Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion PC Review

“Aaaaand the greatest video game title of all time award goes toooo… 

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

Come on down!” 

*Uncomfortably long applause*

At first it may seem like the title was specifically crafted as nonchalantly absurd in an attempt to be ‘random’, as the kids say, but it’s actually just a clever way to send a message about what to expect from your time playing. It’s a charming, silly, funny game, often with strangely adult under-tones, and that all comes across in the name alone. Almost every action or exchange of dialog is executed with a wink to the player over an inside gag or as a reference to some obscure meme, such as the classic ‘Navy Seal Copypasta’. However, the humour is hardly ever just a reference and nothing else – more like nudges of the elbow as jokes are constantly cracked by flipping the meaning of something around or by playing on the living-vegetable/fruit-filled theme. The experience is short, clocking in at under two hours (or three if you want to do everything, which I highly recommend) but if you click with the comedy roots, it is berry likely to peas you.

There is gameplay, too, of course; it’s very ‘2D Zelda’ in the way the combat and puzzles work, having the player use an array of curious items to discover new ways to manipulate the environment and hack away at pestering enemies, but the comical narrative and interactions are still the backbone of the piece. What I mean is that I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t find this type of thing entertaining. The puzzles range from amusing to engaging and the combat is satisfying enough but they are hardly going to hold up for someone who isn’t interested, or worse, bored, by the nonsensical core. On the other hand, people who enjoy the style, mechanics, and playful whimsy are going to have a great time, even if just for a single lazy afternoon. It’s the type of game that makes you want to take screenshots of face-palmingly dumb moments and share them with your friends to make them laugh, too, and you can bet I have some lined up for sending on release. *rero rero rero rero*

Essentially, Turnip Boy is a line of fetch quests across an ever-expanding set of areas but there is simply no time for any single element to outstay its welcome. It works like this: 1 – explore the newest area and speak to all the inhabitants in order to gather quests and sensible chuckles, 2 – tackle the obstacles using a newly acquired skill or combination of abilities, that usually culminates in a boss fight, 3 – circle back to close out the now-completed missions from all over the map in order to uncover the next area. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work, and the simple loop is effective at keeping things entertaining for the duration of the playtime. On top of that there are a few secrets hidden about like permanent health upgrades; headwear; and Gaster-like ghosts(?), as well as meta-goals such as tearing up every piece of paper you can get your hands on, in order to clinically erode the corrupt government one innocuous love-letter at a time. Incidentally, completing document destruction duty triggers the true ending that must not be missed.

It may not be a fulfilling venture, nor something that you ever come back to again, but it’s great fun and non-stop grinning while it lasts and that’s really all anyone can ask for. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion never pretends to be more than it is. It proudly bears the senseless concept alongside the beautiful design, clean gameplay, and endless stream of innocent quips like a badge of honor. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is more of it, although it does well with what little is already there. I mean, using bombs grown from special plants and strings of portals in conjunction with one another to map explosives down specific routes to destroy blockades is brilliant, and more so when used to fight crazed mutated forest animals, but it’s over all too soon when there’s so much space to expand. What’s worse is that as the story progresses and we learn more about the world and the origins of the living produce, a lot of darker questions begin to surface but none of them are really answered. The whole thing feels more like the showcasing of an idea, even though it does come full circle by the end. All I’m saying is that if we got to see more adventures of Turnip Boy in the future, it would be totally cherry.

7 out of 10