I originally got Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (Hereafter shortened to Turnip Boy) on the Google play store because it sounded like everything I wanted in a mobile game. But it turned out that I was too much of a klutz to complete it using touch controls, so I wasn’t able to finish it, thus I could never review it, even though I liked what I played.
Fast forward a few months later, and I saw Turnip Boy on Epic Game Store, and I decided that even though I had to buy it again, I liked it enough on my phone that I wanted to see how it ends. As it turns out, I liked Turnip Boy enough that I don’t even mind buying it twice.
I think it helps that despite being a Metroidvania, one of the genres I’m not keen on, it does manage to make the formula work for me because the game isn’t that big. I get a new item, and it’s close enough to me hitting a roadblock in another area that I think, Oh, that’s right, I needed this to get into that other area.
Whether we talk about Turnip Boy on mobile or PC, it is exactly the kind of shorter game I need sometimes. In a market crowded with Live Services promoting that they can take hundreds of hours to finish, sometimes I just want a little game that can be finished in half a day.
Turnip Boy does that, but it also offers a cute premise that eventually blossoms into a full on post-apocalyptic adventure with both a normal ending and a secret ending that comes from collecting all of the secret items. (None of which are hidden, so it’s not that hard to get both endings in the same day.)
The story goes that Turnip Boy gets a notice that his taxes are due, and he rips them up. So Mayor Onion takes over his greenhouse and forces him to do manual labor to pay off his debts. Along the way, lots of characters will offer side quests, most of which can’t be completed at the time they’re initiated. But just like every other aspect of this bite-size gem, once I collected the item I needed, I always remembered who I needed to take it back to. It’s all of the joys of Metroid without any of the aimless wandering because I forgot where I needed this new item/power-up.
The more jobs Turnip Boy does for the mayor, the more the story veers from wacky adventure into post-apocalypse, but it’s barely a few minutes from the big reveal of The Truth before the final boss fight and credits roll. Even if you missed some documents and need to keep playing, getting to the secret ending takes only a few minutes more, leading to an even bigger final boss fight.
All of this is great, by the way. This is the kind of game most people can finish in a day, but if you’re like me, it’s going to stick with you, and eventually you’ll get to the point of deciding it was so much fun, you’re ready to play it again.
There’s nothing to dislike this time. The graphics are adorable, the music is great, and the controls are intuitive enough that even the trickiest boss fights can be overcome within two or three attempts. If I absolutely had to go looking for something to nitpick, I would have liked the ability to skip cut scenes that I’ve already seen, but most are so short that it’s not a major issue.
Which means that finally, I get to conclude a review with an enthusiastic 5 star rating. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is the perfect diversion between bigger games, or even to use as a break from those AAA Live Services when they just get too overwhelming with their demands on your time. As an added bonus, it’s priced low enough that you don’t have to feel bad for buying it, even if you buy it on every platform you own. Go on, treat yourself, they deserve it.
As for who I’d recommend it for, I’d say EVERYONE. It’s a gem that reminds me why I love gaming. This is just a fun adventure with a wild story and enough variety spread across its levels that it always feels fresh and exciting. The only folks I can think of who wouldn’t like that are already dead.
How’s that for a ringing endorsement? =^p