The Swords of Ditto

Swap boomerangs for vinyl records in this Zelda-alike

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - Sa­muel Roberts

Ran­domly gen­er­ated co-op Zelda is the sim­plest way to de­scribe TheS­word­sof Ditto. Your char­ac­ter wakes up on a beach and heads into a nearby town, where a statue of the is­land’s hero stands. You claim the hero’s sword, and be­come the Sword of Ditto (this be­ing the set­ting of the game). Along with an op­tional buddy, you take part in a trun­cated Zelda ad­ven­ture. If you suc­ceed in de­feat­ing the boss, Mormo, your char­ac­ter be­comes the hero statue in your next playthrough. TheS­word­sofDitto is a rogue­like, then, and if you fall short in de­feat­ing Mormo, your equip­ment from a pre­vi­ous playthrough ap­pears at a lonely grave in­stead. I’m de­lighted – I’ve al­ways wanted to pass my fail­ures onto an­other gen­er­a­tion. Like most rogue­likes, ev­ery run is ran­domly gen­er­ated, so each playthrough feels like a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge. Suc­ceed­ing leaves the world in a bright and happy place. Fail mul­ti­ple times, though, and the world will grow a bit darker around you. I only played one game of Sword­sofDitto, so I’m in­ter­ested to how this change man­i­fests it­self.

The sword and bow are fa­mil­iarly Zelda- y, but there are newer tools due to the con­tem­po­rary fan­tasy set­ting. Ditto’s ver­sion of a boomerang is a vinyl record, which is thrown as a fris­bee disc, and I’m shown some neat puz­zles in a dun­geon where you have to ac­ti­vate switches by care­fully aim­ing the record through gaps in walls. You can also set it on fire and throw it through en­e­mies to spread the flames, giv­ing the world a neat bit of re­ac­tiv­ity. My fa­vorite abil­ity is sum­mon­ing a gi­ant foot to squish and knock back nearby en­e­mies, al­most cer­tainly a Monty Python ref­er­ence.

There’s also an ar­mor sys­tem, rep­re­sented by stick­ers which give you par­tic­u­lar buffs. I found Sword­sofDitto a lit­tle harder and more fran­tic in com­bat en­coun­ters than I ex­pected based on my pre­con­cep­tions of the vis­ual style, so the gath­er­ing of stick­ers and pass­ing them down be­tween he­roes should be im­por­tant. Each playthrough will last for around two hours, which sounds pretty spot-on to me.

Couch quest

The art re­minds me a bit of Dou­ble Fine’s Cos­tumeQuest, only more sto­ry­book-y. I’ve seen it com­pared to Ad­ven­ture Time, too, which has a sim­i­lar color pal­ette and maybe some cross­over in tone. Qui­etly, it was an E3 fa­vorite of mine.

Like a few indies I’ve re­cently en­joyed, it’s a fresh-feel­ing mod­ern ver­sion of a game type I’ve ap­pre­ci­ated in the past. The way the world is pre­sented makes Ditto easy to like: it’s cutesy with­out be­ing sac­cha­rine, which is a hard bal­ance to pull off. And your PC al­ways needs more great couch co-op games.

My fa­vorite abil­ity is summ on­ing a gi­ant foot to squish en­e­mies

The art is adorable but not in a way that makes you sick. Ga­me­namexxxx

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