There was a lot about Earthworm Jim that was ahead of its time. The hand-drawn animated look was far different from the other 16-bit games that were around in 1994 and the gameplay was, for a 2D side-scroller, highly original. It didn’t go the way of Sonic and make speed the order of the day, but made you really think about how to get across a level. From jumping on tyres, swinging on chains and using Jim’s own worm body as a rope to get across crevices, it was brilliant, brainy fun.
And then there was the surreal sense of humor. The look and feel of the game could have been made anywhere in the world, but the humor could only come from the UK and game developer David Perry. Whether being crushed by a cow, racing through pipes on the back of a hamster, or having to deal with an end foe whose name is The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt, Earthworm Jim was genuinely funny.
That’s why it’s in dire need of a sequel, even if it’s just to wash away the bad taste of Gameloft’s lame attempt at a remaster in 2009.
Imagine the climbing game mechanics of Uncharted, mixed with Jim’s delicious humour and spliced with spruced graphics of, say, Rayman Legends. Ma, take my money now.