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Retro Thursday: Earthworm Jim
Welcome to Retro Thursday, Leviathyn’s spotlight on retro gaming. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and pay homage to our roots by highlighting the classics of yesteryear.
Thursday, May 17
Of all the strange platformers from the 90’s, Earthworm Jim stands out as one of the most beloved. Starring a half-crazed earthworm in a super suit, players took control of Jim and traversed throughout levels in fluid run-and-gun platforming action as they evaded enemies and fought to save Princess What’s-Her-Name.
Armed with an array of cringeworthy moves, Jim used his head to both whip enemies and grab on to hooks to swing from one place to another. With different game modes such as racing, fighting, and its classic platforming, players were treated to a variety in gameplay, with each level typically ending in a boss battle between Jim and one of many standout villains, from Psy-Crow to Bob the Killer Goldfish.
For all its absurdity, Earthworm Jim was actually a brilliant game. Originally intended to be a Playmates franchise, Jim was adopted by Shiny Entertainment, a company with a pedigree for making licensed games such as 7up’s Cool Spot.
Now free of any corporate limitations, Shiny took the concept of Jim and ran with it, essentially creating a wacky, over-the-top satire of platforming video games from that era.
The result was a crazy, fun title respected for its well-designed gameplay and fluid animation, making the subterranean hero’s adventure an odd, yet deserving classic.