Donut County

Donut County of­fers a por­tal into a tale of rac­coon wrong­do­ing.

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - By Philippa Warr

Donut County is de­li­cious. A story-based physics puz­zler where you play BK; a rac­coon who os­ten­si­bly works as a donut store de­liv­ery dis­patcher. But in­stead of dis­patch­ing donuts he is dis­patch­ing holes (via a mo­bile game in­ter­face) in or­der to suck up ob­jects, peo­ple, and crea­tures be­cause a) rac­coons LOVE to col­lect trash and b) BK re­ally wants to level up his game and earn a sweet quad­copter. Af­ter he ends up at the bot­tom of one of his own holes with pretty much ev­ery­one else in town, BK’s bestie, Mira stages an in­ter­ven­tion. The game al­ter­nates be­tween cit­i­zens de­tail­ing their gripes about a Cer­tain Rac­coon Jerk and you play­ing BK’s mo­bile game, con­trol­ling the hole to en­act the events that led to the an­i­mal’s spe­cific com­plaint.

The puz­zling is light, but en­joy­ably so. You move the hole with your cur­sor, and if some­thing on the ground above it is small enough it’ll fall in. The more trash you col­lect, the big­ger the hole gets. In ad­di­tion to suck­ing things in, you can also oc­ca­sion­ally spit things back out, which is how you gob­ble up hard-to-reach morsels like pic­nick­ing birds and dan­gling bee­hives.

Ev­ery com­pleted sec­tion earns ex­pe­ri­ence for BK and pro­pels him to level ten (and an ex­pla­na­tion of what hap­pened to his beloved quad­copter).

The game-within-a-game idea works well, and it al­lows rel­a­tively slight game­play to feel in keep­ing with the idea of a daft but com­pul­sive and dam­ag­ing app. Lev­els are short and sweet, the cast is en­ter­tain­ing, and the story moves at a fair clip so, even though you can get through it in about an hour, it’s a jam-packed hour.

And that’s to say noth­ing of the Trashope­dia en­tries, which de­scribe ob­jects from a rac­coon point of view, or the flour­ishes which in­fuse the an­i­mals with per­son­al­ity. My fa­vorite was cut­ting to BK in the donut shop while he’s tex­ting with Mira. He’s on his back, feet wag­gling, and tap­ping a screen. It’s so “teen-loung­ing-on-abed-with-their-legs-up-the-wall”.

There was one dodgy mo­ment in terms of puz­zling, where I couldn’t get the so­lu­tion to a late-game sce­nario to reg­is­ter—a rare mo­ment of fussi­ness where I re­peated the only pos­si­ble ac­tion over and over un­til one time it worked. But it was a lone ir­ri­tant in a lovely ex­pe­ri­ence.

Short and sweet

In terms of ref­er­ence points, there’s some­thing of Lost Con­stel­la­tion (Finji’s Night in the Woods free sidestory) in here—it’s less about solv­ing puz­zles and more about in­ter­act­ing with a vivid world in an easy man­ner. The ab­sur­dity and fact you grow your col­lect­ing tool by pick­ing up a rag­tag as­sort­ment of ob­jects and wildlife has echoes of Kata­mari, which is no bad thing!

Donut County is an en­ter­tain­ing di­ver­sion; it’s sim­ple to play, and doesn’t out­stay its wel­come. Given so many games-as-a-ser­vices are vy­ing for your time, small gems like this are a valu­able and fi­nite source of re­lief.

It’s sim­ple to play, and doesn’t out­stay its wel­come

A place of busi­ness.

Ei­ther re­ply with the next line of di­a­logue or send a quack.

Start with the small grass blades and work up to the croc­o­dile.

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