Donut County Review

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Donut County is an indie game developed by Ben Esposito and published by Annapurna Interactive. The gameplay primarily consists of players playing as a hole in the ground which the player moves around the level, consuming objects to grow in size. The game is available for iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Android devices.

Donut County recently arrived to the Xbox Game Pass and I picked this up having heard good reviews and wanting a simple no stress indie game to play over the weekend. The main objective is simple enough, you play as the hole in the ground and go round consuming everything in the level, growing in size with every item consumed. 

Whilst this is fairly straightforward and poses the question as to whether you can actually make a full video game out of this, as you progress through the game a number of mechanics come into play as well as a some puzzle based scenarios.

Some of the mechanics are straightforward, like filling your hole with water and then manoeuvring the hole to drain the water via a bird. Then we have more advanced mechanics, such as the catapult for your hole which allows you to fire out certain objects from the hole, like a frog who can pull levers for you. Playing through the game and discovering these new mechanics meant that no two levels played the same. Some of the puzzles are actually quite difficult yet its these more difficult puzzles which are the most rewarding. 

Physics play a huge part in the gameplay too, with some items being too large to consume by going directly underneath them. You have to adjust the angle to tilt the object to be able to consume the object to grow your hole, allowing you to tackle larger objects like a car or even a donut shop. Whilst the whole premise of the game does sound a little wacky, it is actually a fun puzzle based game which does require a dose of logic. 

The game follows a bit of a strange narrative which was a little hard to follow at times, but it is a beautifully designed game which you can enjoy without feeling the need to fully invest in the story too closely. Whilst the game will only take no more than 2 hours to complete, it’s hard not to become immersed in the world of Donut County. The level design is well thought out and the brightly designed environments coupled with the array of residents that populate Donut County give this little indie game a chunk of character.

The Verdict

Donut County is a fun, stress-free game with a unique mechanic and whilst it is short in length, it is a well-polished game full of personality. 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

8/10

Donut County is available on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, iOS platforms and Android devices. Earlier this month it came available on the Xbox Game Pass.

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