- Developer: Ben Esposito
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Release Date: 18/12/2018
- Price: £10.99 / $12.99
- Review copy was self provided
In Donut County, you deliver donuts, and by donuts I mean cartoon sinkholes that grow as they feed on rubbish and townspeople alike. BK the raccoon, is the source of all this leading to some tension with his friend Mira.
I fell into the abyss and the abyss fell back into me
Gameplay is quite simple, you move the hole and things fall in it. Sometimes it takes a little wiggling, otherwise you need to find more things to grow larger and get back to it. Putting two rabbits in a hole is definitely one way to expand your potential. The levels have some little obstacles here and there such as needing a bird to drink water out of you, or absorbing fire to set off fireworks. Further in the game you’ll unlock a catapult which shoots certain objects you’ve obtained back out of the hole. There is one boss fight at the end but largely the gameplay is pretty basic, with some easy puzzles throughout.
In between each level it shoots back to the present, where Mira has smashed BK’s sweet quadcopter that he worked hard to earn. With some light hearted dialogue he tries to defend his noble actions of absorbing the town, before segueing into the next level. The writing has a modern cheek to it so some mighn’t appreciate that charm.
At the end of a level you’ll gain new entries in the trash-o-pedia which feature little commentary on objects. The saddest perhaps was “Do not try to wash cotton candy in the pool. This tip will save your life.”
Donut County has a simplistic 3D style. Mira has only a nose on her face, while other character’s are shaped quite distinctly. Most characters have some animation to them though raccoons freeze when heading into the hole. Overall levels give a pastel feel even if the colours are darker. While I say it’s simplistic everything is still distinguishable and it looks nice. Like a perfect toybox all for the taking.
It has computerised sounds in place of speaking, which only sounds recognisable when they’re laughing. The sounds effects of things falling into the hole, and the squish when it grows are pretty satisfying. The soundtrack varies per level but it’s mostly electronic, though some have other instruments included. My favourite is the tune that plays in the hallways of Racoon H.Q.
I had no issues with the game beyond the joy-cons own finicky joysticks (there is a sensitivity option in game). It works perfectly well as both a handheld game and TV experience.
Raccoons Can’t Be Trusted
My little sister played with it first, and I did some tricky parts for her. She really liked it, and it definitely seems like a good game for children. Her playthrough ran for nearly four hours. When I played myself, having seen the whole game, I beat it in an hour and a half. It can be quite short if you’re fast with it, but this is the kind of game you keep on so visitors and family members can try it themselves.
- Soothing gameplay
- Great choice to keep kids occupied for a couple of hours
- Silly dialogue
- Just too short
- Not a challenging puzzle game
- Some later levels are still shorter and simpler than the rest
I’d call it a stretch to say it’s a puzzle game, as there are only a few moments needing a pause in thought. Unfortunately the game’s too short to feel completely satisfying. Yet absorbing everything into the abyss brings a cathartic release.