Donut County
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Donut County gives players control of a hole in the ground and then asks them to swallow up everything in sight. The hole starts small but grows larger as it swallows up more of the scenery. For the most part, players simply move the hole around and watch things disappear down its depths, which is relaxing, but very easy. Some of the later levels introduce a few puzzle elements, but there’s nothing here that is going to tax anyone. That’s fine for players looking for a chill game to unwind with but also feels a bit like a missed opportunity as so much more could have been done with the concept.

Gameplay: Very easy to play and very relaxing, but don’t expect any sort of challenge.

Graphics: Simple, but quite charming.

Sound: The soundtrack is great and fits the style of the game

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Donut County

Developer: Ben Esposito | Publisher: Annapurna Interactive | Release Date: 2018 | Genre: Casual / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Donut County is a place inhabited by a range of anthropomorphic animals, including a raccoon named BK. He is ostensibly a donut shop employee tasked with delivering donuts but instead is somehow able to control a hole in the ground using his tablet. BK uses this hole to terrorize the inhabitants of Donut County until all of them end up nine hundred and ninety-nine feet below the ground. Thankfully, the Earth appears to be hollow, but since everyone is stuck there isn’t much to do except relay the stories of how BK used his holes to land them in their current predicament.

It’s ironic that a game all about controlling a deep hole that can swallow up anything in its path is lacking in depth, but that’s, unfortunately, the case with Donut County. That’s not to say that the game is not enjoyable, because it is, but it never offers much in the way of challenges or variation. Instead, each of the 20 plus levels features an area where BK can open a hole in the ground and then move it around to swallow up anything that will fit inside it. Keeping with the tradition of games like Katamari, the hole becomes larger the more things it consumes. This means that while initially it’s barely big enough to swallow up rocks and grass, eventually it can topple buildings. Unlike Katamari, though, there are no scores or timers, which makes for a very chill experience.

Donut County features very simple low poly visuals with a cell-shaded pastel look. This allows for a very charming looking game that is unlikely to tax any halfway decent computer. Unlike the large, open levels of games like Katamari, Donut County is split into single-screen levels that are viewed from mostly fixed camera angles. The levels range from the residences of the various characters to more exotic locations like the ranger station, a campground, beach, chicken barn, and lagoon. Each level is punctuated by some story sections where the characters bicker amongst each other while BK protests his innocence in the whole matter. Completing a level also unlocks new entries in the “Trashopedia” which is a list of humorous descriptions for the items that you have dropped down the hole.

From a technical standpoint, Donut County has a few preset graphic quality options and allows players to change the resolution. There’s some decent physics modeling, so watching stuff fall down the hole is quite satisfying, but there’s no way to fail a level. The game occasionally introduces new features like a catapult that can be used to launch things out of the hole, but it’s only in the last few levels that some puzzle elements are introduced.

These feature a couple of interesting ideas but are still simple enough that most players will be able to breeze through the whole game in one sitting. It is possible to replay levels, but without scores or challenges, there’s not much of a reason to do so.

The Donut County audio is decent enough thanks to a rather unique soundtrack filled with memorable tunes. All the speech in the game is also of the gibberish sounding variety, so players have to read the subtitles to find out what is being said. There’s plenty of humor in the interactions between the characters, but not everyone is going to find it funny. The dialogue definitely seems skewed more towards the younger generation, so older players will probably find the whole thing to be random and goofy. The easiest way to control Donut County is via mouse where the hole basically becomes your cursor. You simply move it below something smaller than the hole itself and watch it tumble down before moving on to other targets. The slow pace of the game means that reflexes are not really a requirement, except bizarrely enough in the boss fight that appears out of nowhere on the final level. It’s still pretty casual by most standards but might surprise players used to the pace of the preceding levels.

Donut County features an interesting idea and very relaxing gameplay, but it also feels like it could have been a lot more. It’s a great title for players who simply want something relaxing to finish before moving on to more challenging titles, but those looking for puzzles and innovation will be disappointed.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 3870
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4170 or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 640 or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+ (Mavericks)
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 3870
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.10+ (Yosemite)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4170 or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 640 or better
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

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