psx 2017

Donut County Hands-On Impressions – Katamari Damacy In Reverse

by Andrew Reiner on Dec 10, 2017 at 06:00 PM

In the Katamari Damacy games, players roll around a ball that sucks up everything in its path. The ball gradually grows, allowing for bigger items to be consumed. By the end of the game, the ball grows large enough to take down Earth and all of the cosmos. Donut County is basically Katmari Damacy in reverse. The player controls a hole in the ground that grows larger each time an item falls into it.

At first, the hole is tiny, barely capable of taking down a fence post. By the end of my play session at PlayStation Experience, the hole I controlled took down an entire house. I didn't want my demo of Donut County to end. Developer Ben Esposito and publisher Annapurna Interactive created a relaxing and fulfilling demo that is filled with wonder and legitimate laughs.

When you begin the game, you meet a girl named Mira who is upset that noises awoke her early in the morning. She calls her friend BK, a raccoon, who works at a company that specializes in remote-control holes designed to steal people's trash (a thing raccoon's do). You control BK's remote control holes, and while the early stages are just a matter of figuring out the order to consume objects based on their size, puzzle elements emerge. A snake falls into the hole in one stage, but not completely. The tail and rattle are sticking out of the hole, and end up becoming an item you use to interact with objects in the world. Circling a sign with the snake tale will unscrew it, allowing it to be consumed. The tail can also be used to press buttons.

The demo consisted of four to five stages, most ending with more story developments for BK and Mira. Donut County is an odd game, but the writing, action, graphics, and lighthearted atmosphere won me over immediately. I can't wait to see just how complex the puzzles become when the game launches for PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and iOS in 2018.