Platform Switch, PS4, PC, Xbox One, iOS Developer Ben Esposito Publisher Annapurna Interactive Release Date 18/12/2018 Code Provided by Reviwer
There is only so much space on earth for all our trash and at the rate we produce it, it will soon consume us. We could take Futurama’s approach and fire it into space but as we know, they did not work out too well for the citizens of New New Year. So if outer space is off the cards, what if the centre of the earth was hollow and we could hire racoons to remote control holes to collect all the trash? Did I lose you there? I understand why but seriously, this is the plot for the Katamari inspired puzzler, Donut County.
As daft as it sounds, on paper this idea could work but as you progress through the story, BK the racoon uses his job of controlling holes to his advantage to achieve the 10th level of delivery which unlocks a sweet delivery drone. Nothing is stopping him getting this and he will collect more than trash to achieve it.
The gameplay is so simple to pick up it doesn’t even have a tutorial. It is game that you learn as you go with the simple mechanic of as you swallow items in your hole, it grows bigger allowing you to collect larger objects. There are some puzzle levels along the way that involves water, fire and switches but they too follow the simple mechanic above. There is an upgrade you get further along that is quite puzzle specific but again, very easy to use.
The presentation of Donut County is cute and easy on the eyes. With no defining lines between objects, everything blends nicely together giving an impression of a calm, peaceful world. Item models are well crafted in a similar way to them found in Katamari and as you collect items they are added to the Garbage-pedia with added humorous descriptions. In addition to the charming visuals, the music too is bouncy and quirky adding more depth to the game.
I played the entire game in handheld mode and it played perfectly. No performance drops and it just felt like a perfect handheld game, especially for the length of it.
The whole tale is bizarre and quite short (clocking just over two hours) with limited replay value but it is one I would recommend if you see it up in a sale,especially if you are a fan of the Katamari series.