Being inspired by a parody Twitter account (see Wikipedia) is not the usual way games get made but with Donut County by Ben Esposito that’s exactly what happened. And it’s impressive that it all works too!
The story revolves around the town of Donut County which is being swallowed up by holes delivered by a cheeky raccoon who runs the local donut shop. The story plays out across a number of levels which have you taking part in the hole based destruction while teaching you who the real culprit is. The most immediate comparison I could make about Donut County is that it’s like Katamari Damacy but instead of rolling over progressively larger objects you’re having progressively larger objects falling into a “mobile hole” until there is no more.
The levels themselves aren’t terribly challenging but there are a couple of puzzle elements thrown in that require some thought to complete. The game is very forgiving in that respect and even though not everything may be clear at first, trial and error can often reveal the answer and there’s no impact on restarting a level either. On the Xbox version there’s a few achievements tucked in there too for the more adventurous players who want to test their skills out further on the levels. Some you may achieve through your own play and others just give you an excuse to play again!
All in all it’s a couple of hours from start to finish which may not seem like much but I think it works well here simply by avoiding any unnecessary padding. Due to the game’s concept origins the developer made a smart move to not push their luck and keep the game focused on what it does. The game has a lot of charm to it with its colourful graphics and chill audio. The physics in the game do a good job of handling the numerous falling objects and the developer wasn’t afraid to stack things up in levels so that you could see what happens which I appreciated. I do like the gibberish speak the characters use – it seems they don’t say actual words during cutscenes but it’s so close phonetically that I’ve been convinced sometimes they do.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with Donut Country. It’s short and sweet so it’s much like how I have a tea or coffee where I can enjoy the whole experience without it going cold before I reach the end. In this case that is perfectly fine for me. 🙂
Donut County is out now on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. Played on an Xbox Series X via Game Pass.