In The Last of Us Part II Remastered, you’ll experience a brutally emotional action game about how an endless and vicious cycle of violence can slowly chip away at your humanity. In Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, you’re going to play as a god-killer turnip who decides to join a gang and rob a bank.
That’s the beauty of having such a packed video game release calendar: multiple new titles can run the gamut from gravely serious to utterly ridiculous over the course of a couple of days.
If you can find a moment between new games like The Last of Us Part II Remastered and Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Snoozy Kazoo and Graffiti Games’ new indie title Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is well worth your time. A successor to 2021’s similarly comedic Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank drops the Zelda influence and goes for a top-down shooter roguelite full of intense fights and hearty chuckles. It’s short and sweet, and a great chaser to check out in-between some of the longer, more serious games populating early 2024’s game release calendar.
The above screenshot shows you how seriously you need to take Turnip Boy Robs a Bank’s premise. Somehow, in the day that’s passed since the first game, this world full of sentient fruits and vegetables has gone through an intense civil war, and most of the remaining money and power has been consolidated at the Botanical Bank, which is run by a rich piece of garlic named Stinky. It turns out that Turnip Boy’s dad, Don, was part of the Turnipchino Mafia, and his old rival, Dillitini, needs Turnip Boy’s help to rob the Bontanical Bank and bleed Stinky’s coffers dry.
In practice, this means stealing as much cash as possible from the bank within a time limit. Botanical Bank is split into four primary zones and four boss arenas. The basic layout of these areas is the same every time, but individual rooms behind doors in each area will change from run to run. Within the couple of cop-free minutes Turnip Boy has, you’ll want to maximize profits by shaking down as many people as possible, killing security guards for money, and robbing various artifacts, safes, and vaults.
There’s a wide variety of weapons for Turnip Boy to do this with, from a simple pistol to a giant crystal sword that can kill anything in one hit. Once the countdown hits zero, a nonstop flurry of cops will show up, and players will need to escape by returning to the truck they crashed into the bank with or finding a separate exit in each of the other areas. Using these illegally obtained proceeds, players can buy upgrades from a vendor at Dillitini’s hideout or on the dark web.
It’s an enthralling, if unoriginal roguelite loop. Each run, I found myself chuckling at some new enemy or character I met and completed an in-run quest for, like when I had to deliver fan art to an influencer, only for them to send me to pay that artist back in “exposure bucks.” These comedic touches can also emerge during gameplay. Instead of a dodge roll, Turnip Boy trips over himself, and the most memorable boss fight saw the enemy display poorly compressed TikTok videos of slime and soap on the edges of the screen as I fought them.
That shows a deeper commitment to comedy outside of just giving the game a funny name and leaving it at that. Turnip Boy Robs a Bank’s reliance on meme humor definitely won’t be for everyone, but I clicked with it and found it one of the funniest games I’ve played recently.
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank’s short length also ensured that it stayed funny the whole way through. I beat this game in about five hours, which is significantly shorter than the average roguelike’s runtime. I’m sure the premise would wear much more thin if hundreds of runs were required to master and complete this game, but by the time any part of the experience was feeling old, I’d unlock a new area and see the story progress in shocking and hilarious ways.
Beating Turnip Boy Robs a Bank in just under five hours also showed me that shorter roguelikes might be a good thing. I am a fan of this genre, but I’ll admit that its biggest downfall is when intentional repetition turns to boredom if the game can’t keep the experience fresh enough from run to run. See last year’s Synapse for an example of that.
With the rare exception of titles like Hades, most roguelikes give back diminishing returns of entertainment with each new run. Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, as well as December’s God of War Ragnarok: Valhalla DLC, were both on the shorter end of the roguelike runtime spectrum, but they found a sweet spot of ending things before they got too boring or repetitive.
By ending my experience on a high note rather than a low one, I’m much more likely to return to both someday rather than leave them behind forever because I got burnt out. Plus, Turnip Boy Robs a Bank just made me laugh a whole lot along the way, so it’s an indie game I believe I’ll remember fondly throughout the rest of the year and recommend to those looking for a good time between longer, more serious games.
Turnip Boy Robs A Bank is available now for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. It’s a day-one Xbox Game Pass release, so subscribers to that service have a good excuse to check it out.
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