If you’re in charge of the weekly shop, you may have come across boxes of wonky veg – oddly proportioned vegetables that supermarkets once snobbishly shunned. Presumably, it was believed that the vegetable buying public wouldn’t want to eat crooked carrots and peculiar-looking parsnips.
The cast of this top-down action-adventure wouldn‘t look out of place in a ‘wonky veg box’ being a mixture of bipedal fruit and veg with goofy attributes. Like a phallus-shaped carrot, they have the capacity to amuse – this is one of the daftest games of recent times, even if it is meme orientated.
Essentially, this is a vegetable-filled take on Zelda: A Link to the Past with the titular Turnip Boy – fresh from being shaken down by the IRS for tax evasion, following the erection of a new greenhouse – traveling around a grass-covered overworld, jabbing enemies with a sword, rolling bombs to solve puzzles, and diving into underground dungeon areas. Every dungeon ends with a boss encounter, which usually entails proficient use of a newly acquired skill.
Everything here is on a far smaller scale than one of Link’s adventures, making for a considerably condensed experience. The overworld, parts of which are fenced off initially, only takes a few minutes to stroll through in its entirety. The dungeons, meanwhile – if you can call them that, considering one is merely a barn – only span a dozen or so screens.
Bosses become tougher as things progress, but this isn’t entirely at the hand of masterful difficulty scaling – swapping through items, via LB/RB, can be cumbersome when in a pinch.
Accessibility options are present for those struggling with the tricker later sections, including God Mode. It’s clear developer Snoozy Kazoo wanted everyone to see the story through to the end.
Not that it’ll take long. This is a fleeting experience, taking around 2-3 hours to beat. Our grand total stood at just under 4 hours, which included tackling the end-game features – an Adventure Time-style infinite dungeon train with randomisers, and the chance to discover collectible hats.
One running joke is that Turnip Boy is fixated on ripping up valuable documents, whether they are housing deeds or the very book that taught the vegetable community to talk. Chances are you’ll miss some of these and need to return to face the ‘true’ final boss.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion would have benefitted from a few more ideas to enrich its puzzle-solving slant, but even so, its quirky humour and likeable oddball cast are enough to maintain your interest from start to finish. It’s wonky in all the right places.
Snoozy Kazoo’s Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is out now on Xbox Game Pass. It first launched on Switch and PC in 2021.