Ben Esposito's newest game is Donut County, which combines an adorable aesthetics with zany gameplay where you are a hole in the ground. With the help of publisher Annapurna Interactive, it launches on PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS 28th of August.
Donut County is playful, with unscrupulous washers on scooters and a friendly sherbet color palette. Under its benign exteriors it is also about gentrification and an un-vs.-them mentality. At each level, you control a hole in the ground, swallow pastoral small town America and grow ever bigger. First, you can inhale some small potted plants, then you move on to a huge tractor until you have finally consumed everything. The unfortunate citizens who fall victim to the hole, gather in a cave underground, discuss their accident and point their fingers to the protagonist Mira, who works at the local donut shop.
The narrative puzzle seems like a perfect fit for publisher Annapurna Interactive, which has a portfolio filled with creative rarities. It launched the award-winning What Remains of Edith Finch and Jason Roberts amazing puzzler Gorogoa, and it has Keita Takahashi's quirky Wattam and Mobius Digital's time-bending adventure Outer Wilds that comes up.
Esposito has worked with a number of wells known games, including Giant Sparrows What Remains of Edith Finch and The Unfinished Swan and Indie Horror Title Tattletail, as spoofs' toy's Furbies.
Prior to launch, Donut County's main mechanic was copied by the developer Voodoo.io, who released a mobile game Hole.io where players take control of holes in the ground and swallow up the environment. The developer has aped other indie games before but unfortunately Esposito and other indies do not have much legal feedback about it.