If there was one game which I had hopes for this year was Donut County, creation of Ben Esposito. You can find out more about his work here. Throughout multiple collaborations and contributions, there’s plenty of room in his previous work for you to read into. As an example, take in consideration matthewmatosis video commentary on Sonic Dreams. There’s plenty to write about his work, but it would be not so size-propotionally adequate when you consider the amount of things to say about Donut County.
Sadly, the problem of Donut County is exactly the price it values itself. Tries to be a commercial product and fails miserably at it. Presents itself with a great gameplay idea (use a moving hole to make objects fall and make the hole bigger), small elements that demonstrate that is possible to achieve puzzle depth with the engines established but never delivers in that front. The humble and humorous story is just what it is, an humble and humorous story, that makes fun of certain tropes in internet texting, character personalities (a hand stuck in a pickle jar with a single big pickle is just funny just because it’s the hand of a raccoon).
The soundtrack is incredibly charming and in tune with the visuals, which resemble paper crafted figures, a feature of (really-really-)low-poly 3D models. It’s a super enjoyable game, tremendous for relaxation, in a similar fashion to our beloved Katamari games (I also would say that the sound effects of objects sticking to katamari are extremely resemblant to the sound of things falling into the hole in Donut County). The relaxation ends when you wrap up the game in one in a half hour and realise that you dropped around 12€ for it: One more hour should be enough to clear all the remaining trophies/achievements, considering that you were careful completing the Trashopedia on the first round; There are no wows, no surprises, no profound life lessons (maybe it’s just a movie about flowers!), there’s nothing that this game has to offer than a mild, nice and enjoyable experience. And some people might want that, and that’s okay. And some people might value that as high as the price of this game, and that’s okay.
But if you want my recommendation, save up your money and grab it for 2€ when on sale. Use the other 10€ to buy Undertale (which I’ve been holding myself to buy for ages) and will surely give you a more complete and fulfilling experience for the price. Donut County at one point seemed to me as a great educational game for children (to learn about sizes, and the puzzles seemed more aimed at that demographic indeed), but I’m afraid I wouldn’t want to expose my kid to all those lols, afks and brbs.