With a title like Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, I had practically no idea what to expect when heading into the newest game from Snoozy Kazoo. Of course, I figured the game would be light-hearted in tone, but I wasn’t expecting interesting characters, a fleshed out world, and clever puzzles. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion manages to be hilarious while also being a damn good adventure game.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion follows the story of a cute young turnip named Turnip Boy who, you guessed it, commits tax evasion. After blatantly refusing to pay taxes to Mayor Onion, Turnip Boy becomes indebted to Onion and forced to work as his servant. Mayor Onion then sends Turnip Boys on a series of tasks around Veggieville and beyond.
For as cute as Turnip Boy is, he truly is an awful creature. Not only does he refuse to pay taxes, but Turnip Boy steals from a lonely old man, sabotages relationships, and so much more. That said, he’s still such a joy to play as. In a game that likens itself to The Legend of Zelda, Turnip Boy is our Link - the silent but capable protagonist. However the comparisons stop there, as Turnip Boy is a menace to just about everybody he meets.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion leans heavily into its Zelda inspiration, as the core gameplay revolves around dungeon-crawling and puzzle-solving. Turnip Boy finds several items and equipment throughout his adventure, which can be used to solve puzzles and complete quests for other characters. One mechanic I thought was particularly cool was using a sprinkler to grow a Boombloom plant that I could then kick to blast open barricades or deal heavy damage to enemies.
Combat is pretty straightforward, as the sword is Turnip Boy’s primary way of dealing with pesky enemies. I really enjoyed the boss fights in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, as they were a good balance between basic combat mechanics with puzzle-solving elements.
As you meet characters and take on more quests, players will often have to backtrack to past locations in order to complete a task or solve a puzzle. Because of this, the game would really benefit from having a quests tab, where players can see what tasks they have and haven’t completed, as well as the respective characters associated with that quest. There were a couple of instances where I found an item that I knew somebody was looking for, but couldn’t remember who. My progress came to a halt as I had no other choice than to retrace my steps, talking to everybody until I figured out where I needed to go.
A tasty adventure
Something that really sucked me into Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion was just how fleshed out the world and its inhabitants felt. There’s deep lore that gets unraveled throughout the story, making it feel like Turnip Boy’s story was just a small snapshot of a much bigger picture. I couldn’t help but talk to every NPC I met, as it felt like just about everybody had something interesting to say.
A lot of the humor in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is quite topical, with references to society and entertainment. One quest found me working as the middle man between a sandwich shop and a popular livestreamer, helping to deliver a “tier 3 sub” to the internet celebrity, for which I was awarded the achievement “simp.” There’s even a clever reference to the Zelda series when Turnip Boy finds a powerful sword, “It’s dangerous to grow alone, take this.”
I was really impressed with the artistic work done in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Every character is some sort of food product, which gave way to some really solid design humor. For example, the nurse being a lollipop, or the old man being a wrinkly lemon. I often found myself chuckling at character and enemy designs when making my journey throughout the world.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion takes a pretty bonkers premise, and turns it into a thorough action-adventure game. Not only are the design choices and character dialogue hilarious, but the gameplay hits on all of the beats that make a good Zelda clone. The full game is on the shorter side, but it left me hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Turnip Boy and this curious world.
This review is based on a digital download code provided by the publisher. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is available now for PC and Switch for $14.99
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
- Hilarious characters and dialogue
- Great dungeon-crawling and puzzle-solving elements
- Fleshed out universe
- No quest log or similar feature
- Game and story feel oddly short