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Turnip Boy Robs a Bank review

 Turnip Boy from Turnip Boy Robs a Bank.
Turnip Boy from Turnip Boy Robs a Bank.

Need to Know

What is it? A veggie-filled roguelite full of quirky internet humour.
Release date January 18, 2024
Expect to pay Unknown
Developer Snoozy Kazoo
Publisher Graffiti Games
Reviewed on Nvidia GeForce RTX3070, AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, 32GB RAM
Steam Deck TBA
Link Official site

You know that scene at the end of the Scott Pilgrim movie where he's having to do the whole Chaos Theatre shtick a second time, breezing through security with just a couple of punches and some hurtful words? It was kinda badass, and that's how I felt after a couple of hours into Turnip Boy Robs a Bank. Though instead of a morally questionable 23-year-old Canadian, I'm a morally questionable root vegetable.

It's not my first adventure with this crime-committing turnip—developer Snoozy Kazoo first debuted the bulbous boy back in 2021's Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, an entirely-too-short old school Legend of Zelda-esque adventure. This time, the delinquency has been cranked up to whole-ass bank robbery and its genre swapped out to a roguelite.

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank's gameplay loop is nice and simple—set up in the hideaway, go to the bank, shake a few hostages down for cash, fire a few bullets at the enemies dotted around and loot whatever I can. Elevators around the map will randomly pull from a pool of predetermined rooms, and I can usually get a feel for where I'm gonna end up based on what the elevator doors look like. One might lead to an office with a couple of safes to laser at, while another puts me in a strange room where I can gamble money for better weapons.

The pool of rooms is, admittedly, quite small. Each individual room's layout is static throughout the game, with the variation coming from better rewards and more difficult enemies standing in my way to get to that loot. Sure, it helped the whole "get in and out as fast as possible" mentality that I'm sure comes with robbing a bank, but I wish there had been more variety and motivation for me to explore rather than immediately beelining for the good stuff.

Turnip Boy obtaining Exposure Bucks. Unsurprisingly, they're worth nothing.
Turnip Boy obtaining Exposure Bucks. Unsurprisingly, they're worth nothing.

Each run works off a timer which, once it runs out, sends hordes of enemies my way until I can find my way back to the hideaway with my spoils. The cash I earn from each run can be put towards purchasing upgrades for better health, damage, more time on the clock, or even a fun lil' hat. Oh, and the Dark Web too. Can't forget the Dark Web. I'm not given all the tools I need to be able to loot everything straight away—safes need a laser pointer and larger vaults need a nice brick of C4 on them, which I can nab from the more unseemly corners of the internet.

Outside of the first hour or so, I basically never struggled for cash, so progression ended up being pretty damn fast. It makes sense for a game that clocks in at around five hours in total, but as a result things got a little too easy too quickly. That being said, boss battles on the game's "B" difficulty (which just means tougher enemies) gave me a run for my money, leaving me dodging tons of trash enemy projectiles while trying to dish out damage of my own to the boss. It was the perfect challenge level for me personally, though the game does also offer an "A" difficulty for a more casual experience.

Un-beet-able

When it came to taking down enemies and bosses, any fatigue I may have felt from the monotony of slashing at the same enemy in the same location for the tenth time came from Turnip Boy Robs a Bank's immaculate weapon variety. The weapon pool is split into melee and ranged weapons—picking up dropped artillery from enemies can be taken back to the hideaway to sacrifice for research and better base weapons, but all of the fun came from whatever weaponry the bank's foes were carrying.

My personal favourites came from a conch shell that shot out notes, and a frog gun that paired beautifully with a frog hat I'd picked up from the game's numerous side quests. Even when I had a weapon I really liked, I was willing to throw it away for a minute or two just to play around with whatever new munition had dropped at my stubby little turnip feet. On the occasion I died during a run it wasn't the loss of my loot and money that bummed me out, but knowing I'd have to hunt around for my favourite weapons once more.

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank

The goofy equipment choices lean heavily on Turnip Boy's preferred brand of internet humour, something I'm ashamedly fond of. Those who find it a bit cringe probably won't pick up the surrealism Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is putting down, but I gelled really well with its penchant for the goofy and silly. It's present throughout its main story—which is peppered with callbacks to the previous game, but there's an optional catchup at the beginning if you haven't played it—and the side quests scattered throughout.

My favourite example came from a particular sidequest where a carrot questioning his morality over creating a horrific berry-people Frankenstein was looking for permission from an eggplant—whose speciality is thinking—to zap the thing to life. When I found my extra-special thinker, I was handed a slip of paper to take back with nothing but the word "based."

Like I said, definitely not for everyone but for a 28-year-old who teeters on the line of zoomer and millennial humour, it got more than a few laughs out of me throughout its short playtime.

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank

I do just wish there was more of Turnip Boy Robs a Bank to play. Roguelites and meta-progression pair perfectly with games that have more space to breathe, and I wish I'd had a little more time to sink into its systems. It's a helluva lot of fun, and while I love a bitesize adventure I find myself longing for a little more of this fella's antics. I completed the main story in five hours and I'm sure mopping up the remaining sidequests will take less than an hour of my time, which is a darn shame. It's still a great old time though, especially if you're looking for a quiet afternoon to kill.

I really hope Snoozy Kazoo takes Turnip Boy on some further adventures, because he deserves it. I think the developer has a neat formula going here, and it'd be great to see it applied to even more games in the future.