Don’t Tax Me, Bro is an endless 2D Runner set somewhere in Eastern Europe. The plot of the title is right in its name and upon starting it up are immediately on the run from two officers all too determined to get Putin his due. One of the main things that separate this from other games of the genre is the ability to move either to the left or the right at will instead of automatically running forwards. There is little reason one would want to run to the left and catch the fist of a cop for making him run all across town, though it does offer more control over your attempts to jump over or avoid the many hazards that await you.
Scattered throughout the level are a plethora of coins to collect if you have enough distance between you and the coppers to risk getting beat for a few dollars. Run all you want but the law always wins in the end, and you will have to eventually pay your taxes as the level is infinite, only ending when you get captured by your pursuers. We do get to keep the loose change we pick up during the level, and that can quickly add up to over one thousand dollars, so getting mauled by that dog while you tried jumping over a car may actually be worthwhile. With said cash, we can buy new clothes and characters to play as. It is purely cosmetic and doesn’t change the gameplay in the slightest but who doesn’t want to be wearing a pimp suit while running away from the Russian version of the IRS.
Collect over $20k in ill-gotten gains and you will unlock the second, more difficult stage. Careful though, as you do not purchase that level and going below that set amount of money will cause it to be inaccessible again. I was not all too thrilled to discover that the hard way when I spent all I had on said pimp suit. Aside from jumping, you can also make use of the several power-ups that occasionally spawn in to aid you in your flawless plan of tax evasion. You’ll have access to pipe bombs, vacuum cleaners to suck up all nearby coins, coffee to run faster, and a cellphone to call in some fellow Slavs to run beside you as a buffer-zone between you and the cops. The game doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest and is all pretty cheeki.
Both cops that are always on your heels are not immune to the stage’s hazards. They can fall down a sewer grate, get a face full of bird while trying to make a jump or get caught in an explosion. At most this will get you five seconds of breathing room before they once again give chase and nearly run you over in the car they used to catch up to you again. The boys in blue are very dedicated to their cause. Unfortunately, you are not. Take one hit and you are out, be it a nudge from said copper or a train running you over. It is all randomly generated so even if you are playing the same level, it will take much more time for repetition to set in. The music really helps in this regard too. It is both catchy and blends in rather well with the gameplay allowing it to not get annoying the more you hear it.
If you have someone in your vicinity up to play a game about evading taxes, you can play local coop in where one of you take on the role of the cops and attempts to catch the other. This title is simple enough to make this mode be a good party game for a quick laugh. Don’t Tax Me, Bro will only last for a few hours or less if you don’t try to unlock all the cosmetics and you’ll see most of what it has to offer on your first run. The second stage does offer up a new locale and unique hazards such as elevators and people throwing explosives at you, though the fact that you must retain over $20k to play it is an odd decision that disincentivizes spending money. As of this review, the leaderboards are not yet live, though they are to be added later on, which should help give it additional playtime value. Don’t Tax Me Bro is loud, its cheap and its a decent amount of fun should you be in the market for a small pick up and play title.