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Backlog Review | Donut County

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Do you enjoy eating donuts and dropping things down holes?! Well Donut County may just be the game for you!!

Unique is my middle name

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One of my favorite things lately is finding unique and interesting games while wading through what seems like the endless stream of indie titles released everyday on every platform in the known universe and beyond. From retro inspired 2D platformers to emotional and thought provoking “walking simulators” there’s no shortage of fantastic games to fill up your hard drive.

What drew me to Donut County though was it’s simple concept, goofy and weird characters and the fact that it obviously drew inspirations from the king of all unique, weird and addicting things, Katamari Damacy and it brethren.

One Raccoon to Rule Them All

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Developed by Ben Esposito, Donut County is about a mischievous raccoon named BK who works at a donut shop with his sassy and no nonsense friend Mira. Like all proper raccoon, BK also has a deep dark secret, and that is that he works for the not-so-benevolent ruler of the raccoon, Trash King. An unsurprisingly all powerful raccoon that wears a crown.

Throughout the game, BK is tasked with swallowing up all of the trash in Donut County in order to stave off the “world trash shortage” by steering a remote controlled hole from his mobile device. You see, BK our everyday intrepid raccoon hero, has a much broader definition of the word trash. To us inferior humans, trash may stop at crumpled paper and banana peels, but to BK and his supreme majesty, trash includes everything from people, cars and buildings to his fellow raccoon kin!!

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Fortunately, as the proprietor of the prolific Donut County donut shop BK takes advantage of his donut delivery service to deliver his “world swallowing holes of destruction” to unsuspecting residents. And all they wanted was a sweet and delicious confection. He may not be aware he is doing wrong, but dang it, he’s putting his and everyone else’s all into it! The hole that is…

Hole Down in the Valley-O

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That pretty much sums up the gameplay of Donut County as well. Similar to Katamari you travel from stage to stage and are challenged with swallowing up all of the “trash” in a given area, and growing bigger as you do. And the bigger you get the larger the items you collect can be. To spice it up, Donut County also adds a few mechanics and puzzle solving elements. These include things like catapults to launch items in order to knock things over, swallowing fire to ignite fireworks or engorging yourself on rapidly reproducing bunnies to increase your hole size exponentially in a short amount of time!

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Between stages you’ll be texting your friends on your raccoon-ie mobile phone, sending duck emojis and defending your purpose in life from the people you doomed to live in the trash abyss of Donut County. Really the story is all nonsensical and you could certainly ignore every last bit of it, but the writing is extremely well done and funny to boot! Not to mention the Trashpedia, an “encyclopedia” of all of the trash you’ve devoured in the game with witty and comical quips tied to each item! I probably spent more time in there reading each description than I should have.

Want some cheese with your wine?

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If I had muster one or two complaints about Donut County, it would be that it was too short or that it didn’t quite have the substance I was hoping for. With all the similarities to Katamari, the one glaring difference is that the replayability in this game is a little low. There aren’t any challenges, or time attacks or any “cute cousins” to collect that keep you coming back for more. One of my favorite things to do in games like Katamari Damacy was replaying the countless stages trying to get the highest score possible or to find that one rare and elusive item.

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Not to say that being a short “beat it in one sitting” game is bad, but it would have been nice to have that motivation to go back and play it again. I mean, I collected every item in the Trashpedia on my first playthrough!

On the flip-side, Donut County is a simple enough and a relaxing enough game that I could see myself going back to it every now and again. Even just to hear that duck emoji sound again!

Guilt Free Sugar Rush

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So, although the game is short and can be beaten in one sitting Donut County was an absolute blast and a joy to play. From the moment I turned it on and swallowed my first moped driving goose, it brought a big smile to my face. It may be simple and it could definitely use a little more frosting on that deliciously glazed donut, but sometimes that’s all you need. I wouldn’t even hesitate to recommend this game to anyone, especially if your in the mood for something light and easy or if you just want to have a good laugh.

Do you like “weird and unique” games? What are some of your favorites? I’d love to hear about them!!