BY: DEVONTE GRIFFITHS
Game: Donut County
Platform: PlayStation 4,Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Mac, iOS
Rating: E for Everyone
With an industry that usually involves epic stories and grand adventures across a vast landscape, it’s always pleasant to enjoy a game that dwells in a smaller scale. The creator of Donut County, Ben Esposito, takes advantage of this smaller scale to deliver a simple yet satisfying game with a unique premise.
The story revolves around a strange town full of bizarre animals that all end up stuck in a hole. The story is illustrated with the peculiar animals relaying their stories of how they ended up at the bottom of a giant hole. The story is very aware of how ridiculous it is and the dialogue is appropriately tongue-in-cheek to match the game’s silly tone. The characters are all quirky and charming despite how little focus each individual member of the cast gets. The main pair, Mira and BK, have hilarious banter between them that makes their friendship feel genuine.
The game is presented with intentionally simplistic designs. The simplicity makes everything comprehensible from a distance and allows for similar objects to be distinguished from one another. The characters are simple animals but still remain unique through specific visual quirks and the way they move. Despite taking place in a single town, the environments are
varied due to their focus on traveling to different areas like a common lawn, a donut shop, desert outskirts and so on.
The main gameplay has the player controlling a hole that starts small but gets bigger the more that objects get sucked into it. The levels are made so that it is not immediately obvious, what can or can’t be absorbed and what numerous puzzles that must be solved to absorb more objects. Though the gameplay loop is incredibly straightforward, the main entertainment comes from the immense joy you get from seeing your small hole that could only suck up coffee cups grow into an enormous hole that absorbs houses in mere seconds.
Though the game is fun throughout its whole runtime, the game can be beaten in a mere two hours. With such a novel premise, the game could’ve spent more time developing its core concept and expanding its cast of characters. Though it is a short game, Donut County is one of the best ways to spend an evening, unwinding and experiencing joy in its simplest form.