I remember hearing a lot about Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion when it came out in 2021, but I didn't have a clear understanding of what the game was about. All I knew was that the title made it sound incredible, and some of my friends said that they loved it.
Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered that:
A) Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion snuck its way onto mobile at some point, and
B) That it's a actually Zelda-esque action-adventure game.
I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe a text adventure or strategy game or even a puzzler? I certainly wasn't expecting action-adventure, but luckily it's a fun game all the same. Turnip Boy may or may not make it onto the list of the best adventure games for Android, but there's a lot to love in this charming, funny game.
The setup to Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is that you’ve already been caught dodging your taxes by Mayor Onion. As punishment, Mayor Onion repossesses Turnip Boy’s greenhouse as government property, and forces him to serve as the Mayor’s assistant and gofer.
The things Mayor Onion asks you to fetch are all a little odd, and he keeps mumbling about things all “going according to plan.” But Turnip Boy has as many brains in his non-skull as, well, an ordinary turnip has, so he doesn’t question it.
Off you go on your quest, then, seeking out rarities for Mayor Onion. The game plays very similarly to old top-down Zelda games played, so it’s a real nostalgia trip for seasoned gamers. Controlling Turnip Boy with a virtual d-pad, you hobble around the map on your puny little legs, swinging wildly at things with your Soil Sword even though you don’t actually have arms.
Combat is neither novel nor difficult, but it has a certain amount of simple charm to it. You just get within range of your target and tap your equipped item button to use it. Most small enemies go down in just a couple of hits, but bosses require a little more strategy to take down. The fun part is using your other items, like your watering can or magic planter, to solve environmental puzzles or gain the upper hand in boss battles.
The overall experience is simple but satisfying, and the port translates very well to mobile. The real reasons to play the game lie in the characters, soundtrack, story, and humorous writing. Talking with other fruits and vegetables is always a treat because you never know what hilarious nonsense they’re going to spout next.
The writing is especially good when it comes to the game’s achievements. Many achievements are collectible items, like books, flyers, or wanted posters that Turnip Boy needs to locate and destroy out of pure anarchic glee. A gifted copy of “FastBooks”? Rip that sucker to shreds. Your own tax bill? Throw those pieces to the wind. Your own wanted poster for the crime of tax evasion? Stomp it into the dirt.
These little pieces may seem like they’re just laughs, but some of them contain clues to the game’s story, which takes a bit of a dark turn after a certain point. Unraveling the central mystery is a key part of what makes Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion interesting, so make sure you seek out all of those collectibles. You can also complete side quests to get things like extra hats for Turnip Boy, which is just delightful.
There’s not much to complain about with Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion; it runs beautifully on my OnePlus 9, and will likely run well on just about any good phone, with a couple of mild exceptions. One, the game is short: It will probably only take most players two or three hours to complete, but keep in mind that the mobile version comes with some post-game content, so you’ll want to circle back and keep playing even after you beat the main story.
Two, and this might just be a glitch on my end, the game constantly bombards me with the achievements notification. Every time I log back in, even if I’m just picking back up where I left off 15 minutes ago (without having closed out the app), a slew of notifications will fly across the top of the screen recounting every trophy I’ve nabbed. I’m not sure if this has happened to other players, but it’s a mild annoyance that shouldn’t be there.
And the last thing that might catch players off guard is that Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is not free. The Play Store could do a better job of making this clear, but only the first "level" is free to play as a demo. After you beat the first boss, you're met with a literal pay wall when you go to progress to the next area of the game.
At $4.99, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion seems a little on the pricey side given its short run time. It’s a well-made game and I’m happy to support the developers, but $1.99-$2.49 would have been my preferred price point for a game of this length.
That being said, it's a well-made game that clearly had a lot of love put into it. It's a great choice for more casual players looking for a good, short jaunt that's full of humor and charm.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
Blaze a trail of petty criminal destruction on your path to the truth in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion.
Download from: Google Play Store
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A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.