Turnip Boy Robs A Bank review – Full of beans (and assorted vegetables)

Turnip Boy Robs A Bank is sharp, funny and full of cute reasons to skip out on eating your greens.
Turnip Boy Robs A Bank key art

He’s heir to a mafia legacy, a perpetrator of white-collar crime, a gleeful destroyer of government documents and now… a bank robber? Whether shaking down bystanders or eliminating the (Peach) fuzz that rally to stop him, Turnip Boy Robs A Bank sees the eponymous vegetable grow into a cheerfully unrelenting criminal, whose endearing energy almost makes up for a rapidly growing rap sheet.

Wilfully disobedient at all times, Turnip Boy has upped the stakes since we last left off in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Just a couple of days after saving the world from the megalomaniacal Mayor Onion – whose unchecked ambition led to a confrontation of cosmic scale – Turnip Boy finds himself recruited by the very enemies his family once swore to destroy: The Pickled Gang.

In a heist that blends roguelite elements with all the colour, cheekiness and adventure you’d expect from a Snoozy Kazoo game, Turnip Boy and the Gang begin to ruthlessly tear through the Botanical Bank and its Onion bank manager, Stinky. But there’s more than meets the eye within the walls of this financial institution, and as you progress deeper into the vaults – unlocking new weapons, areas and upgrades – you’re poised to discover hidden truths and history that could send the veggie world reeling.

Screenshot of Turnip Boy Robs A Bank, featuring a discussion between Turnip Boy and Dilletini.
Screenshot: GamesHub

It’s a genuinely energetic and entertaining romp, with timed runs of the bank adding a level of urgency that was missing in the first game (unless you opted to attempt a speed-run).

Turnip Boy is as cute as ever, but the high point is definitely the writing. The dialogue is equal parts funny and functional, without ever feeling too exposition-heavy, and each new conversation feels like an inside joke that you’re suddenly part of. There are nods to pop culture that are funny, but don’t take you too far out of the world (though one line inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants did make me snort). It’s sharp, clever, and not too caught up in itself – the tone is acutely self-aware, without feeling self-indulgent.

When you’re playing as a sentient turnip, the need for everything to be grounded in reality feels secondary, but a matter-of-fact approach makes it feel grounded nonetheless. This is a game that does what it says on the tin, without much need for explanation. There’s a Pickle named Dilletini leading a vegetable mafia gang? Of course there is. Turnip Boy has to use C4 to blast through a bank vault? Naturally! Deep vault veggies might try to persuade you to worship their Mushroom cult god? Makes perfect sense, really.

Turnip Boy: Armed and dangerous

The days of Turnip Boy fending off attackers with a flimsy shovel are long gone – he’s in the big leagues now, and there are big weapons to match. After each timed run at the bank, Turnip Boy returns to headquarters to debrief with the Pickled Gang and prepare for the next onslaught – by way of a weapon closet, weapons research facility, upgrade shop and all the firepower a turnip could need.

Starting off with a basic sword and pistol, Turnip Boy has the opportunity to pick up new and unconventional weapons from fallen enemies on each run. One particular favourite is the Slap Bass – there’s something that just feels right about a turnip with shady mafia connections sending enemies to sleep with the fishes… by whacking them with a literal fish.

Screenshot of Turnip Boy Robs A Bank, wielding a weapon shaped like a fish.
Screenshot: GamesHub

But these weapons are an exercise in the old adage, “if you love something, set it free”, as they only last until you either bring them back to base for research, or fall in the field. Delving into the depths of the bank resulted in some really interesting options, but if you want to use these for a particular boss fight, you’d better get it right the first time. Get it wrong, and you’ll be left scouring the bank floor for a similar piece on your next run.

Submitting them for research is usually the best bet, as the more you source, the more ‘always ready’ weapons you unlock in your weapons closet – and these can be used on any run. While it can be hard to bid farewell to some of your earlier weapons, I do recommend researching as many as you can early on – it’s remarkable how much easier life feels when you’re wielding a grenade launcher.

There’s also a wide selection of upgrades you can purchase using your hard-earned (read: shamelessly stolen) funds, including increases to your melee strength, maximum health, money bag, and the amount of time you have per run. That last one was a lifesaver, because once you’re deep in the vaults it’s easy to forget you still have to make it all the way back up.

Finally, you have access to a selection of necessary items available via the dark web. Fans of Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion will remember Annie the Avocado, a scientist who helps Turnip Boy in the Forgotten Forest. Now. she’s back and facilitating dark web transactions for the mob, so presumably the science path wasn’t as lucrative as she’d hoped.

A screenshot of the Dark Web interface in Turnip Boy Robs A Bank
Image: Snoozy Kazoo / Graffiti Games

Even when decked out completely, combat isn’t a walk in the park. Playing on Nintendo Switch, the boss fights were harder than I anticipated, with a significant step up from the regular enemies you encounter on the bank floor. The challenge was welcome, though I eventually lowered the difficulty on a couple of the bigger fights just to handle waves of secondary enemies. It’s a manageable learning curve, but a curve nonetheless.

I still didn’t find myself using the dodge function much in combat, but I do appreciate that it feels much more necessary in this game. In Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, I tended to avoid dodging, largely because it ate up just a fraction too much time on recovery. Now, however, vault halls decked with lasers give you ample reason to use the feature – allowing you to live out your best Catherine Zeta-Jones Entrapment dreams.

Screenshot of Turnip Boy Robs A Bank
Image: Snoozy Kazoo / Graffiti Games

If you’re finding it too challenging, rest assured that Turnip Boy Robs A Bank is comprehensive in its accommodations, particularly in regards to combat. Changeable at any time in the accessibility menu, there are a selection of options that can make life a lot easier if required.

When you’re chased down by the fuzz at the end of a run, switching on Auto Aim can be a lifesaver. If you’re not used to handling multiple enemies coming at you at once, Aim Laser provides a little extra guidance. If you still find yourself needing extra support, there’s a damage level meter you can increase to make sure your attacks land hard.

There are also different colourway options for outlines around enemies and friendly characters, providing a better experience for those with red/green colour-blindness, and the return of God Mode if you’re really in a pinch (or just want to spend time exploring without risk).

Even the new App interface is a welcome inclusion, allowing you to check in on tasks, maps, inventory, wardrobe, and more all in one location. A personal favourite is the music tab, which allows you not only to choose from a selection of tracks, but also remove them from the playlist if you’re not vibing.

Screenshot of Turnip Boy Robs A Bank, featuring a screen where you can customise the music.
Screenshot: GamesHub

Of course, there’s one Turnip Boy must-have that I would be remiss not to mention: collectible hats. Yes, Turnip Boy’s millinery choices are back, with a selection ranging from construction hard-hat all the way through to a Frankenstein-esque bone. What more can I say? He’s an adorable little vegetable with the perfect shaped skull for hats. The real crime would be to rob us of that indulgence.

All in all, Turnip Boy Robs A Bank carries on the legacy of humour, charm and wackiness we first saw in Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, and builds on it with higher stakes, loftier goals and one heck of a heist. It’s sharp, challenging in new ways, and altogether makes you feel like robbing a bank is the most reasonable thing in the world for a turnip to do.

Whether you’re lured by a host of familiar food-based faces, or you’re a complete newcomer to the world that Snoozy Kazoo have created, it’s safe to say that this game will give you a taste for veggie rebellion – though perhaps not for a veggie dinner.

Four stars: ★★★

Turnip Boy Robs A Bank
Platforms: Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Snoozy Kazoo
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Release Date: 18 January 2024

Steph Panecasio is the Managing Editor of GamesHub. An award-winning culture and games journalist with an interest in all things spooky, she knows a lot about death but not enough about keeping her plants alive. Find her on all platforms as @StephPanecasio for ramblings about Lord of the Rings and her current WIP novel.