The Swords of Ditto is described as a ‘compact action RPG’ and once you start playing it’s easy to see why. The whole premise is explained to you as soon as you start, so you’ll find out all about the overlord Mormo, who has cast his evil over the land. You’ll also discover that even though you are the Sword of Ditto (aka the chosen one), you are currently far too weak to stop him, so off you’ll set on a quest to explore dungeons, and improve your hero, all within the set time limit of seven days, when you must face up to Mormo and rid the land of his evil for good.
The Swords of Ditto is a charming RPG which looks as good as it plays. What’s interesting about the game is that once you die you’ll start all over again from day one, with a different hero in a procedurally generated world. This can be challenging, as you may just be about to face up to Mormo, get killed and have to start all over again in a world which is different from the one which you had previously explored. It’s certainly an interesting concept and makes the game feel different every time, due to the fact the locations are moved around and you are exploring with a new character each time.
What’s great is that you even have the option to play couch co-op together with a friend, so it needn’t be a lonely adventure. The co-op is fantastic in that a friend can drop in and out at any point during the game, lending you a hand or even some health should you fall, making getting to the end of the adventure a whole lot easier than playing through on your own.
When you are wandering around, exploring dungeons you’ll certainly feel challenged. The game almost begs you to explore, having you solve puzzles and overcome challenges which will make use of both your combat skills and your brain. To aid you with this, you have a unique set of tools. First up there are special toys which you can both earn and buy from the store. These toys include things like a flying disc, a drone, a laser ring and a lot more too, all of which come in handy to solve puzzles and defeat the enemy. You can also earn stickers in much the same way. These essentially act like tattoos which you can then place on your body parts for boosts to health, HP regeneration and more. There are even special stickers which are hidden around the world and can provide you with fun abilities, one of which you’ll gain should you find the excellent LocoRoco dungeon.
As with any good RPG, you’ll find all manner of creatures to test your skills against, each of which will be represented by their level and HP above their heads. As you defeat them you’ll earn coins and pick-ups, such as food, which you can use to regenerate your own HP. Of course, you will also gain experience, allowing you to grow stronger, which in turn will give you access to otherwise off-limits dungeons.
Outside of combat, you’ll also be able to interact with people in the village. This will give you smaller mini-tasks to complete, although considering you’ll be exploring dungeons as part of the main quest in order to try and weaken Mormo and grow stronger yourself, any tasks you do carry out for the villagers should take into account the seven-day time limit. Saying that, as a twist, if you do enough exploring you’ll find out ways to slow down or even stop this time limit, which again can help make each playthrough different depending on how you decide to approach it.
The presentation of The Swords of Ditto is absolutely fantastic. I love the cute and colourful characters and the overall design of the game world. It’s like a Zelda game of old brought into 2018, with high-resolution graphics and fantastic sound. Everything about it comes together to make for a wonderful experience, even the way co-op has been implemented, opting for the approach of having both characters on the same screen instead of utilising split-screen, which for me at least, often takes away from the experience.
Like I say, you’ll never feel done with The Swords of Ditto because it always feels different each time and there’s always something new to find. You can approach the game in many different ways and thanks to the charm of it all, you’ll probably find it hard to put down too.
The Swords of Ditto is a fantastic game and given the low price, I cannot recommend it highly enough. There’s so much charm to the design and so much fun to be had out of the gameplay, that you’ll be thinking about it even when you are not playing. The Swords of Ditto is yet another example of what a smaller developer can bring to the world of console gaming. It’s an experience which is not to be missed.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*