Donut County, the Mobile Game About Making Things Fall Into Holes, Is a MUST-Play

I've been following the progress of a brilliant game called Donut County for years, and it's finally coming out this week on Aug. 28.

The game was developed by Ben Esposito and published by Annapurna Interactive, which also gave us great titles like What Remains of Edith Finch and FlorenceAfter getting the chance to preview Donut County at E3, I was given a review key last week, and I haven't been disappointed.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

Donut County is built around one core concept. You control a strange hole in the ground, and your goal is to make everything in the level plummet into that hole. The hole starts off small, but every time something falls in, the hole grows, until it's big enough to consume a whole character, or a boulder, or a skyscraper.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

Alone, that premise would probably be enough to keep me entertained for a while, but it's made much richer by its surrounding story.

The game opens with its only human character, Mira. She's texting her friend and coworker, a mischievous raccoon named BK, who's super bored at the town donut shop where they work. When Mira complains about a loudly honking goose delivery man outside her window, BK swears to avenge her—and he quickly makes good on his word.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

This is where the player takes control, opening up their first hole in the ground. As more and more objects fall into the hole, it gets big enough to envelop the goose man and make him disappear into the earth below. Mira notices the silence immediately, and BK euphemistically explains that he shut the goose up by "delivering a donut."

What BK doesn'reveal is that he's obsessed with a certain app that makes holes appear in the ground, and that he's earning points with everything he collects in a hole. He's already on level nine, and he's been eagerly opening up holes all over town to gain the points he needs to get to level 10 and earn a fancy flying quadcopter.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

That's when the game jumps ahead by a month and a half. BK, Mira and everyone else in town have found themselves 999 feet beneath Donut County in a massive cavern, huddled around a campfire together. With his app, BK has managed to demolish the entire town, and swallow up all of its inhabitants, to earn his coveted quadcopter—only to have it smashed to pieces.

We find out how things got this bad in playable flashbacks. As each character airs their grievances, you play out the scenario that got them there. Since you take control of BK, all of this is basically your fault. As you play more levels and doom more and more characters, you get to see BK's progress in the app as he ranks up toward level 10 and the copter.

Only once you're responsible for each character falling into a hole can you take action to reverse the evils that BK—and you—has done. Of course, making things right involves making even more holes, making for some extremely fun gameplay.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

Making random items and characters fall into a hole is even more satisfying than it sounds. It makes a cute little sound each time something falls in, and having a totally clean playing field at the end of the level feels awesome.  If you love ASMR videos, this game just might set off those senses.

There's also much more to the game than just dropping things into holes. As the game progresses, they become more and more interactive with their own unique elements. A snake might poke out of the hole, allowing you to move objects with its long tail. A giant carrot will plug up the hole, but luckily the area is filled with ravenous bunny rabbits. Fire can lift a hot air balloon, or pop popcorn, or light a firework. These levels are all about solving clever puzzles and experimentation, and they mean that Donut County never gets boring or repetitive across more than 20 unique levels.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

And on top of being really fun and satisfying to play, it also has a great sense of humor. Mira and BK's texting feels really funny and authentic, and at any point you can pick between moving the conversation forward or just endlessly spamming a quacking duck emoji.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

The game also has a feature called the Trashopedia, an encyclopedia of collected garbage complete with hilarious descriptions. It's an awesome touch, though I would've loved for it to not be automatically completed when you get to the end of the game. The completionist in me wishes there were additional items that would only show up on repeat playthroughs, but it's still a great touch.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

My favorite level might be one taking place at a disgusting restaurant called "Cat Soup," where you have to avoid gross roaches as you brew a batch of soup for a hungry bird. It's weird and silly, and every time a roach fell into my soup and I had to start over, I was more delighted than I was frustrated. Plus, every level ends with a message telling me to "Have a garbage day," which made me crack a smile every time.


(Donut County via Annapurna Interactive)

But what I think is really special about Donut County is that you kind of play as a big, dumb jerk—and that's okay. It winds up being a story about selfishness and redemption as much as it's about holes.

Plus, the game never outstays its welcome. Though I would've loved to play even more of these levels, it shows restraint that it's not crammed with levels doing the same things again and again.

The game will be available for Steam, PlayStation 4 and iOS, and in my opinion the game feels best on the iPhone. There's something more tactile about moving the hole by touch, rather than with a joystick or a mouse, and I think the gameplay felt most gratifying there.

Only one final boss really requires quick reaction times and speedy fingers. This was the only time I thought it might have been better to play the game on a console with slightly more responsive controls, but I did manage to make it out alive without too much trouble.

The game comes out tomorrow, Aug. 28, on Steam and PlayStation 4 for $12.99, but I recommend nabbing it in the App Store for just $4.99.


To learn more about our most-anticipated games, click HERE to read about our preview of the upcoming Annapurna Interactive game Wattam.