Donut County: Satisfying Chaos

I noticed Donut County was on the Xbox Game Pass recently—I had always intended to play the game on mobile and was intrigued by it. It looked whimsical and there seemed to be a lot of question marks surrounding the story. Also it featured racoons and I think trash pandas are super cute!

Starting off, you’re quickly introduced to the main gameplay mechanic: you control a small hole that sucks everything into it. As you suck in more things, the hole grows in size as if you’re “feeding” it. Eventually, that allows you to complete the puzzles that make up each level: you have to suck in all the things shown in your level before you can progress.

There are fun modifiers here and there so that you have to play around with the environment. For example, in one level, you might initially look around and think there’s no way there are enough small items around to open up your hole sufficiently. However, you realize that if you suck in 2 rabbits, they reproduce like, well, rabbits, inside the hole meaning the hole will increase in size! So with that in mind, you can pair up the rabbits and eventually get the hole big enough to suck in the surrounding giant rocks and the big house in your level.

It’s oddly satisfying when you slowly grow the size of your hole. And when it gets to the point where the hole is so big literally anything can fall in, it’s nice to drag it around and just vacuum everything up on the screen. The gameplay is almost therapeutic.

Sprinkled between the levels are various conversations amongst the citizens of Donut County. The writing is sometimes funny, and each character is defined prior to you jumping into their level.

The context is nice for when you recreate the moment right before they got sucked into the hole and ended up 999 feet under the ground. Everyone has a lot of questions, which is perfect since you start to work out what happened and how you might be able to fix it!

I also need the level conclusion screens on a t-shirt:

The game is not very long—it’s about 2 hours of gameplay. However, I enjoyed sitting down for this short story and playing around with this satisfying mechanic. Sometimes all you need on a weekend is a short, silly experience!

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