When I went to school, I never learned how to do taxes… and to this day, I still have no clue about them. As far as I know, I don’t have to pay any because I don’t earn enough money for that. Frankly, I’ll eventually get pointed towards them, I hope… or else uh… *this transition is flawless* I’ll end up committing tax evasion like Turnip Boy in today’s Indietail and like all the rich people that got rich in the first place because of them not paying taxes. Let’s eat the rich but before that, let’s talk about this cute little game by Snoozy Kazoo called “Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion“!
Developer: Snoozy Kazoo Publisher: Graffiti Games Genre: Indie, Adventure, Pixel Graphics, Action Release Date: April 22nd, 2021 Reviewed on: PC Available on: PC, Switch Copy was sent by the developer.
After not paying property taxes, the cute little protagonist of this game, Turnip Boy, gets thrown out of his greenhouse by Major Onion. Thankfully, Major Onion allows him to get his deed back once he works for it as his assistant, completing various tasks throughout the small but cute world and helping him with… his plan. Uhm,… we don’t really do tax work in this game. Thank god! Playing this game, after all, takes less time than your tax work, right? Time to procrastinate!
The tasks are simple from taking care of pigs in a barn and bringing fertilizer to the Mayor to finding a tool or investigating a mysterious hatch in the weapon forest. The game essentially tells you a vague direction but doesn’t really tell you where to go exactly. You’re left alone for the most part, much like in the Zelda games. But what the game does quite well is limiting your options: Either the IRS is stopping you from going into specific places or you frankly don’t have the tool needed to traverse certain areas, either way: You may be free to go everywhere you want but the game doesn’t let you go wherever you go. After all, you’re a criminal! You filthy but adorable punk!
The game’s dialogue is filled with pop culture and other references, ranging from Tier 3 subs that you can purchase, to copypasta spouted out seemingly at random, and there’s even a reference to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and to Tengen Toppa Guren Lagann in-game. Some of these dialogues may make you cringe at times but I personally loved it to bits. I had to laugh or chuckle at times and it was just great overall. I feel like some of these references actually fill the world with life, especially as you dive into the subplot of it and some of its “realism”. I mean, it’s referencing a lot of things… let’s keep it at that. Either way, it’s great. You could in theory just complete the main quest of getting your deed back but what is an adventure without a bit of sidetracking and what is this game without its loving NPCs? There are carrots, berries, fruit and even sweets that just wait for you to approach them and some even have quests for you that reward you with hats and tools that may be helpful along the way. At one point, you find a sword and you kill a snail because it didn’t pay rent to its friend… Fun!
Humour is a big part of Turnip Boy. The base premise is simple but hilarious. There are joke characters in there and I feel like it doesn’t always take itself too seriously… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. The game’s jabs at other games are great and even if the game builds on a lot of different influences from Zelda to other adventure games, Turnip Boy itself feels very unique and great. Part of that is thanks to the puzzles that start simple but scale up in difficulty as time goes on. Sure, there are inspirations taken at times from other games but for the last three-quarters of the game, Turnip Boy surprises you with creativity when it comes to puzzles and combines a lot of its mechanics into a great time. And well, the game overall feels very polished with the adorable and rather detailed art style, the fantastic soundtrack by James and Ryan of Flowerblvck, as well as the overall gameplay, although I have to say that there are still things that bothered me here and there.
For starters, sometimes during quests you end up going to similar areas back and forth and you end up delivering an item to someone only to then get sent all the way back and since the world isn’t too big, this doesn’t become too much of an issue but I just found it annoying at times. Still, the main issue with Turnip Boy is that some of the boss fights are a bit too similar. I mean, there are interesting and difficult boss fights but two or three felt just the same and didn’t really add much to the experience, which was a bit of a bummer. Pair that with the references potentially getting dated quite fast or the fact that you can literally play through the whole game in three hours… Could be an issue. Personally, however, I don’t mind its short playtime as I got entertained quite a bit and loved every minute of it really…
All in all, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion has little to nothing to do with tax evasion. The developers just left college when they started developing this game and they finished it before they got to know the true horrors of taxes, which is probably why it’s such a great game. You may think that you use capitalism or trickery to avoid taxes but you simple rip documents in half and walk away as if nothing happened and maybe that’s exactly why Turnip Boy entertained me so much. It’s simple but effective. The IRS’ appearance is hilarious and the JoJo reference made me laugh especially as I just reached Battle of Egypt after binging it a whole lot.
Either way, I’d recommend Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion to people that strive for a fun little adventure. It may not be the longest game but it certainly is super cute, a lot of fun and very entertaining and some of the puzzles can even take some time to solve, which is nice for titles like this! :)