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Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion Preview

I’ve got a confession to make - I’m feeling a little stuck. Not in a bad way, but more in the way that I physically cannot stop playing demos lately. Before the past few months, I honestly so rarely played them, or even early access games, preferring instead to wait until I could experience the fully realized version. Now that I’ve been playing more of them though, I’m starting to really enjoy getting a bite of the game ahead of time. And of all the demos I’ve played recently, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion really takes the (fruit) cake.

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (hereby referred to as Turnip Boy) is an action-adventure game made by Snoozy Kazoo. The game centers around Turnip Boy, whose disdain for taxes has left him in a bit of a pickle. To make it up to the government, you’ll need to run some errands for the mayor. Along the way, you’ll meet other plant-based neighbors, fight snails, and… facilitate some shady wood exports?

Turnip Boy follows a pattern pretty similar to older Zelda games, with a little hub town full of colorful characters, many of whom need a favor. New items will unlock new areas, each of which seems to have their own dungeon filled with puzzles and a boss fight. And most important is the silent root vegetable of a hero. This familiar set-up is a perfect platform for the totally original writing, as it grounds you enough to really enjoy all the moments that subvert the genre. I, in particular, owe an apology to a certain snail who may have met an untimely demise.

Trope subversion aside, the real star of this game is it’s witty and truly joy-inducing writing. I had a huge grin on my face the whole time I played. Right from the start, the adorable protagonist is also a jerk who shreds every paper given to him throughout the game - even when it’s someone else’s love letter. The side quests were all goofy and fun, and never felt like a boring chore I needed to do. The bright pixel art and pleasant soundtrack helped make the world feel fun, full, and lively.

The combat in Turnip Boy is pretty straightforward, and while not being the most exciting thing in the world, it also didn’t get in my way either. There are a few small issues that I think will be fixed before release, like the quick-swap button being a little difficult to notice, but overall it felt good. I personally think the more simple style is a good fit, as it feels (to me) to be more about figuring out the puzzles and how to use the items you’ve collected to defeat the boss, rather than engaging in ultra-tuned super-precise swordplay.

Turnip Boy has very easily become one of my most anticipated games. The writing, atmosphere, and rejection of all governmental processes had me thoroughly enjoying myself the whole time I played. I really hope people will also root for this game as I think it’s got a berry special feel to it, and I can tell the developers be-leaf in what they’ve made(I am not sorry for the puns).

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion launches April 2021 for PC (check it out on Steam here) and Nintendo Switch.

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