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Donut County might be the next great game about Los Angeles


Last year, Chris Donlan called the experimental interactive experience Islands: Non-Places the best game he’d played about LA. Given that he wrote the definitive article about games set in LA, I won’t argue with him. That said, there’s a new contender on the horizon with Ben Esposito’s quirky puzzler Donut County.

The name is a bit of a misnomer, as Donut County isn’t really about doughnuts. It is, however, about their most iconic characteristic: holes. What are they there for? And why? Is it to make them easier to grip as one dunks them into coffee? Is it to sell the holes as a separate entity? Or maybe someone just did it once and everyone else went along with the trend. I refuse to look to it up, but any of these explanations seems apt for LA, a city that’s full of contradictions and mysteries. It’s a void that sucks everything into its omnipresent sugary thrall.

That’s where Donut County comes in. Esposito’s game is about a mysterious hole that consumes everything in its wake. The more that falls into this perfectly round pit, the more it grows. It’s a bit like Katamari Damacy in reverse, replacing the cosmic sticky ball of clutter with an ever-expanding circular gap into the ether.