToeJam & Earl, let me share the weird, silly fun that is this game. ToeJam & Earl are two cartoon aliens who have crashed their ship on "Earth". Earth is actually a really weird series of maps floating in space, stacked one atop the other. Each map is a level and has an elevator that can take you to the next level. You can also fall off the edge of a level and end up back at the one below it.
The point of the game is this: their spaceship is broken into 10 pieces and each is randomly hidden on a different level. ToeJam & Earl have to wander around looking for the ship pieces and find each level's elevator to be able to get to the next level. Along the way they encounter "Earthlings"--most of the Earthlings are harmful, a few are helpful, and the most helpful Earthling of all is Santa Claus, who has scattered presents all over the place that each player can pick up and open. If you tiptoe quietly up to Santa, you can startle him into dropping more presents! But most of the time he sees you and takes off on a jetpack.
Examples of other Earthlings:
Mad Dentist: zaps you, then laughs maniacally
Boogie Man: tiptoes around invisibly (you can see his shadow or a silhouette), then startles you by popping out at you and yelling "Boogie-boogie-boogie!"
Opera Singer: will sing a high note that causes any unfriendly Earthlings in the area to pop
Hula Girl: dances the hula, seducing players into dancing along with her at random. Standing still can make you vulnerable to other Earthlings, and if you do it long enough your pants fall down! (in a cartoon way)
Wise Old Carrot: each present you pick up is unknown until you open one of its type. So you can pay the Wise Old Carrot to tell you what some of your newly-found presents really are.
Phantom Ice-Cream Truck: you hear a honk, it teleports into existence, and can run right over you before disappearing again with another *honk*.
Cupid: flying baby with bow and arrow. If you're hit, for a minute or two hearts appear over your head and your directions are scrambled because you're "in love". It can be hilarious to watch.
The game is played solo or cooperatively, with one or two players. When you have two players, the game goes in and out of split-screen mode: when ToeJam and Earl are together, it's full-screen: when they wander away from each other, the screen splits horizontally. Each can pick up presents, and the presents are most of the fun.
- Super Hi-Tops let you run fast, exploring territory quickly and running away from enemies.
- Tomatoes or "Slingshot" let you hurl tomatoes at Earthlings, causing them to pop and disappear.
- Rootbeer: slightly restores your health, but you spend the next couple of minutes burping a lot, making it hard to sneak around
- Spring Shoes: like a pogo stick, you can jump and bounce your way around.
You have to walk around to uncover the layout of the level. Parts of the level are "under construction", which means that when you get close, they suddenly build themselves out a little more. The levels have water you can swim in, sand that you can get stuck in if you move too slow, and roads that make you move faster.
All of this is colorful sprite animations backed by a cheesy funky soundtrack that really grows on you. More importantly, this isn't a fast-twitch action game. It's a casual game, great for two players, that doesn't take itself seriously. The random strange things that go on can combine to make for some really hilarious moments. The fact that the levels are randomly generated every time you play keeps things interesting and new.
I loved this game, and I'm glad this download plays just like the original.
on November 13, 2013
It is the best, most fun video game EVER!! No blood, no gore, no violence, but a different game every time you play, with amusing characters and difficult challenges. Plus the music is fun, and it's the ONLY video game 2 people can play together!
on April 19, 2014
This is a great game. One of the best ever made. Don't buy it here though. Get it on your PlayStation 3 or XBOX 360 so you can earn achievements while you play. The Amazon, Wii, and Steam versions are the worst because they don't give anything back. Buy the sequel ("Panic on Funkotron") on the PS3 or 360 too, they've both got the trophies! It adds a ton of replay-value and gets you to do things you never thought you'd be doing in these classic games. Relive the magic!