In video games, many protagonists are given free reign to be a public nuiscense towards any innocent folk unlucky enough to cross their path. Anyone who has played a Legend of Zelda game will probably have fond memoires of barging into a citizen's house and smashing their pottery in search of Rupees and other miscellaneous goodies. However, one crime that's taken dead seriously in any video game world is tax evasion. Even villains like the Clown Prince of Crime refuse to tangle with the IRS. But sometimes you get that one rebel who's willing to take on the tax man and, consequentially, the government. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is the tale of one of those renegades.
Turnip Boy, the titular protagonist of this tale, has been a very naughty turnip. He's refused to pay the taxes on his greenhouse home and it's now the property of Mayor Onion! Now Turnip Boy has an epic quest to pay back his debt to Mayor Onion. However, the other veggie folks that Turnip Boy meets also have their own complaints about Mayor Onion and his exuberant taxes. Perhaps a revolution against a corrupt government is in the cards for Turnip Boy? At least, in the full version of the game. In this version of the demo, all Turnip Boy gets to do is clear out the first dungeon, an old building designated to be Mayor Onion's office.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion plays like a simplified version of the top-down Legend of Zelda games. Players control Turnip Boy, having him run around his quaint forest town, chats with his fellow veggie folks, and occasionally being a menace to society. Turnip Boy will also get the chance to get his hands on a variety of tools that'll help him solve puzzles, fight enemies, and open up the world. In the demo, he can swipe a watering can that can be used to quickly grow plants, grow himself a sword for poking bad things, and a pair of boots that let him kick active boomblooms to blow up things from a distance. Switching between them can be a bit tricky at first, as you have to hold down C, choose an item with the arrow keys, and press Z while still holding C in order to choose a new item. Fortunately, you can use A and S to quickly change between your gear, although the game doesn't mention this at all.
As well as useful adventuring gear, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion has a couple types of collectables hidden in the world. Turnip Boy can adorn himself with a variety of cute hats that act as cosmetic changes. For the demo, Turnip Boy can wear a crown bequeathed by a popular live streamer, pop on a hard hat, or go bald and ditch his leaves. More important to the game, however, is a variety of documents Turnip Boy can rip up. By completing quests and exploring, Turnip Boy can come across a wide variety of documents, many of which make the dire mistake of mentioning taxes or being related to money. These acts of vandalism have no purpose in the demo, but the game's store page on Steam mentions that the game has multiple endings, and how many of the documents you tear up will play a role in which ending players get.
The preview for Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is about fifteen minutes long if it's completed 100%, and lets players explore two of the game's areas. In Weapon Woods, Turnip Boy has to dodge by vegetarian snails in order to find a plant that'll give him the Soil Sword after he waters it with the watering can he stole from a geriatric lemon. After that, Turnip Boy has to clear out a building set to be Mayor Onion's office that's become infested with pigs, including an especially big pig serving as the demo's boss. The demo doesn't have much in the way of side areas, but there are quite a few quests Turnip Boy can complete for documents to rip up, hats to wear, and a health extension to collect when the demo is just about over.
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is a charming Zelda-like, especially with an art style that makes Turnip Boy's streak of naughtiness all the more funny. Even with the small slice of gameplay shown, it's clear that the world and writing have a good amount of charm and plenty of potential. Hopefully Turnip Boy can get his taxes sorted out and overthrow the government when Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion releases in 2021 for Steam and itch.io.
TechRaptor previewed Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion on PC using a copy provided by the publisher. The game will be available sometime in 2021