A zany, run-and-gun platformer

User Rating: 7 | Earthworm Jim SMS

Earthworm Jim is full of cool characters. You would think the game would be based on the animated series, but infact; it's the other way around. Obviously the main protagonist, Earthworm Jim is a brilliant character, but the other characters contained within the game (who mainly appear as bosses) are also interesting. These include Psy-Crow, Evil the Cat, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, Major Mucus, Bob the Killer Goldfish, Peter Puppy, Princess What's-Her-Name and the main antagonist; Queen Slug-for-a-Butt.

The game is a 2D side-scrolling "run and gun" platformer. Jim comes armed with gun which can be aimed in all eight directions. Jim can also use himself as a whip which not only is a method of attacking, but can be used to grab and swing from hooks as well as gliding as he falls.

There's plenty of variations of game-play throughout the game. In "Tube Race", you have to guide a underwater pod around a maze like structure before the oxygen supply runs out. In "Snot A Problem", Jim battles Major Mucus on a bungee rope. In "For Pete's Sake", Jim has to protect Peter Puppy from harm, by whipping him to make him jump over danger.

In-between most levels, a racing level called "Andy Asteroids" is played. In this level, Jim races Psy-Crow on a rocket whilst avoiding asteroids and collecting orbs. It's mainly quite boring and easy but gives you a chance of earning an extra continue.

The game can be pretty tough and there's definitely some really frustrating sections. A common problem people have is in "Tube Race", because there doesn't seem to be enough time to actually complete the level. There is a secret oxygen supply in the final part of the level which makes it possible, but it seems ridiculous if this is the only way you can do it. I failed to get past this part in my childhood on the Game Gear version which prevented me from progressing further.

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate background objects from the foreground. There were occasions where I attempted to jump on things that looked like platforms to find out they weren't, and conversely, I came to what looked like dead ends, but in fact there was a platform just ahead, or a hook that Jim could swing onto. The last level seemed very underwhelming to me, because it had frustrating sections where it wasn't clear where to go, and the last boss was the easiest in the game.

Earthworm Jim does have some frustrating elements to it, but still remains fairly playable today. People considered it a classic back in the day when it was released, and it is fairly easy to see why. It's zany,well animated, has varied game-play, and is quite challenging.

Earthworm Jim is available on Steam in a collection for £15.99 that contains Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Earthworm Jim 3D. It is also available on GOG for $9.99 which just has Earthworm Jim 1 & 2, but you can separately purchase Earthworm Jim 3D for $5.99. A remake of Earthworm Jim (HD) also exists on Xbox Live for £6.75.