Donut County Review

A group of friends huddles around a campfire 999 feet underground. Trash and fragments of buildings scatter the surrounding area. There’s also a raccoon. Welcome to Donut County.

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Donut County is a lot like 2004’s Katamari Damacy, albeit with a hole instead of, well, a katamari. You move the hole under things, and things fall in. That’s the core gameplay loop, and although it may not seem like much, but it’s an absolute delight. Not only is the gameplay satisfying, but it’s wrapped up in an interesting and funny narrative with witty, fast paced dialogue and a cute polygonal art style.

The hole is a simple mechanic, but Donut County builds and expands upon it masterfully. In the beginning, you’ll just be moving a hole around, but soon enough you’ll be swallowing snakes to hit switches or finding a frog to catch flies. The game has puzzle elements, but you won’t be scratching your head in confusion or staring at the screen hoping for a stroke of genius. The Witness this is not. This, in combination with the game’s fantastic soundtrack, creates a surprisingly zen experience.

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What surprised me most about Donut County was its narrative. Ever since the raccoons showed up to town and took over the donut shop, holes have been popping up everywhere, and people have started to go missing. The game’s story is centered around each resident of Donut County detailing their experience with the holes, followed by the player playing their respective level. While the residents of Donut County are funny and interesting, the real heart of Donut County’s narrative is the friendship between the game’s two main characters: BK and Mira. The back and forth between these two never fails to be entertaining, and the heckling from Donut County’s citizens made me grin ear to ear during some of the cutscenes. Sometimes you can see characters sending text messages to one another at the beginning of certain levels, and there’s something incredibly charming about BK and Mira’s texting mannerisms. You can also choose to send a duck emoji that quacks, and you’ll receive one or two in return. I enjoyed this feature more than I should have.

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I really enjoyed seeing the new scenarios Donut County presented me with, but just when things were starting to get really good, the game was over. I finished Donut County in a little under two hours, and as the credits rolled, I was dying for more. I would have loved some challenge levels or just a couple more story levels. The point is, Donut County left me wanting more.

Donut County is the perfect game for this time of year. It’s a lovely breath of fresh air before the densely packed AAA season, and it’s a damn good one at that. I just wish there was more of it.

Final Score: 8.5

We Are Never Getting This Chrono Trigger Sequel And Now I’m Sad

Look at this trailer. Look at this game. It’s gorgeous. It’s also never coming out.

Simon S. Anderson, creator of Owlboy and one hell of a pixel artist, tweeted a mock up for a hypothetical Chrono Trigger sequel entitled Chrono Break.

It looks fantastic, but unfortunately we’ll never get to play it. If the pixel art impresses you, go play Owlboy if you haven’t already. Seriously. Go play it. Now.

Owlboy is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Mass Shooting at Jacksonville Madden Tournament

A gunman opened fire at a Madden Championship Series even in Jacksonville, Florida earlier today. The shooting occurred at the Jacksonville Landing complex at the qualifying event for the Madden 19 tournament at GLHF Game Bar.

According to Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, three were found dead at the scene, including the gunman, who had committed suicide. Nine other victims were transported to local hospitals, seven of which had gunshot wounds. The victims “are all in a stable condition at this time”, added Williams. One participant and member of esports group Complexity Gaming, Drini Gjoka, tweeted that a bullet had hit his thumb. Another attendee tweeted that a bullet had grazed his head and he had been taken to a hospital.

The suspect has been identified as 24 year old David Katz from Baltimore. His home is currently being investigated by police. Katz was a known figure in the competitive scene and was registered to play in this weekend’s event.

Electronic Arts put out a short statement across two tweets.

““We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage. This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”

The event was being streamed live on Twitch, and there is a clip of the shooting available. WARNING: the follwing clip is extremely disturbing.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide updates on its twitter feed.

What’s With This Giant Cube in Fortnite?

Epic is being weird again.

Yesterday, lightning started striking cacti in the desert section of the map. Players reported these strikes happening at regular intervals, but the lightning kept coming faster and faster. One huge final bolt of lightning hit, and it left something.

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This is now the latest piece in the puzzle that is Fortnite’s season by season narrative. The purple cube is located just outside of Paradise Palms. Nobody knows what it is or what it’s for or who sent it, but Fortnite players have discovered one key trait the cube seems to possess: it’s bouncy.

Like usual, this event will only get more complicated as the season comes to an end, but until then you can go see the cube yourself. Just be sure to thank the bus driver on your way down.

Be Sure to Thank Your Battle Bus Driver Today in Fortnite

Epic just added a groundbreaking feature which is sure to shake up the battle royale landscape. You can now thank your bus driver in Fortnite Battle Royale.

A popular change.org petition entitled “Add the ability to thank the bus driver before jumping out of the battle bus in Fortnite” has now become a reality. All you need to do is press down on the d-pad on console or the B key on PC to show your gratitude.

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Now this is quality content.

Fortnite is Getting A Competitive Mode

Epic Games dropped some big news on us in this month’s State of Development post.

“We are aware of a strong desire from competitive players for more opportunities to compete directly against one another within the same match. Development recently began for a robust competition system which will allow for all players to compete with one another and be recognized for their accomplishments.”

Most people are expecting some kind of ranked play similar to other games’ competitive modes, with divisions like bronze, silver, etc. The exact details of the mode aren’t available yet, but Epic stated it would be looking at the Summer Skirmish as a blueprint.

“Our weekly Fortnite Summer Skirmish events have proven invaluable as a testing ground, providing a high-stakes environment for some of the best players in the world to showcase their skills. We have learned a lot from experiments with scoring schemes and formats, attempting to find the best balance between simplicity, entertainment, server performance and competitive integrity.”

On top of competitive news, Epic also announced other changes coming soon to the game, like custom control mapping, slight changes to the pump shotgun’s equip time, and higher resolutions on PS4 Pro. Input-based matchmaking is also being implemented, causing many console players to let out a sigh of relief. If anyone in a Fortnite squad is using a keyboard and mouse, the squad will be matched with PC players. This was especially an issue on PS4, where keyboard and mouse are officially supported, and players who have these peripherals had a distinct advantage over those who don’t.

Fortnite’s competitive mode is slated for this fall.