GBAtemp Exclusive Switch Exchange #3: Donut County

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Feb 6, 2019.


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    Hello, and welcome back to the third issue of Switch Exchange, a new article series where Scarlet and I recommend various indie games to each other, hoping to find hidden gems to recommend to you, the readers! Last time, we took a look at Dead Cells, which, if you're interested, you can check it out here. Today's focus is on a quirky little game with a quirky little name: Donut County.

    Scarlet Says...
    Right, so. There's this raccoon who has this donut shop that only sends the holes of donuts. These holes grow the more you suck into them and cause havoc. That's Donut County, and yet Donut County is so much more. Yeah, the gameplay is addictive and fun, and I can see how it'd thrive in a mobile environment, but it's in the narrative and storytelling where the game truly shines. You'll see characters lol at each other, and you won't so much as bat an eye. It builds a world where you expect it to one up itself in stupidity and nonsensicalness, and you can't help but love it.

    I'm not quite sure what I expected, when told that I'd been tasked with playing Donut County. I'd been vaguely aware of the game being in a highlight reel of upcoming Nintendo Switch indies, though my attention had always been captured by higher profile announcements. Under normal circumstances, I don't think I would have given this a try, which is why I'm glad it got put on my radar, because it's quite a cute experience. If you ever wondered what would happen if someone created the antithesis to Katamari Damacy, then Donut County would be the answer.

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    It all starts with a girl, Mira, and her best friend--a raccoon named BK--texting each other, as is common occurrence in everyday life. Mira so happens to have a neighbor who's being a bit disruptive, which leads to BK deciding to deliver him a donut. But you soon realize that this is no ordinary pastry, for BK's definition of a donut is a round hole that leads 999 feet below the Earth's surface. As the screen pans back, and you begin to move the hole around the screen, you're introduced to the gameplay. By sinking objects like bricks and tennis balls into the depths below, the hole will grow, allowing you to slowly consume larger objects, until everything on the map is cleared.

    It's such a simple concept, and it feels ever so satisfyingly therapeutic to play. You have to solve puzzles and use logic in order to increase the void's size, by first targeting smaller objects in order to build up to getting larger items to fall, and then using that to work your way to swallowing up cars, houses, and even mountains. One level requires you to knock a table over, so that you can get some corn. Then, once you've gotten enough corn, the hole will be large enough to fit a campfire. This causes a chain reaction, with the heat of the fire turning the vegetable into delicious popcorn, all done in order to lure in some crows, which too, fall into the depths below, allowing you to sink down the pesky table from before. These challenges are nicely balanced to the flow of the game, and are almost always comical in some form.

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    After you complete each stage, you're treated to amusing dialogue that segues into the next chapter. Somehow, BK's antics have resulted in the entire town, and its people being trapped, 999 feet below the surface of the Earth. The residents don't quite know how they got there, only that a mysterious hole suddenly appeared, and swallowed up everything in the area. There's some humorous back-and-forth quips as BK tries to assert his innocence in the situation, convincing absolutely no one. It's all very quirky, and if you enjoy dorky cartoonish dialogue, you'll likely be entertained. As an extra bonus, BK keeps a "Trashopedia" of every item he collects, describing everyday items from the perspective of a raccoon. For example, snakes are called "angry/alive spaghetti", and flies are "hideous small birds".

    Complimenting the simplistic gameplay is the visual style. The low-detail cell-shaded art style looks bright and happy, with a very relaxed pastel hue making for something that looks unique, without looking low budget. Everything blends nicely together, and it all looks visually appealing.

    While the game is fun, and the mechanics are addicting, there just isn't a lot of content. Your adventure is over almost as soon as it starts, perhaps lasting an hour, maybe two, max. Though the game may be short, there's definitely an interesting concept with a lot of charm. If you want something short and sweet to check out, Donut County might just be the game for you.

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    If you happen to try these games out together with us, be sure to let us know what you thought of it! If there's any game you'd like to specifically see featured here, be sure to comment with it below!

    :arrow:
    US eShop Link

    Donut County is also playable on PC, iOS, PS4, and XB1.

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    Discussion (7 replies)
  1. ShonenJump

    ShonenJump Creator of "Color Fever" Comic

    Member
    5
    Mar 14, 2009
    Netherlands
    Planet Feveroid
    looks like a fun a game, it sounds tad a bit like katamari. But the short length of the game is somewhat disappointing. I will probably look into it if there is a price drop. Also feature "away: journey to the unexpected" next time!
     
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  2. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

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    14
    Jan 6, 2008
    United States
    Its nice for like 5 mins but there is no real challenge or time limit, every level can be beaten in a min or 2.
    It does have a quirky cast of characters and a decent story though.
     
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  3. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Germany
    Niedersachsen
    This game looks like a very anti-stressing game, kind of like one of these balls that you squeeze and squeeze probably while thinking of it as if it were your boss's neck.

    I think it will be quite useful for this weekend, I will try it.
     
    Last edited by sarkwalvein, Feb 9, 2019
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  4. JakobAir

    JakobAir Member

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    Mar 17, 2017
    United States
    This game is quite different which makes it really fun, but yeah it's way too short.
     
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  5. hippy dave

    hippy dave BBMB

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    Apr 30, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Short but very sweet, well worth the modest time investment to experience the story.
     
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  6. Kraken_X

    Kraken_X Member

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    Dec 6, 2018
    United States
    I played this game completely at random and was surprised by how much fun it was. It is only about 2 hours long, which is too short, but every moment of it is fun, which is something you can't say about a lot of games these days.
     
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  7. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

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    sarkwalvein is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    Niedersachsen
    Nice short game.
     
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