Game Review: Donut County

Donut County was developed by Ben Esposito and published by AnnaPurna Interactive in August 2018, now available on the PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It’s a delightful physics-based indie game where you move a hole in the ground and grow larger as your consume more of your surroundings.

To clarify, I purchased and played this game on my Switch.

I want to address the elephant in the room. Many have made comparisons to the Katamari franchise with its cutesy graphics, charming music, and “eat-em-up” game-play (expanding a hole by consuming more items vs. growing the ball that you roll by also consuming more items), but I feel that if you launch Donut County thinking it will be just like Katamari Damacy, you may be left feeling a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, Donut County is a lovely game, but making comparisons may set your expectations to an unfair level. The Katamari franchise has a bigger world and has a little room for customization when you create your own planet or stars based off what you collected.

Donut County‘s strengths lie in its story and the humor you see all along the way. You play as a raccoon named BK that works in a donut shop, playing a remote-controlled “hole”. He swallows up Donut County as he strives to earn points for this game. Of course, after he gets swallowed up too, he needs to face his friend Mira and the other residents. The characters are lovable and unique. A few personal favorites are brothers Salt and Pepper as well as the fireworks salesman and enthusiast, Morsel. In between levels, you also have text conversations between characters, and the dialogue is charming and realistic. While you cannot chose the response, you can add duck emojis! BK is a cheeky wise-guy, and I found myself cracking up at his responses.

“Dude!! I’m not gonna kiss your dirty chicken!!”
“I hate wiping my butt”

The gameplay is simple, even intuitive. For the Switch, you can use either the Joy-Con or touchscreen. After you master the first few levels, you encounter basic puzzle mechanics. One favorite of mine is using the catapult to launch a frog to eat the bees in the air and making soup before disgusting bugs fall in and ruin it! Some may not like its basic structure and lack of “variety”, but that’s where personal taste comes to play. There are twenty-four levels total and takes around two hours to complete, although this is not the type of game I feel would be enjoyable to consume in one sitting.

There’s also something called the Trashopedia that you can peruse after completing a level. While you have more than enough of an opportunity to collect everything, I still recommend checking out the descriptions at least once! It’s the level of detail that makes this game enjoyable. Of course, this applies to the colorful aesthetic and catchy beat.

Donut County is a solid game worth trying. While it’s not complex or overly detailed, I recommend it if you’re looking some something to dip into while your waiting for the bus or a meeting. It’s relaxing and pleasant, like enjoying a cup of coffee at that local cafe down the street.

Have you played Donut County? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this game! Let us know on Discord! Have a Garbage Day!

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