838620Earthworm Jim [App Store] is a game that should need no introduction if you are old enough to have been around to enjoy the golden age of 16 bit gaming. Originally released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, and quickly ported to several other platforms shortly thereafter including the Super Nintendo and a "Special Edition" on the Sega CD. Recently this Sega CD version of the game made it to the Wii Virtual Console, and as of this evening Earthworm Jim has yet another new home-- The iPhone.

So what's Earthworm Jim all about? Well, you play as an earth worm (named Jim) who was powered up by a super suit that crashed down to Earth. Like all good video games, your quest involves saving a princess from her evil captor, in this case, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt. Along the way you'll jump, whip, and shoot yourself through different obstacles and bosses in pure-16 bit platforming bliss.

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The best thing about Gameloft's Earthworm Jim for the iPhone is that it's Earthworm Jim for the iPhone. Consequently, this is also the worst thing about the game as Earthworm Jim shares some of the relative control imprecision that is unavoidable when mapping traditional joysticks to on-screen virtual controls.

A virtual D-Pad (or joystick, configurable in the game's options) controls your movement, and a set of three buttons in the opposite corner of the screen handle jumping and attacking. The controls work well enough for the game to still be fun, but if you remember playing the game on previous consoles, you will likely have a awkward adjustment period as you bumble through the first level.

If this is your first foray into the Earthworm Jimiverse, just be aware the game has numerous tiny platforms to jump on and airborne monsters to shoot. So, depending on how good you are with virtual D-Pads, this can either be very fun or very frustrating.

838620_2Between levels, Jim will take out his pocket rocket and you will race Psycrow (another one of the in-game baddies) to the next level. These levels play exactly like the tunnel racing games that have become so popular on the App Store. Tilting the iPhone moves your rocket right or left and you complete the level by beating Psycrow to the finish.

The odd part about these levels is they feel remarkably natural on the iPhone. Tilting right or left to move your rocket works just as well as all the other games on the platform with a similar racing gameplay mechanic. This provides a stark contrast between the regular levels of the game, which work, but feel just as out of place as most other games with virtual controls.

So do I recommend picking up Earthworm Jim? How could I say no? Earthworm Jim is a classic, and the iPhone port has completely remastered art and sound, making it quite possibly one of the best looking and sounding versions of the game. (Note that Jim does have different voice acting, so fair warning for you Earthworm Jim purists.) The controls are as good as can be expected, and the game only saves your progress as you complete each level, but Earthworm Jim for the iPhone can still be a lot of fun.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

If you played the original release of the game, Earthworm Jim will stoke the coals of nostalgia in to a blazing inferno of worm whipping and rocket riding. If this is the first you've heard of the series, it still may be worth navigating the virtual control scheme to enjoy Gameloft's refined version of one of the best platformers of the 90's.

App Store Link: Earthworm Jim, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh

    MIGHT check this out, wasn't much of a fan of this game on any platform.

    I'd rather see Doom Classic hit the store :/

  • http://www.twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh

    MIGHT check this out, wasn't much of a fan of this game on any platform.

    I'd rather see Doom Classic hit the store :/

  • Carl

    I played this on PC in the good ol' 90's! Not sure I can afford to buy games right now though... plus I still have a copy of the original CD unopened!

  • http://touchgen.net Kamblad

    Will pass on this one, the controls seem really off. Can't go from playing Soosiz to Jim, would probably throw my iPhone in the wall.

    • eggzbacon

      The controls surprisingly work well, I prefer using dpad controls.

  • Carl

    I played this on PC in the good ol' 90's! Not sure I can afford to buy games right now though... plus I still have a copy of the original CD unopened!

  • http://touchgen.net Kamblad

    Will pass on this one, the controls seem really off. Can't go from playing Soosiz to Jim, would probably throw my iPhone in the wall.

    • eggzbacon

      The controls surprisingly work well, I prefer using dpad controls.

  • akira01

    Surprisingly, i found the game very playable.
    No lag on my 3GS. And the game is always awesome for me.
    One of the best platformer for the Iphone/Ipod touch
    Rolando2 - Rolando - Toki Tori - Earthworm Jim - Sooziz
    You must have it. This is a complete game, with very cute graphics and animations.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Cool good to hear!

      I was most worried about the controls being kind of weird so if that's fine I think this is a BUY!

  • akira01

    Surprisingly, i found the game very playable.
    No lag on my 3GS. And the game is always awesome for me.
    One of the best platformer for the Iphone/Ipod touch
    Rolando2 - Rolando - Toki Tori - Earthworm Jim - Sooziz
    You must have it. This is a complete game, with very cute graphics and animations.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      Cool good to hear!

      I was most worried about the controls being kind of weird so if that's fine I think this is a BUY!

  • br1an

    So far the controls are fine; obviously, not as natural as a real d-pad + buttons, but not at all horrible. However, I find I can only play it in short stints due to my left thumb/hand getting terribly cramped while pressing/sliding-around on the virtual d-pad.

    Maybe I just have weak hands.

  • br1an

    So far the controls are fine; obviously, not as natural as a real d-pad + buttons, but not at all horrible. However, I find I can only play it in short stints due to my left thumb/hand getting terribly cramped while pressing/sliding-around on the virtual d-pad.

    Maybe I just have weak hands.

  • Phoenixfury

    I can't get this game to launch on my iPod Touch. I have the new 3rd gen 64 gig model. Tried rebooting but that didn't help. I even deleted and redownloaded it. All I get is a blank screen that eventually crashes back to the page of icons I launched it from. Now I'm just bummed because I was really looking forward to playing this. :-(

    • daniel

      SAME HERE.

      same model and everything, I just contacted gameloft

      this needs to be addressed

  • Phoenixfury

    I can't get this game to launch on my iPod Touch. I have the new 3rd gen 64 gig model. Tried rebooting but that didn't help. I even deleted and redownloaded it. All I get is a blank screen that eventually crashes back to the page of icons I launched it from. Now I'm just bummed because I was really looking forward to playing this. :-(

    • daniel

      SAME HERE.

      same model and everything, I just contacted gameloft

      this needs to be addressed

  • Dayako

    Gameloft? No, thanks. Gameloft NEVER optimize well his games. Very bad framerate, popping, etc...

    • Rev

      Not in this case. The game is very smooth, even when played on 1st gen iPod Touch.

  • Dayako

    Gameloft? No, thanks. Gameloft NEVER optimize well his games. Very bad framerate, popping, etc...

    • Rev

      Not in this case. The game is very smooth, even when played on 1st gen iPod Touch.

  • NotReally

    Why should I play that kind of games on a touchscreen device? There are hundreds of games with better controls available, Earthworm Jim never was a really great jump & run and I could always play the game on other platform with better controls.

    • akira01

      Because it's fun
      Because it's very playable
      Because it's a cult game with lot of humor
      Because it's a real game with tons of levels
      Because the graphics are up
      Because it's groovyy

  • NotReally

    Why should I play that kind of games on a touchscreen device? There are hundreds of games with better controls available, Earthworm Jim never was a really great jump & run and I could always play the game on other platform with better controls.

    • akira01

      Because it's fun
      Because it's very playable
      Because it's a cult game with lot of humor
      Because it's a real game with tons of levels
      Because the graphics are up
      Because it's groovyy

  • Robert M.

    I didn't even know this game was out, I'll have to give it a go.

  • Robert M.

    I didn't even know this game was out, I'll have to give it a go.

  • DeVitus

    It's good and worth the price. Controls feel natural after 30 min of playing.

  • DeVitus

    It's good and worth the price. Controls feel natural after 30 min of playing.

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    Not bad at all. Ill give the controls a "B", better then the C- i was expecting. Gameplay is very good, added achievements to win injects some extra value. Some of the hooks are trickier to grab sans the physical buttons but im getting used to them. Love the added itunes controlls :)

    priced exactly the way it should.

    B+

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    Not bad at all. Ill give the controls a "B", better then the C- i was expecting. Gameplay is very good, added achievements to win injects some extra value. Some of the hooks are trickier to grab sans the physical buttons but im getting used to them. Love the added itunes controlls :)

    priced exactly the way it should.

    B+

  • Kita

    Not sure if I want to buy Gameloft games as much anymore. Maybe if I play them, beat them and move on, but I like see my collection of apps always available on the app store. Especially from a big name company. They took away my favorite sudoko game on the app store and I'm really disappointed.

  • Kita

    Not sure if I want to buy Gameloft games as much anymore. Maybe if I play them, beat them and move on, but I like see my collection of apps always available on the app store. Especially from a big name company. They took away my favorite sudoko game on the app store and I'm really disappointed.

  • Jin

    Anybody notice that the article quotes the price to be 4.99 and in the app store the actual price is now 6.99? Loved the game & series when it first came out, but I dunno if nostalgia is worth that much...

  • Jin

    Anybody notice that the article quotes the price to be 4.99 and in the app store the actual price is now 6.99? Loved the game & series when it first came out, but I dunno if nostalgia is worth that much...