What is Donut County?
“Donut County” is a game the thrives in its uniqueness. The basics of “Donut County” are pretty simple. You control a hole in the ground that you can move around as you please. If you move the hole under an object that is small enough to fit through the hole it will fall into the hole. Each time an object falls into the hole, said hole gets larger. The goal is to get EVERYTHING into the hole. Yes, I mean everything. Animals, people, buildings, and boulders are just a few of the objects that you will drop into your ever growing hole in the earth.
The Win Condition
The win condition in this one is pretty straight forward. Complete the story of the game and drop lots of things into your massive hole in the earth. That pretty much sums it up. On to…
“Donut County” follows a whimsical narrative about a group of raccoons that run a “donut shop” in a small rural town. When asked to deliver a donut, the raccoons instead deliver a hole in the ground to the requested location. Dropping the customer and all of their belongings into the center of the Earth (Don’t worry in this game the Earth is hollow and not full of hot magma). The story, while simple, is actually quite engaging largely due to its humorous dialogue and the willingness to not take itself seriously.
The game delivers it story through conversations between characters both in person and via phone text in between levels. The levels are well designed for a more casual game such as this. Each stage will require some thinking as to how to drop all the objects into the hole but, the game never gets too complicated in its puzzles. This is fitting for a whimsical game such as this as it keeps the player engaged but relaxed. If you are looking for a brain-wrenching puzzle game then this probably is not for you but of you just want a goofy good time, the levels are perfectly made.
As you progress through the game you will encounter some new game mechanics that help to keep the game fresh. Such mechanics include catapulting objects back out of the hole, breeding rabbits, and filling the hole with waters. These mechanics will be used to help you grow your hole or interact with objects too large to drop in to the abyss.
“Donut County” is a quite short game and will likely only take you a couple hours to complete. This however is not a negative. Trying to extend the length would likely cause the game to feel repetitive. Instead you have the perfect amount of time to really explore the games simple mechanics but not get burnt out by them. It is rare that a company is willing to release a short game nowadays as there has become a sort of belief that “bigger is better” when it comes to games. Don’t get me wrong, a massive 40 hour epic game can be great, but sometimes I just want a short experience that I can get through in one night. I like to compare it to movies and television. You can get started on a 24 episode tv series that will last you weeks and 20+ hours, or you could watch a complete 2 hour movie that gives you the whole story in one night. More often than not I will reach for the movie, however there is still a time and place for those long television series. Hopefully, the game industry moves forward with more short experiences in the future as it is a much appreciated change of pace.
As you might of already guessed “Donut County” does not fit into our two current lists. And no, we cannot pull a “Monster Train,” and come up with a flimsy excuse to shoehorn “Donut County” into the horror list. As such we will be starting a new list known as “The Puzzle List.” This list will contain… Puzzle Games. Wow, bet you couldn’t have guessed that one. Rather than come up with a clear set of criteria for this list, like I have with others, I am just going to use my judgement as to what games belong here because let’s be honest, I just do whatever I want when it comes to placing games in these list. Yes, I am once again referring to you “Monster Train.”
In forming the puzzle List I looked back at the horror and fighting lists to see if any of the currently ranked games could also be placed into a puzzle list. In doing so I found just one game “Felix the Reaper.” So I compared “Felix the Reaper” and “Donut County” and found I much preferred the latter. As such the current puzzle list places “Donut County” in the number 1 spot and “Felix the Reaper” in the number 2 spot.
Platform: Xbox One. Time to Beat: 2 hours 2 minutes 13 seconds
How to Play
“Donut County” is currently available to play via Xbox Game Pass.
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