Come on… you can’t read the title Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion and NOT be intrigued by this game, right? Well, you probably wouldn’t expect it to be a Zelda-style adventure where you play as a turnip either, but that’s EXACTLY what it is. You know what? It’s not as weird to play as you’d think it is. In fact, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is actually a charming and whimsical little adventure.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion puts you in the role of the titular ‘criminal’ himself as he looks to repay his tax debt. This isn’t done by paying up cash though, but rather by gathering a selection of items that are scattered across the world for Mayor Onion. You’ll unlock new abilities, beat up baddies, and clear dungeons along the way, with the gathering of ‘junk’ a more arduous task than one might initially think. It’s tough to be a turnip…
As mentioned, the gameplay of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is very Zelda-like in design. You’ll explore the colourful world from a top-down perspective, with Turnip Boy armed with a sword to beat up baddies. There are puzzles to solve along the way too, though they’re mostly simple in design and don’t require too much thought from the player. It’s a case of ‘hitting those’, ‘blowing up that’, ‘moving this’… you know… the kind of things you’d expect from a Zelda game. There are a few more specialised abilities such as using portals introduced too, but the puzzles that utilise them won’t leave players perplexed for too long.
“You’ll unlock new abilities, beat up baddies, and clear dungeons along the way.”
One unique idea that Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion does introduce is its watering can. You actually have to water plants you find in the environment in order to access items such as bombs to blast away obstacles or watermelons to create pathways, so you can expect to do a fair bit of gardening during your adventure. Much like most aspects of the game, it’s simple in design, but it gives players something different to do that shows that it does have its own ideas.
It also shows that the game isn’t just about making a big joke. A lot of games with titles like this tend to neglect the gameplay and focus on offering a hook or idea that makes the player chuckle, but in this case there really is a little adventure to go on that’s surprisingly well crafted. Heck, there are even dungeons to explore that conclude with boss fights, whilst it shows Metroidvania-like aspects with some areas sealed off until you have the right ability. It proves that Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion really does embrace the adventuring aspects of its gameplay.
“There are even dungeons to explore that conclude with boss fights, whilst it shows Metroidvania-like aspects with some areas sealed off until you have the right ability.”
That being said, there’s no doubting that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s plenty of humour found in the writing and there are more than a few comical scenarios that play out in-game, whilst Turnip Boy’s insistence on ripping up anything of value or that criminalises him is charming in itself. It’s definitely a comedy-style game, but that isn’t its only trick. It won’t take too long to beat either, with the whole thing lasting just a few hours. The length isn’t an issue though; it’s long enough to remain fun without running out of ideas.
One thing I really liked about the game was its visuals, with the cutesy world proving to be a joy to explore. There’s something eye-catching about some of the sights you see, whilst the peculiar character designs are certainly befitting of the humorous vibe. Just don’t go in feeling hungry, otherwise you might find yourself fancying a salad…
You know what? I was pleasantly surprised by Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. It’s by no means a ground-breaking release and doesn’t do anything special, but it delivered a lot more than I expected. The adventure itself is fun, the world is pretty to look at, and the writing is clever and funny.
Who would have though tax evasion could make for a fun gaming experience? Not me.