‘Donut County’ Evaluation: A Gap Lot of Enjoyable
Not a ton of cell video games get proven off at E3, relative to console and PC titles, however Donut County () did this 12 months. Sure, it’s in all probability as a result of it’s additionally popping out on PC and PS4, however that’s form of irrelevant. What issues is that it made an intriguing sufficient exhibiting that individuals have been anxious for this physics-based puzzle sport to return out and see precisely what you’re doing moreover swallowing issues up with a gap, which was the most important factor that you simply took away from its E3 look.
Seems it’s each precisely that and much more on the similar time. Donut County is primarily the story of a younger girl named Mira who works at a donut retailer together with her greatest pal, a raccoon named BK. That strange-sounding pairing is definitely fairly regular for the reason that titular county is populated largely by anthropomorphic animals, although chickens and snakes are nonetheless … nicely, chickens and snakes. Whereas Mira is a reluctant hero, she feels compelled to take motion when folks and issues begin going lacking and suspects BK and his fellow raccoons have one thing to do with it. It’s truthful to say that BK is much more hesitant to do the suitable factor — in that respect he shares some persona traits with Rocket Raccoon of Guardians of the Galaxy fame — however as we be taught later, he has his causes.
As soon as these two buddies find yourself 999 ft underground with just about everybody else from their group, the story unfolds by having a colourful solid of characters telling their very own tales of woe one after the other. The hyperlink between them is that they’ve all ordered donuts because of a brand new app that enables the goodies to be delivered proper to their doorways, and since BK is the supply particular person, it’s not an enormous stretch to say he’s concerned in some way. Every degree revisits a type of characters and their fateful encounter with what’s in the midst of most donuts (not all, as the sport reminds us that jelly-filled donuts, fritters and the like don’t have any holes) as a gap inevitably comes for them and all of their possessions.
That’s due to you, in fact. As proven off proper from the title display screen, the core mechanic in Donut County is your management of a gap, which all the time begins every degree off small however will get greater with each merchandise you ship down under. Early on, your fundamental problem is solely to determine which objects to gobble up in what order, because it’s fairly intuitive that the larger stuff must be saved for later when your gap has grown bigger. It’s very straightforward to manage the outlet just by sliding your finger across the display screen, and whereas I didn’t play the sport for every other platform, it might be arduous to think about it feeling any extra pure with a controller or mouse.
In brief order, the sport figures you’ve received the fundamentals found out and begins throwing extra wrinkles at you. Can the outlet swallow up water? It certain can, however then when the outlet is stuffed with H20, is it actually a gap any extra? If the reply isn’t any, is there a method to drain it and switch it again into one thing that can perform as a portal to the underground once more? Let’s say, hypothetically talking, that one thing was to get caught midway within the gap. You may then be capable to use it to, I don’t know, activate switches or one thing by sliding it round to the right areas. It’s robust to speak about extra specifics with out giving freely a number of the puzzle options, although there aren’t too many which are troublesome sufficient to do greater than give one pause. That is very a lot a “oh, that’s intelligent” form of puzzle sport than an “I’m debating whether or not I want to look the web for spoilers or be caught right here ceaselessly” affair. All through all of it is the truth that physics are very a lot part of each answer, and it’s all the time satisfying to see issues topple over or simply barely match down the outlet when you shake them into simply the suitable orientation.
It’s additionally unattainable to separate any of the degrees from their characters, and developer Ben Esposito deserves every kind of kudos for the best way he’s woven them collectively. Whereas it is perhaps a bit cliche to say that the environments are characters in and of themselves, that’s really the case right here, and there have been instances I used to be a bit regretful that I ended up tearing the whole lot down — although just a bit, as a result of it’s arduous to disclaim that swallowing up entire buildings with a gap is entertaining.
There are a couple of twists and turns to the story earlier than you attain its finish, which features a full-fledged boss battle that nearly looks like the sport adjustments genres in its ultimate act (however remains to be each enjoyable and difficult). I may see different reviewers, particularly these enjoying the console model, getting hung up on the size of Donut County. It positively gained’t occupy too many hours of your time, although however, not everybody performs video games with the single-minded, deadline-driven mentality of video games journos. It’s potential you’ll need to linger a bit extra on every degree even when you know the way to complete them off.
Debates about sport size are foolish anyway, as a result of video games solely actually have to be so long as crucial to inform their tales or have you ever attain your ultimate aim with a way of accomplishment, each of which Donut County does superbly. What does really feel true, although, is that it throws ideas at you alongside the best way that you simply want have been adopted up on a couple of extra instances. In different phrases, when you’ve found out all of the various things a gap can do, you’ll need to put them to make use of greater than you’re required to take action. There’s nothing stopping you from going again and enjoying via ranges once more when you’ve overwhelmed them — and actually, there are alternatives to take action when you’ve finished an entire playthrough — however there’s a feeling that as quickly as you’ve realized one thing, it’s on to one thing else.
Possibly that’s splitting hairs since Donut County gives lots of what persons are all the time saying they need extra of from their cell video games: a brand new and distinctive world, a compelling story and attention-grabbing mechanics you don’t see in tons of different titles (apart from knockoffs, in fact, however we’ll assume you’ll settle for no substitutes). I additionally made it the “gap” manner via this evaluate with out extra puns as unhealthy as that one, so hopefully you’ll be capable to keep away from that temptation as nicely.