top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

Turnip Boy Robs A Bank - The Taste Of Crime (Review)

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank

Released: January 19th, 2024

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Computer Enterainment

Systems: PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox X/S

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion getting a sequel, in any form, would be good news. The adorable original came out of nowhere to charm all who saw it, and a continuation is plenty welcome. Turnip Boy Robs a Bank isn’t just more of the same however - while its spirit remains, the body is very different.

Rather than continue Tax Evasion’s Zeldesque adventure track, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is a roguelite shooter in which the titular vegetable robs a bank, obviously. It’s great to see a sequel embrace an entirely different genre when it does so well, and this particular sequel rather nails it.

Like its predecessor, Robs a Bank is a breezy affair that won’t take a ton of hours to complete, something reflected in each burst of gameplay as Turnip Boy’s bank invasions only last for matters of minutes. 

The idea of a basic run is to crash into the bank, snatch as much loot as possible, and make it back to the van you rammed in with to get away. The longer you stay past the time allowance, the more enemies drop in on you until eventually Mr. Stinky - the bank’s nefarious owner - floods the place with lethal gas. Initial runs give you about a minute, but even fully upgrading your timer nets you a maximum of five.

While I felt I was being rushed at first, I soon came to appreciate the philosophy behind such a tight time limit. The bank’s various regions aren’t particularly huge and the layout never changes. After a few runs, the quick-paced smash n’ grab nature of proceedings really got its hooks into me and I had fun mentally plotting the course of each robbery.

Turnip Boy’s brevity is reflected in its other elements too. Despite there being plenty of items to spend your ill-earned money on, many of which are crucial to proceed, you’ll start looting cash at such a lucrative degree that grinding never threatens to be a problem. 

Similarly, permanent weapon upgrades are worked through at a decent clip - bringing temporary weapons back from the bank and trading them for XP unlocks default armaments that won’t be lost on death or run out of ammo. Like with cash purchases, the weapon trading system is far from ponderous and it won’t be long until you get really reliable default gear. 

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank has handled the transition across genres splendidly, with solid shooter combat and a satisfying amount of cash to nab, civilians to shake down, and valuables to smash out of their displays. The effortlessly cute Turnip Boy wields a wild variety of weapons against the cop-flavored goons of Mr. Stinky, able to enter the bank with two relatively mundane permanent weapons that can be traded for ammo-governed temporary ones discoverable inside. 

As one might expect, the more fleeting offense is the more exotic. Sadly you can’t keep the record launcher that fires vinyl buzzsaws forever, but it’s damn fun to have while it’s in hand. Other weird weapons include a conch shell that shoots colorful music notes, literal cherry bombs, and cactus SMGs. There’s also an assortment of melee weapons, such as a crayon, a multiple swords, and a soul-sucking scythe. 

Robs a Bank’s armory is packed with inventive stuff. It nails the joy of randomly grabbing exciting weird weaponry that makes many roguelites so rewarding. 

While the bank’s main map remains the same throughout runs, it offers a light measure of randomization with a number of elevators stationed around the establishment. These can take you to smaller environments predetermined before each infiltration and offer either big loot opportunities or special rooms featuring side characters with their own objectives and rewards. While the rooms you get are random, layouts still stay static. 

NPCs are all over the place, many of whom offer sidequests. Most of these are simple fetch quests or deliveries, but the dialog surrounding them is often quite funny and the rewards include many cosmetic hats. The hats alone make completion of side missions important, because hats are important. 

Everyone agrees with me that cosmetics are an important part of gameplay rather than disposable fluff, and this is evidenced in how far I’ve gone to collect hats in Turnip Boy Robs a Bank. Some of them are just fantastic, such as a small dog biting Turnip Boy’s head, or a hat so tall it extends all the way past the top of the screen. This is crucial gameplay to me. 

Getting further into the bank requires not just timer upgrades, but items purchased on the dark web. Between runs you can use the computer to order such things as C4 to open safes or boots that protect against floor damage. The general cycle of progress involves raiding the bank to get money to buy dark web gear to raid more of the bank. 

This cycle is interrupted a handful of times by boss battles gatekeeping sections of the bank. None of the bosses are particularly hard, especially if you roll in with a half decent gun, but they’re enjoyable enough to fight and they can be refought for access to their unique weapons.

Turnip Boy’s stand against timewasting shines through in every aspect of the game. At least until the last act, no run can be considered wasted - if you don’t progress the campaign, you can still make out with a ton of useful cash. Even if you die, you’ll keep half of your collected loot - it stings, but it’s still progress in a game already designed to keep progress moving forward in some way.

While swiftness is one of its biggest strengths, there are nonetheless times where I wish the game would’ve slowed down just a little. It burns through its own upgrades and rewards so quickly it starts running out of offerings before the end. I’m an impatient girl, I don’t like a game that screws around, and even I would have liked to spend more time with this. 

No matter how much I came to appreciate the fast-paced action, a lingering sense of feeling rushed never quite went away. 

Still, this is another one of those situations where the biggest complaint simply comes down to wanting more of a good thing. 

Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is a very good thing. Adorable, silly, and quite funny indeed, this roguelite might be a big genre shift from its predecessor but it’s just as lovable. It hurries itself along a bit too much, but the fast pace of gameplay and swift progress at least ensures it never gets dull. 

Plus it’s got hats.



bottom of page