Donut Dodo is another excellent addition to the revitalising of 2D platformer’s that those who grew up in the 80s were accustomed to. Being a relatively new company that was founded in 2020, Pixel Games already has an impressive resume of 2D arcade adventure games, that focuses on “creating classic, pick up and play, pixel art games for modern consoles.” Donut Dodo is available now to buy on steam and switch.
Defeat the evil dodo and reclaim your donuts!
Donut Dodo is not a game I would typically play, that being because I am unfortunately a millennial, and I did not grow up surrounded by the summers filled of playing on the arcade machines, however, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by this game.
You play as the baker Billy Burns, who has to outwit the evil Dodo and his minions to reclaim his beloved donuts that have been stolen. The game begins with 2 rounds of easy-medium difficulty (however I struggled greatly regardless of the difficulty), before being followed by 2 rounds of medium-hard, and a sugar rush speed run. Pixel Games also treats their players with a bonus stage, keeping to the similar arcade games in which this is based upon. You would not think that jumping, dodging, climbing and running past the dodo’s minions would be so hard, yet Pixel Games creates a challenging game which has you cussing at a fictional dodo.
The controls are simple and easy to master, however, this is not something that you as the player need to worry about. What you need to worry about is using your mind to try and outwit a fictional dodo, which is harder than you may think. As you can clearly tell, I did indeed struggle with the game at first, as the hit radius is certainly not forgiving, often quickly running out of the 3 lives I had. What makes it more of a struggle, is that your lives carries over into the next map (within it’s levels), which means if you wasted lives on the first part of the level, then you’re out of luck on the second part of the level, which if you’re me playing it, you can imagine I failed at that hurdle many times. However, although I did struggle, patience is defiantly key, and I was soon able to get past, and for someone who doesn’t play these type of games, then this was defiantly an achievement for me. Although I was at a disadvantage by not growing up surrounded by these types of games, and I was always going to struggle, I still think Donut Dodo will offer the experienced player a challenge of some sort.
One of the little things I enjoy about the design of the game is that in order to start, you have to insert a coin, similar to what was needed to start actual arcade games. This is a small part of the experience, but I always believe it is the little things that can make a game great, and this is an example of one of those “little” things, that really adds to the players experience.
Graphics & Audio
I was of course playing this on the switch, which I personally think is the best format to play the game on. When playing games such as this, I always imagined myself playing them on smaller handheld devices, something that is easy to pick up and get straight back into the game. I personally came across no frame rate issues, or graphical glitches, which is great, considering I ended up putting a number of hours into the game, due to fact I am rather bad at these types of games. The one thing I came to love whilst playing Donut Dodo is how vibrant the games colours are, both the levels and characters are insanely bright, bringing back the nostalgia that I can only imagine for those who grew up with these types of games. Even for someone who did not grow up with arcade games, the design of the game still made me feel like I had played these types of games before.
The music within the levels is almost Mario Kart esque, as it gives me the same feeling as if I am driving on rainbow road, that being at almost any moment I could mess this chance up, with this being most predominant when I had one life left and almost finishing the level, but alas I would fail, like I would fall over rainbow road. Fortunately, the in-game music is quite up-beat and happy, and it does not get on your nerves, even if you continuously fail.
I would honestly say the graphics and audio were my favourite parts of the game.
Dependent on your skill level, this could be a relatively short game, however, this is reflected in the price of the game, with the game going for the price of £3.59 currently on the Nintendo Store. There are only 5 levels altogether, as well as a bonus level, for a more experienced gamer, this could take less than an hour, however, if you’re like me, I easily played between 3-4 hours on the game, before I was able to complete the 5 levels.
As I have stated many times throughout this article, this is my first time playing a 2D arcade type game. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised, and I am incredibly fortunate that I was given the opportunity to play the game, as well as being fortunate that this was my first 2D arcade game, as it has certainly made me want to try out more. For the price of £3.59, I do not think you can go wrong, and you will easily get your money back in the fun of playing the game. There is honestly not much I can say is wrong with the game, other than the fact that I have learnt I am incredibly bad at 2D arcade games, however, practice makes perfect!
Based on this, I will be awarding Donut Dodo the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.