Holed on, this is filled with fun

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS - @MrOs­carTK

Clean­ing can be be a very sat­is­fy­ing thing. And what’s cleaner than de­struc­tion? The best way to avoid get­ting your fur­ni­ture dirty at home is to have no fur­ni­ture at all. At least, that’s what I tell my mum when she comes over and all she has to sit on is stacks of this very same mag­a­zine, drink­ing tea from papier-mâché mugs. That’s part of the buzz that feels so good in Donut County. You re­mote con­trol a hole in the ground that you move around a screen, mak­ing physics ob­jects fall into it. The more things you feed your hole, the big­ger it gets, un­til you swal­low your main tar­get (who, gen­er­ally speak­ing in the story, has or­dered a “donut de­liv­ery”, not re­al­is­ing the true ter­ror of what that en­tails thanks to the machi­na­tions of BK, the dough­nut-dis­patch­ing rac­coon), and you leave the pre­vi­ously clut­tered en­vi­ron­ment sus­pi­ciously empty. (In case that all sounds trau­matic, the an­i­mals the hole swal­low end up sit­ting round a camp­fire at the bot­tom.)


Com­par­isons to Kata­mari Da­macy, where you play a Prince mak­ing stars by rolling things up into a ball of grow­ing sizes, are ob­vi­ous. Know­ing tips of the hat abound, such as in the game’s “Trashope­dia”. But where Kata­mari rel­ished in the in­ter­lock­ing en­vi­ron­ments and mad ar­cadey dash to grow big within a time limit, Donut County is ex­actly the op­po­site, giv­ing you small, con­tained stages that re­quire some light puz­zle work to clear, but mostly re­quire you to scoop up ev­ery­thing you can see.

Which doesn’t mean you’re do­ing the same thing over and over again. It’s vari­a­tion that makes the game worth stick­ing with as you fol­low through the light-but-fun tale of a county plagued by holes. Fre­quently lev­els add new lit­tle twists that al­ter how your hole works – maybe it be­comes filled with wa­ter that floats cer­tain ob­jects, spits out flames, or even gets a cat­a­pult up­grade that en­ables you to eject things you’ve sucked in.

Once you’ve solved ev­ery level, there’s lit­tle rea­son to go back to Donut County, which is a bit of a shame given a con­cept that could eas­ily lend it­self to joy­ful rep­e­ti­tion. You’ll likely beat the game in a cou­ple of hours, and lev­els quite fre­quently feel like they end just as they’re get­ting started. But it’s a joy while it lasts.

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