- Release date: 8/28/2018
- Developer: Annapurna Interactive
- Genre: Misc
- Content rating: ESRB Everyone
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As a kid, you’ve been certainly told not to play with food. And they even didn’t care how to keep from playing with these toy-like donuts, fruits or pies! Adult developers, probably tired of the prohibition, create more and more games with edible characters and environment.
Donut County is a physical arcade that takes you to the world where animals act like humans, physics can’t explain what’s happening, and what the authors consume is obviously no sweets. How about a raccoon controlling a hole in the ground that sucks everything (and everyone) 999 feet below, to the Donut County? And then getting everything they need from above there? Sounds pretty, but plays better.
With the size of about 330 MB, Donut County is not the game to stun with details. It’s drawn very schematically (though still as well as one author can afford), but it’s more about physics than about drawing.
And the physical part is done very well in this game. Each object you try to swallow into the hole has its own balance and behavior (if it’s alive). Yes, it means they’re all really 3D-modelled. You can easily grab flowers and small stones, but it gets harder with chairs, stairs, houses, with everything bigger with a more complicated mass distribution. And you’ll need to sweat to get a rattlesnake, a chicken, or a human.
The original incredible story starts when a raccoon with a magic hole talks to his friend Mira and suddenly gets her down into her hole. He gets prizes for his achievements, but It all really starts when he’s down in Donut County too. Now the new inhabitants need to venture out to get something from above. Luckily, a hole is a great tool for that, and your character will gladly use it. Level by level you explore different sites with homes and yards and completely suck them in.
Levels are interrupted with interludes full of funny dialogs, telling you what you are to steal down next. You need also to learn the built-in encyclopedia on the things you grab. Learn it: once you’ll need something you don’t know you’ll need yet.
It gets harder from task to task. Further levels will require combining items, so the resulting ones are easier to drag through the hole. Furthermore, you’ll need to return some of grabbed upon the ground to fulfill the metamorphosis and get something more suitable for dragging down underground.
The items can get damaged while stealing, so try to handle them carefully.
Easy as can be, it doesn’t involve even a quarter of what Sony controllers are capable of. You’ll only need a joystick and a button to move the home and answer messages. Maybe that’s good for mouse playing, but DUALSHOCK seems an excess for that style.
Anyway, with that simple control section Donut County manages to keep your attention; so does it actually need anything more sophisticated? You can as well download Donut County in Steam to your PC, or just connect a mouse to your PS4.
Replay Value 3/5
Once you’ve passed a level, it’s no more mystery to you. Though the hard ones make you do a lot of math, you’ll easily repass it if needed (unlike platformers, with an incredible combination of skill and luck necessary).
The good thing is that it has many levels, and each one offers its own challenge. So, while not highly replayable, the game is quite long playable.
After you download Donut County, the world will be divided into two. The life after this will fill you with something incomprehensible before. Maybe each time you’ll stumble you will think of raccoons living down there in Donut County. Or find a perfect explanation of missing things to your parents or spouse. And you may quote its dialogues and definition from an encyclopedia as well. For sure, it’s not letting go so easy.
Donut County is definitely a good game (though it literally sucks). That’s one of those paradoxes it’s all about.
Pros : Funny storyline
Greatly done physics
Lots of inventiveness required
Humor spreading throughout the game
Cons : Mediocre graphics
The humor may seem too cynical
Replay Value 3.0