Video games have a long history of partnering with brands that induce diarrhoea. There’s the Halo 3 campaign with Master Chief adorning bottles of Mountain Dew and Doritos. Or there’s the Halo Infinite campaign that saw John Halo plastered across cans of Monster, each of which included a code for DLC for a game that wouldn’t be out for over a year. To celebrate the launch of the PS5, Sony partnered with Greggs to offer a special promotional box, and while it didn’t feature a Steak Bake in the shape of Jim Ryan’s head, it was a nice collectors piece, if you’re the type of person that collects boxes from Greggs.
Now, Xbox has thrown its hat in the ring with the Nexus Level, a new donut found exclusively at Krispy Kreme. For those not aware, Krispy Kreme is a donut dealer that was once so popular that people from the west of Scotland would often drive over an hour just to get some stale treats. Why am I reviewing a donut? Well, while there are plenty of things to stuff down your mouth hole with video game characters on the box, we rarely get food that’s actually shaped like a game thing itself. In this case, the Xbox logo adorns the top of the donut.
I purchased three of these Nexus Level donuts to ensure that, in the event that I receive a particularly bashed donut, or one that didn’t taste great, I would have the other samples to test. Yes, this will probably cause me intense stomach pain, and I may finish this review from the toilet, but as a Games Journalist, fairness and objectivity is paramount.
Much to my disappointment, all three of the donuts I received were bashed in some way. I know that making donuts is an art, not a science, but instead of the circular green pucks I was promised in the lavish marketing materials, I was given two ovals which, if you squinted, kind of looked like the Xbox logo, and another that was mostly circular, save for the big chunk out the bottom corner.
The green icing is very green. So green that it makes you pause to think about other things that you have eaten in your life that are that green. It’s a green not found in nature. It looks like flubber. It looks like something Tony Hawk should have been doused in at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in 2004. However, this moment of self reflection only appeared after I’d taken my first bite. It was too late. I was in.
The Mouth Feel ™ of the donut is excellent. There’s only the lightest dusting of sugar on top, and the icing isn’t overwhelming. The bottom of the donut had a bit of commitment about it, unlike so many others in the genre that break apart the second it leaves your mouth, launching jam and sugar all over your trousers.
What I wasn’t expecting was the filling. If you see a green donut, what flavour do you expect it to be? Mint? Apple pie maybe? Well it’s in this element that I think the Nexus Level really lets itself down and spells trouble for Xbox as a brand, and Microsoft as a company. They’ve decided to go with a boring, standard chocolate brownie filling. I was as disappointed eating it as you are reading this.
It’s not even a nice chocolate brownie filling. I don’t love chocolate personally, I’m more of a sour sweets man, but I can get down with a nice chocolate dessert. This tastes like motor oil. It’s thick and overpowering, and has the vibes of when you first tasted cooking chocolate in home economics and wondered why it was spicy. It not only leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, but it overpowers the icing completely, making it superfluous to the donut experience.
The Nexus Level donut is around £5 for three donuts. Meaning for six donuts, you could get a month of Xbox Game Pass. Xbox are explicitly saying here that six donuts is as good as Halo Infinite. If that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine I don’t know what will. I didn’t end up concluding this review from the toilet, because thankfully, these Xbox donuts were my breakfast, so my stomach is empty. Though, not as empty as I feel after eating them, dear reader.
I might eat the third one.