Last Week’s Gaming – 29th April, 2019

Donut County Trashpedia

So the Switch is great when you are mid-move…

With all of my games boxed up and ready to move, plus just being really busy, my gaming options have been a little slim lately.

But I did get a few games in this week thanks to the portable power of the Switch!

Donut County

I did the formal review last week, but you can’t really explain Donut County in a way to convince people to try it.

If you do, a fun light puzzler awaits.  If you don’t, there isn’t enough hype to remind you it exists anyway.

Donut County is fun, light, and is a great game for the Switch.  I recommend checking it out if you get the chance!

Donut County Story
Between each level, you find out a bit more of what's been happening

Tetris 99

There is always something soothing about a game of Tetris.  This week my games have been a lot harsher than normal though.  I had a few weeks at my normal Top 30 to Top 10, but this week I have had many games in a row where I was in the first 10 to be knocked out this week!

I did end the week with a very satisfying win though, so that made up for the frustration really well 😀

20190415 Tetris 99 Hard Start
Well this was a fun way to start. A few pieces in, and the pressure starts to mount

Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy is a series I love.  One general truth I have observed over the years is that the ‘best’ Final Fantasy game tends to be the first one that people played.

Final Fantasy X doesn’t even crack my top 5 favourite Final Fantasy games, and I don’t remember even finishing X-2.  But X does have my second favourite mini-game in the series – BLITZBALL!

I don’t know if I will finish Final Fantasy X properly on the Switch, or just have a portable Blitzball league. I have a few hours to go before I get to that stage, so I will see how I feel then.

It looks amazing, and plays just like I remember – warts and all 🙂

Final Fantasy X Switch
One of the most commonly viewed scenes of the intro, but it looks so good on the Switch!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Let me know what I missed playing this week!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Donut County Review

Donut County Title
Donut County Title
Released 2018
Platform Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PS4, XBox One, iOS, Steam, PC, Mac
Publisher Annapurna Games (Website)
Developer Ben Esposito (Website)
Homepage (Visit Website)
Players 1
Category Puzzle
Physics-Based
Diversion

Who would of thought playing as a hole could be so much fun?

If someone says a game is a puzzle game, you usually have a good idea of what to expect.  There could be deduction puzzles such as Access Denied (reviewed here).  There could be more 3D type puzzles, such as the Portal games.  You can even have adventure games with convoluted solutions to getting past a goat (Broken Sword!).

But a puzzle game where you are a hole?  It took me a while to warm up to the idea.  Even the trailer doesn’t really explain the game in such a way that you ‘have’ to try it.  Check it out:

But I bought it on Switch and it has been sitting there until I had time to sit and play it.  And with most of my gaming all packed up and a tired brain, it seemed like a good time to try it.

And I am really happy that I did 🙂

Don’t let the ‘puzzle’ aspect of Donut County put you off – this is a fun little experience.  The goal is to almost always just to drop everything on the map down the hole.

You start each level as a small hole, and as things are dropped down the hole it gets bigger.  And bigger.  Eventually, you will be consuming entire buildings!

While you need to work out how to get to some parts, at no point does the game put you in a state where you will lose.  Just keep at it, and you will get through the level.

Donut County Gameplay
How do you reach those high up chickens?

Because Donut County is so simple, there really isn’t much more that can be said about the gameplay itself.  It’s a game you knock over in an afternoon, with a semi-traditional ‘boss battle’ at the end of the game.

Eating everything on the screen and seeing how the hole interacts with things though is calming.  It’s got a similar zen state as Tetris in this way, and there are two levels in particular I can see myself replaying just for this feeling.

Even though you can drag the hole around the screen with the touchscreen, I used the Switch Joy-cons and it behaved pretty well.  For really fine movement the analog sticks moved a little too much. The end result was normally a fun flick of something across the screen, so it wasn’t frustrating at all.

The real fun of Donut County is hidden in the humor and story of the game.  Everything you have eaten ends up at the bottom of the hole, and between levels, the story slowly unfolds as to how everything has come to be.

It’s far from an epic tale of intrigue and suspense, but almost every story put a smile on my face and made me want to see what happened next.  There is even a little redemption arc for BK 🙂

Donut County Story
Between each level, you find out a bit more of what's been happening

Another fun little part is the Trashpedia.  Between levels, all the trash you have collected in the hole gets an entry added to this tome.

Reading the descriptions of the items from a Racoon’s point of view is really fun, and worth the minute or so to flick through the new entries 🙂

Even some of the level design has elements of humor to them – but I will let you discover those ones for yourself 🙂

Donut County Trashpedia
Bet you never thought of a snake like this!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
Donut County

Final Thoughts

Donut County is a fun little diversion that I can see appealing to a lot of different people.  The new elements are introduced in a logical manner, and I never felt frustrated with the game at all.

I enjoyed this on the Switch, and it felt like the best platform for it.  I can see it working well on mobile, but the required touch screen controls I think would work against it overall.

On PS4 I just looked up it has a Platinum trophy as well.  I don’t think I will rebuy it just for that, but if that is something that would sway you think about it 🙂

Basically, playing Donut County for an afternoon where I was physically tired was a fun experience, and totally worth it.  It’s one of those games that I will most likely play again just because of how good it feels to gobble everything up with a hole!

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10

Pros

  •  A fun light little diversion
  •  Cute art style
  •  Good difficulty curve

Cons

  •  Short
  •  On a phone, you would block what you need to see with your finge