MINABO – A walk through life Review

Game: MINABO – A walk through life
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, (Windows, & macOS) PS4 & PS5
Developers | Publishers: Devilish Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $14.99 | UK £13.20 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: April 28th, 2023

Review code used, with many thanks to Devilish Games.

Spanish developers and publishers Devilish Games released Minabo – a walk through life, a social simulation game where you walk the path of life as a turnip. At the same time, your turnip grows and thrives (or not) in its social relationships.

Be a Turnip

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Begin life as a turnip.

In this side-scrolling game, time goes by with every step your turnip takes. You’ll live life and learn and surround yourself with other turnips and interact with them to forge your personality.

Minabo is an unusual gaming experience as it’s more of a social sim than a game. You begin life as a turnip sprout buried in the ground. Once born and for the first year of life, the turnip crawls before it can walk, and to do so, you constantly have to press the B button.

You control the turnip from the moment it rises from the ground until its demise. However, the date of your turnip’s demise will depend on your ability to keep the turnip alive and its needs filled.

Fulfil Basic Needs

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Fulfil the turnips’ basic needs.

Your turnip can form basic relationships with the turnips around it; they can have friendships with other turnips or not, as some turnips are rather unfriendly. Also, they can have different relationships, like friends, best friends, or even romances.

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Friends with Dani

Every turnip you meet has three basic needs, physical contact, intimacy and belonging. These needs can be boosted by your turnip interacting with the other turnips.

So, for instance, when you’re a baby turnip, your turnip wants to feel loved by its family. You may want to make many friends when it’s a teenage turnip or not, as teenagers are hormonal and can be moody, much like in real life. In addition, when the turnip grows older, you might want to settle down, meet a particular forever turnip and hear the pitter-patter of baby turnips feet.

Form Relationships

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Turnip made an acquaintance.

You can completely ignore the other turnips you meet or bring them into your social circle to walk alongside you on your journey. Interacting with other turnips is pretty simple. First, you select them with the joystick and choose an action that affects one of their three basic needs and press the corresponding buttons.

Furthermore, fulfilling all their needs increases the turnip’s life expectancy, but it also decreases if you neglect them for too long. These same rules also apply to the turnips in your social circle, and if you want them to live long lives, you must fulfil all their needs as well.

Hats on Turnips

Minabo - a walk-through life LadiesGamers
earn hats

Along the way, you earn hats which do various things when placed on a turnips head. Do turnips have heads? Anyway, the hats give you bonuses for interactions with different traits that also grant or detract from your social interactions with the other turnips.

In a nutshell, your survival as a turnip largely depends on how well you balance the meters and your turnip’s needs. If you fail, your turnip dies, and all that’s left is a tombstone with its epitaph on it, and you try again.

Two Game Modes

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Death at 67 years old.

Minabo – a walk-through life has two game modes. Firstly we have the Mission mode, of which you must complete five of before playing the Free Life mode.

Furthermore, the 25 missions have various conditions you must meet before accessing the next mission. For example, you are asked to ensure the turnip lives past 60 years old and has three children or lives past 40 years old and has one romance in that lifetime. The missions don’t offer much challenge; the game is relatively simple. In Free life mode, as the name suggests, you can let your turnip lead whatever life you want.

Lacking Heart and Soul

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
This turnip is Indifferent to my actions.

I like the concept of Minabo – a walk-through life and its premise sure is unique. I enjoyed the beginning missions, but after a while, it turns into a button-pressing fest which gets tedious, and fast.

Let me elaborate on that. Your turnip walks along and interacts with others; these turnips are either receptive or not to your actions. This makes it hit or miss if a turnips physical contact, intimacy, and belonging levels increase or decrease, there is no skill involved whatsoever, and it all feels kind of random, and you don’t have control over it; it is all out of your hands.

Now I understand that the developers are trying to represent life and our social interactions with others, but the game has no soul, heart, or anything to hook the player. A game like this needs a central character to which the player can relate, so you get involved and feel emotions when life’s ups and downs happen to that character. But, unfortunately, being a turnip is something I can’t relate to, no matter how good my imagination is.

Ultimately, I didn’t feel attached to the turnip; I couldn’t have cared less if it had survived, lived a happy or sad life or shrivelled up and died.

Visuals and Controls

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
I made a new friend

On a positive note, I do like the beautiful hand-drawn graphics and the way the seasons change in the turnip’s surroundings as it moves through life. I love how the leaves fall off the trees, and the seasons are well represented with the changing colours.

Meanwhile, the game’s soundtrack is great to listen to as the music is lovely; unfortunately, it does repeat, which makes it repetitive.

Controls on the Nintendo Switch are simple since it is only the joystick and a few buttons to press to interact with the turnips around you. However, the decision to have the player constantly press the B button to make the turnip move is one I will never understand. Why can we not hold the button in instead of having to keep pressing it? Apart from getting repetitive strain injury from the action, I don’t see any advantage to using that button or any comfort for the player.

MINABO - A Walk through life LadiesGamers
Walking with Mum and Dad Turnip


Overall I’m sure if you have stayed reading this review until now, you will have surmised that I have mixed feelings about Minabo – a walk through life. While I applaud the developers for trying something different from every other game genre out there, I think choosing a nondescript vegetable like a turnip to convey the feelings it is meant to have to the player was the wrong choice.

Moreover, the game may have lovely music and beautiful graphics, but it’s not enough to make the gameplay interesting and make you want to continue playing.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure  I'm not sure

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