Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion could well have been a Ratalaika effort for the almost generic title. Though we’re glad we didn’t dismiss it out of hand as it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Coming from Massachusetts-based dev Snoozy Kazoo and publisher Graffiti Games, as increasingly seems to be the case, TBCTE first released on Switch and PC in 2021. Once again, it obviously did well enough to be deemed worthy of a release on PlayStation.
The titular anthropomorphic root vegetable finds himself footing a huge tax bill for reasons not entirely clear at the outset. He finds himself in hock to the mayor of the town and so begins your adventure. You’re called upon to complete various tasks for the mayor to clear the debt. Rather than Animal Crossing type chores, what follows is more like a truncated Zelda style quest, stylistically as well as structured.
Turnip Boy himself doesn’t have any arms but somehow can wield a sword and a handy watering can at the outset. The latter he can attack enemies with and the former he can water other plants with. The enemies are rather less threatening than usual, consisting of cute bunnies and worms to begin with, but given you’re a vegetable and they’re vegetarians you’re squarely on the menu. Fair logic.
The growing plants dynamic lets you access the various tools available like bombs and blocks you can shove around. We’ll spare you the details of others, but the game is cleverly designed to incorporate these. One section is a nice nod to the Lost Woods in Zelda, though once you’ve memorised the route through, you’ll be set.
As you progress you’ll happen upon various documents and artifacts that flesh out the story, though for whatever reason Turnip Boy has a tendency to rip up everything he can. We’re not sure why, but it is funny. Turnip Boy contains many well observed gags and nods to current daft trends, the arbitrary trophy amusing us no end. Talking of trophies, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion showers you with them like they’re confetti. Some of the trophy descriptions are pretty amusing too.
In addition to documents, you’ll be rewarded with various hats from fetch quests. They’re mostly awesome too. Our favourite is the one that makes you bald. Though a bit close to home in that respect.
There’s even a plot here of sorts, riffing amusingly on any number of cliched film and game storylines that play it straight. It’s largely nonsense, but the parallels to other games raised definite smile here.
Even without switching on God Mode in the menu, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion isn’t a particularly tough game. One boss was a bit sticky for us, though the unskippable cutscene when we retried several times was less welcome. Nor is it particularly long, though it betrays its origins in mobile in that respect. It won’t push your hardware either, we were able to play the first half of the game on our base model PS4 with zero issues before finishing off later on our PS5.
Graphics are bright and breezy with catchy tunes to boot. There’s even an excellent song to see out the end credits. Sure, it’s no Still Alive like at the end of Portal, but at least this won’t lead to endless tedious ‘the cake is a lie!’ style easter eggs going forward in every damn game. The soundtrack is also available on vinyl, though if you’re in the UK you’ll probably do better getting it off Spotify instead lest you get clobbered for horrendous shipping and custom charges.
The PlayStation version includes the Limitless Line content update, which is in effect a boss rush mode where you can play to unlock more hats. And who doesn’t want more hats. This balding reviewer can’t get enough of them. It also includes modifiers such as enemies exploding on death or providing a health boost when they peg out. It’s well thought out anyway. We feel compelled to go back and play it some more even though we’ve done almost all there is to do. It’s the perfect procrastination option, put it that way.
In conclusion, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion was a fun surprise that we really enjoyed our time with. We only wish it were longer and hope that the forthcoming sequel, Turnip Boy Robs A Bank comes to PS4 a little quicker than Commits Tax Evasion did as we want more and soon.
+ Nice line in pop culture gags
+ Great music including that end credit song
+ Limitless Line mode is great fun
+ It even runs well on a base PS4
- Unskippable intros to boss fights get repetitive
- We want more!
- Perhaps a bit short
- The devs say they write dumb games. They really don't.