Evercade Jewels #3
Title: Earthworm Jim
Where is it? On the Interplay Collection 1
What is it? A stone-cold classic and the Evercade's first Heavyweight title
Everyone bangs on about the Nintendo Switch because of its ability to take full-sized games on the move. But, I would argue that, on this evidence, the Evercade is more than Capable of this, too. Earthworm Jim is a big game in every sense, with stunning animation and awesome audio. It is also nonlinear in its execution. It's as if the team at Shiny Entertainment were told 'go nuts!' How else do you explain a bungie jumping level where Jim competes with a giant ball of snot to see who can snap who's bungie rope?, or, at the very start of the game, where you have to drop a refrigerator on a seesaw to launch a cow into space (you read that right).
The plot of the game (such as it is) involves a spacesuit falling from the sky and landing on Jim, granting him awesome abilities and giving him a bad-ass gun. Which is handy, cause there're many antagonists who want the suit for themselves, including Queen Slug-For-A-Butt who kidnaps Princess What's-Her-Name, thus setting Jim on his path to rescue her.
The levels themselves are large and sprawling with different paths to take and secrets to discover. The developers keep the game fresh, either by centring the levels around a different mechanic or introducing a different way to play; such as For Pete's Sake where you have to protect Peter Puppy from enemies and the dangers of the level itself. This plays out kind of like Lemmings, cause Pete keeps on walking regardless and it's up to Jim to Get him through the level unscathed.
It's a testament to the developers that Earthworm Jim plays as well as it does. None of it feels cheap or unfair, which is handy, because, at times, Earthworm Jim is tough. And it still holds up well today all off these years later. If you're into retro games then you'll be well aware how awesome this is. And if you know someone that hasn't isn't into retro games (yet), then show them this, because it's as good a place to start as any.