Earthworm Jim 3D (2000)

Earthworm Jim, one of the greats of the mascot-led console boon of the 90s. It struck a chord with many by offering vivid visuals, fun gameplay and inventive scenarios by the year 2000, it had multiple games, a cartoon, and an action figure line to its name. In the dawn of the new millennium, Earthworm Jim made the leap into the third dimension and a leap into the deepest recesses of the mind. In the suitably named Earthworm Jim 3D.

Is there anything he can’t do?

Our hero, Jim, after suffering an unfortunate cow incident, has literally lost his marbles and has been rendered in a deep coma. You play as Jim’s superego, who must traverse through the deepest parts of Jim’s brain, to retrieve the golden udders to revive him. These include his childhood memories of the great Barnyard war of ‘73, his fears of the paranormal, and his dreams of being a legendary cowboy of the old west. All in arduous quest to attempt to regain his mind.

It turns out Hedgehogs make great soldiers in the Barnyard wars!

Drawing from the cartoon, Earthworm Jim is voiced by famed voice actor Dan Castellaneta, he makes more than enough quips and jokes to make his inclusion worth the while. His voicework works well combined with the clever writing, that is abundant. Your overall progress is given to you by your mental state (e.g. you have the mental capacity of pond-scum) and the names of the levels each have puns (that must have been a blast to think up). Certain foes also make an appearance, and fans of the franchise would be thrilled to see their return. Names such as Psychcrow, Professor Monkey-for-a-head, and others make a comeback as challenging overlords of their respective areas of Jim’s mind.

Even the menus is a testament to the clever writing.

The game retains that vivid imagination and creativity that made the series popular, the levels and overall concept earn an A+ in ingenuity. The themes each feel in character with the super-powered worm while being both heavily comedic and a showcase for vivid and vibrant level design. They also provide a unique challenge, a lot that relies on techniques established in the previous entries. With jumping puzzles, collectables (the aforementioned marbles). You use your trademark blaster, and yourself as a whip, all calling cards from the first games to navigate finding clues to 100% a level. They also have some catchy music, though not by Tommy Tallarico, who wrote the original game’s score.

Snot returns as a helpful guide through your psyche!

Creative writing and an enjoyable concept give the charming character some new life, and Jim’s colourful persona is a comfy fit in 3D. It’s a fun challenge though similar in its contemporaries to be easy enough to pick up. But imaginative enough to want you to keep on playing.  Earthworm Jim is a real trip, and you don’t need any udders of contemplation to find out why.

Call backs to the first games are common here!

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