Stop, you’re violating the law! Or you could be if you’re thinking about picking up a copy of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion by Snoozy Kazoo and Graffiti Games. In this indie game gone viral, you play as a spunky turnip who’s in deep with the local government of Veggeville for not paying property taxes. This starts you on a quest to pay off your debt to Mayor Onion in the dreaded role as his assistant. It’s your job to tear through every document in town, attempt to pay off your debt, and fulfill the proverbial shoes of your ancestors. What will you uncover when you till the soils of the town’s history?
I stumbled upon this game thanks to some clever pre-launch marketing from Snoozy Kazoo on TikTok. I eagerly joined their discord community and pre-ordered the game on Steam. Though the first time I played the game was at launch in April of 2021, it’s a game that I’ve fondly come back to and noodle around in.
The whimsical soundtrack alone is worth checking out. But what really solidifies its replayability is getting to play as a smarmy little turnip that collects hats and lays ruin to any piece of paper Turnip comes in contact with. You also get to interact with a wholesome cast of characters that I encourage you to actually talk to. Honestly, if you’re reading this and already have the game but haven’t spoken to every single character, go boot it up and chat up every fruit and veggie in town. Each character is ripe with rich personalities, dreams, relationships, and arguably the best puns. You’ve probably realized it by now (If you haven’t, read harder,) but I like my puns. If you’re an achievement hunter like myself, it’s useful to know that talking to everyone does also aid you in your quest to 100% the game.
To even further encourage replayability, there are multiple endings, post-game DLC (Sunset Station), and mini-secrets you missed during an initial playthrough. For speedrunners, there’s also a healthy community within the discord (Which I definitely recommend checking out) and on speedrun.com. It’s a fun place for criminals to gather, hear about new merch that drops, get advice when you’re stuck and get yelled at for not petting the tangerine dog. Please, pet the tangerine dog.
I don’t want to get into too much detail about Sunset Station, but I will say that it’s a fun and worthwhile addition. On top of adding a few more characters, enemies, and achievements (if that’s what you’re into), it includes daily challenges and leaderboards to test your turnip fighting skills. To be frank, it’s addicting. Plus, you can earn more hats! The 15 you get throughout the base game are not enough.
As much as I am a turnip boy fan and proud of it, there are a few things to touch on that weren’t my favorite. The controls were weird for me to get used to. You’ll eventually get the hang of it, but if you’re not an elite gamer that can adapt to all settings, it can trip you up from time to time–and not just in the intentional way where you actually trip to go faster in-game. There’s also a point in the story where some characters are introduced but not fully hashed out. In the spirit of keeping this spoiler-free, I’m not going to get into it, but I was a little bummed we don’t get to see more of them or get closure about their lore. Perhaps it’s on the docket for the future? Only time (and Snoozy Kazoo) will tell. Either way, these are small points and nothing that should keep you from playing the game.
My final thoughts? It’s a good game. A great game, even. It stands out, makes its mark, and keeps on giving. I’d recommend it to anyone that likes cozy games and gratuitously humorous dialog and quips.