reviews\ Jun 25, 2001 at 8:00 pm

Earthworm Jim - GBA - Review

He may be wearing an indestructible space suit that gives him human-like powers, but Jim is – after all – a worm. That is not a disparagement on his personality. He is actually a worm, with over-sized eyes and a big, expressive mouth. Birds like worms. But birds are hardly able to contend with the pulverizing power of Jim’s ray gun.

Now Major Mucus (from the planet Phlegm) is another story. So is Psy-Crow.

Earthworm Jim, a release for the Game Boy Advance, from Majesco Sales, Inc., Interplay and Shiny Entertainment is based on the animated cartoon of the same name and features the same irreverent characters, and sense of humor as the aforementioned cartoon.

Take, for example, the levels. You begin in New Junk City; level four is called Snot a Problem (guess what the obstacle is?); level eight is Intestinal Distress (we’re talking location, location, location); and the last level is Buttville, which features a character known as The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Puss-filled, Malformed, Slug for a Butt.

Please leave your sensitivities at the door.

There are three difficulty levels: Practice (Manual: You don’t own any Earthworm Jim action figures, salt makes you cringe and you haven’t figured out the hamster jokes), Normal (Manual: You have the action figures, juggle fish lures, you begin to make hamster jokes) and Difficult (Manual: You swim in trout-infested waters, and sunbathe at the beach on the hottest day of the year.)

The game does require that you figure out minor puzzles (a cow is standing on the end of a plank, blocking your path; a refrigerator is dangling over your head, suspending by a block and tackle; solution – shot the refrigerator to make it drop onto the other end of the plank to launch the cow and clear the path), be able to aim Jim’s arsenal of weapons (or use that inspiring head whip with deadly accuracy), and work through the challenging levels.

And the game is challenging. Graphically, it does a nice job mirroring the cartoon in an arcade format. Though the game may lack game boards filling the screen with lush environmental graphics, it does have a few sight gags scattered about the levels. The sound is somewhat elementary, but does a nice job supporting the graphics. The controls are very easy to learn, allowing players to jump right into this wacky world.

Because of the nature of the beast, Earthworm Jim will not appeal to everyone – even though it is rated for Everyone, but does feature mild violence. But the game isn’t out to shock, just create a world that is foreign and inhabited by a worm. After all, like the game states, this product is about Earthworm Jim’s continued battle for truth, justice and well-aerated soil.


Install: N/A

Gameplay: 7.5.
The levels are varied and move along quite well from the beginning of a level to its conclusion.

Graphics: 7.5.
Not as lush as other GBA arcade adventures, the graphical elements to a solid job of emulating the cartoon.

Sound: 7.
Nothing that unique or impressive here – just a few sound effects and music.

Difficulty: 7.5.
The controls are easy to learn, and the game is mostly reflexive in nature.

Concept: 7.
There really isn’t much of a storyline here – just enemies to battle in a variety of terrains. Buried deep under the action is a minor plot about Jim being unconscious, but that really doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with the level challenges.

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 7.5.
If you like the cartoon, you’ll like this game. If you don’t like the cartoon, abhor the “Beavis and Butthead” sense of comedy, avoid this title. At its core, Earthworm Jim is a well-done game, rife with action on landscapes you’ve probably seldom seen.


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