Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an adventure game developed by Snoozy Kazoo and published by Graffiti Games. A well-received demo was released for the game in 2020 and now it‘s finally ready for a Switch release. Have you ever dreamed of playing as a small turnip on the run from tax authorities before? Of course you have, we all have, and fortunately 2021 is the year of fulfilling dreams.

Gameplay

The Switch of course is a tailor-made console for indie games due to its scope and functionality, and I’m pleased to report that Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion fits the Switch aesthetic perfectly; colourful, fun(ny) and accessible.

It plays out like a 2D action-RPG, but in the most basic sense of the term. There’s an abundance of item collecting/trading and small dungeon type areas to explore as you scurry around the game world in a top-down perspective. There’s also combat involved, although the combat merely feels like a side quest that gets in the way of the relentless collecting/trading. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion unfolds like a trading side-quest in the The Legend of Zelda games, but as if that were a standalone game itself.

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Personally I like collecting/trading items and its rewarding to work out what to give to whom based on the dialogue clues that you get from the various vegetable NPCs, but if you find all that kind of business quite tiresome then probably best to avoid Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion altogether. There also isn’t much in the way of skilling or levelling up which is why I stressed earlier that the term ‘RPG’ is very generous, however you are able to collect items and weapons along the way that slightly improve Turnip Boy’s combat abilities.

Story / Personality

I think this is probably the strongest element of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion; its personality. It’s a very funny game. The dialogue made me laugh a few times and the various characters that you come across are all full to the brim of puns and witty comebacks. Also, Turnip Boy himself is extremely cute. One enjoyable little side-quest is finding various hats that you can collect for him to wear, and each one will make you say ‘aww’ more than the last.

As the title suggests there is a vague plot based around Turnip Boy not being a fan of paying tax, and as part of the adventure you can find various documents incriminating him in said tax evasion. Each document must be torn up after reading which is surprisingly satisfying!

The ‘set-ups’ for the trading do feel quite contrived at times, but then again how else are you meant to set up exposition in a game that involves a turnip trading items with other vegetables. I mean I wasn’t expecting Christopher Nolan-esque story telling but you know what I mean.

World Design

Turnip Boy’s aforementioned tax debt is owed to the local mayor – Mayor Onion – who sets you off on your various tasks into different directions from the central hub town. He’ll say to you ‘Head East to find x item’ and you oblige, then return to him once x item has been found. Then its off to the Western extremities of the world and so on and so forth. I have to say there wasn’t much graphical variation in the various world areas. You know how there’s always a forest, a desert and an ice world in any self-respecting adventure game, but in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion they’re all a bit foresty. The ‘dungeons’ themselves are basically the insides of a house or a barn with some pretty primitive block-pushing or button-pushing puzzles along the way.

All-in-all, don’t expect an expansive game world experience in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. It gets the job done but I would have liked to see a lot more imagination when it comes to background variation and environmental hazards.

Graphics / Sound Design

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion looks and sounds like a SNES game, which is fine if that’s what you’re into. The character sprites are very cute and I found the character design certainly compelled me to persevere with all of the trading and backtracking.

There is a boss that tends to appear a fair bit throughout the game – an angry deer – and it gets larger each time you encounter it. But each time it gets larger it’s basically the same sprite but zoomed in, meaning the pixels just get more blurry the bigger the sprite gets; I have to say that felt like a bit of a cop-out! Which is a shame because had more care and attention been made with the artwork in this game it certainly would greatly have enhanced the experience.

The background music is compiled of some nice little ditties, none of which will blow you away. I often measure the quality of an indie game’s soundtrack based on how catchy the tunes are and I have to say after playing this game for three or four hours I can’t hum any of them off the top of my head unfortunately.

Final Score: 65%

I think we’ve all wanted to stick it to the taxman at some point in our lives so what better opportunity to do it than playing a video game as a pixelated anthropomorphic turnip. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is a pretty short adventure game but is certainly fun to play if you want to kill a couple of days. The best part of the game is the puzzles and challenges related to item trading, but the lack of visual variation in the game world does make it a bit repetitive. I also found the directional controls to be a little spongey. However, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is funny, cute and charming and is a pleasant experience for as long as it lasts.

Thank you for checking out our Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion Switch review, thank you to Graffiti Games for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: