Reviewed on PC
Short and sweet. That would’ve been my “holey” unoriginal subtitle for this review. But, that would’ve been a sign of creative poverty this game doesn’t deserve. So I went with something equally corny.
Donut County is a short colourful game set in, you’ve guessed it, Donut County. It’s a puzzle game perfect to end a stressful day or week.
Story: A raccoon and his phone
Donut County starts when Mira, one of the two main characters in the game, is tired because she’s been honked awake by a loud person in the street honking away. This isn’t the start of Untitled Goose Game, but the beginning of a donut mystery. When Mira is texting her boss, a raccoon running a donut shop, telling him how she had no sleep thanks to this honking person in the neighbourhood the raccoon named BK tells her he’ll make sure the honking goes away.
We then move on in time and end up a few weeks later, when Mira and BK are fighting in some kind of underground cave. Mira had smashed BK’s drone, a Quadcopter, and obviously BK is livid. We then zoom out and we see the residents of Donut County sitting around a campfire. This is where our journey begins, to find out how we’ve ended up this far down the surface.. and more importantly how we’re going to get out!
The story takes us along a mobile game addiction, the plans of the Trash King and a cast of great characters.
Gameplay: Holing it in
The gameplay of Donut County exists of solving puzzles by controlling a hole in the ground that grows the more it consumes. Fun and inventive puzzles levels are alternated with pieces of story. Each level is introduced by a character in the story explaining how they ended up in the situation they are in now. Puzzles includes silly things like consuming a frog and catapulting it to catch bees or swallowing entire houses with your hole. Thanks to the short and, mostly, well designed levels the game never outstays its welcome and keeps engaging from start to end. Which, to be fair, isn’t that difficult as the game is less than two hours long. Some levels did feel too easy, most of them were on the easy side. This led to some levels that left me feeling ”Is this it?”. Luckily it was quickly followed up by a fun cutscene so I quickly forgot about it.
”The story is full of holes.” – BK
Your goal in the game is to reach level 10 in a mobile game. Level 10 grants the player access to a Quadcopter. Yes, the Quadcopter BK wanted so much. The moment you reach level 10 the game returns to present day and all stories of the residents of Donut County have been told. This is when you’re nearing the end of the game and can start finding a way out.
Trashopedia & the raccoon perspective
Something which makes this game click is the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The jokes are often corny and the conversations happening at the campfire often put a smile on my face. Seeing BK not even pretend to be anything but a completely unreliable raccoon makes for hilarious conversations. The trashopedia, where you log stuff which you’ve devoured with your gaping holes in the ground, tries to explain items that seem like trash to raccoons. Truly a raccoons perepective.
It’s a funny little addition to the game, to break the pace as the game does move quite quick. It’s an adventure in full speed never taking the players time for granted.
Though, I do think the game could’ve.. No. Should’ve been longer. Some extra levels and more engaging and difficult puzzles wouldn’t have hurt the game at all.
It’s cute. It’s endearing and somewhat simple.
If you are looking for a short, relaxing and visually pleasing game then Donut County is one to try. The humour is on point and the short intermezzo’s of story between levels means both story and gameplay never overstay their welcome. The game isn’t exactly a long affair though, around an hour and 45 minutes long. So, want something short and refreshing to play between the longer games or service titles you’ve been playing lately? Give Donut County a try.