The Swords of Ditto
Swap boomerangs for vinyl records in this Zelda-alike
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.
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