Joe & Mac Returns is a platforming video game developed by Data East and released in 1994 for arcades. It was released digitally on the Nintendo Switch in 2019 by FTE Games as part of their Johnny Turbo’s Arcade line, and to the Steam and GOG in 2021 by Ziggurat Interactive as part of their Retro Classix line.
Unlike previous entries in the Joe & Mac series, Joe & Mac Returns is a single-screen platformer, with the main objective being to eliminate all enemies on the level in order to proceed to the next. Joe and Mac attack by swinging their clubs to hit the ground, creating a small shockwave which stuns enemies. Stunned enemies can then be captured and stuffed inside of a sack, which the player can toss at other enemies. The more enemies captured the larger the sack will become and the more it will roll around before exploding.
In addition to enemies, the levels also have tied cavewomen which the player can rescue, once rescued the cavewoman will drop various items before leaving, from regular food items to various power ups. If the player accidentally hits the cavewoman she will push the player away and leave without dropping items. While the cavewomen are usually visible, they’ll sometimes be hidden at an specific spot on the level, requiring the player to roll a sack with enemies in order to reveal her.