Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Developer: Snoozy Kazoo
When I wrote a few weeks ago that Turnip Boy Robs a Bank was one of my most anticipated game of the year, I wasn’t being ironic or anything: its predecessor, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, was my favourite game of 2021, so I’ve practically been counting down the days until its release.
Now that it’s here, though, I can’t help but feel a tiny bit disappointed. While Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is certainly enjoyable (and I’ll explain why it’s still worth playing in a moment), it’s also fairly different from Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Where that game was an old-school RPG that crammed a tonne of amazing, hilarious ideas into a fairly short runtime, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is a roguelike that lacks its predecessor’s focus and sense of purpose. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion had more than enough momentum to carry it easily to the end of its two-hour runtime; Turnip Boy Robs a Bank has enough content to keep you playing for two or three times as long, more or less, but it never quite hooked me the same was as the first game.
Obviously, it could be way, way worse. Just yesterday I wrote about a roguelike that made me dread starting a new run after my very first go, whereas I never reached that point in Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, so I’m not going to pretend I hated it or anything.
It helps, of course, that even if Turnip Boy Robs a Bank ditches the previous game’s genre, it doesn’t ditch its sense of humour. Much like its predecessor, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank features plenty of moments of laugh out loud hilarity, with a scenario and dialogue that are every bit as silly as the first game. It turns out you can wring a surprising amount of laughs from a world where the overthrow of the previous game’s dictator, Mayor Onion, has basically led to civil war – though seeing as the previous game possibly took place in a post-apocalyptic future where vegetables had become sentient, maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising?
What’s more, some of that humour also makes its way into the gameplay, which helps the game immeasurably. You literally shake down innocent bystanders for money, lifting them up and watching as coins and dollar bills go flying out of their pockets. You pick up crazy weapons, like fish that you can use as swords, and cactuses that shoot lasers (or, my favourite, the firework gun which, obviously, shoots fireworks). There are power-ups like explodings bags of milk and steroids, both of which help make successive runs go much more smoothly.
Which is why, ultimately, even if I was disappointed by Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, it was only a minor disappointment, all things considered. It may not reach the highs of the previous Turnip Boy game, but it’s still fun in its own right, and it makes me eager to see what shenanigans Turnip Boy gets up to next (and what genres he’ll get up to them in).
Graffiti Games provided us with a Turnip Boy Robs a Bank PC code for review purposes.