The Swords of Ditto beautifully meshes classic isometric gameplay with modern Role Playing and Roguelike mechanics. This makes for an adventure both fulfilling and challenging, letting you decide how you want to discover the world and save the day.
As you wash up on the isle of Ditto. Puku, your dungbeetle guide, informs you that the evil witch Mormo has awoken after a one hundred year slumber, and you’re the hero sent to stop her evil plans, convenient how that worked out right?
The adventure begins you quickly find out things aren’t gonna be that simple, Mormo strikes you down immediately. Leaving it up to the next hero to take up the sword one hundred years later and try again. This is the overall loop of the game. Everytime you die, you jump one hundred years ahead to the next hero who must try and take down Mormo and save the island from falling more and more into her evil corruption.
You go about that by adventuring around the island and completing dungeons which contain powerful items called toys of legend,These toys can vary from your traditional bow and arrow to more outlandish weapons like a robot suit, golf clubs, and a giant monster foot that comes raining down from the sky.
All the toys have uses in in and out of combat with some dungeons being built around specific toys you get on a particular run. There’s also plenty of optional dungeons and side quests to find as you explore the world. You can go about these anyway you see fit, you could head right to the final battle if you wanted to, or explore the island and find secrets, however, i did find the pesky countdown timer kind of limiting early on it doesn’t take long get around it so it’s just a minor during your early runs.
Your character level stays the same throughout the game, raising your max health and unlocking more slots to equip stickers you collect. Stickers give you various bonuses like like a dash attack or a dodge roll that leaves a trail of flames. If you die you will lose your stickers and items you pick up, but as you progress, you will find characters or items to help circumvent some of the roguelike mechanics, like being able to pass on items to your next character or slow down the countdown timer, with these I think the game has a great balance for players wanting a more consistent RPG experience or players looking for the more run based nature of a roguelike.
The game is bursting at the seams with style and charm. from a visual standpoint I found the way the island deteriorates over time or rebuilds itself after a successful run is great, but you do start to see a lot of the same environments after a while so the world does lose a little bit of that wonder. The cast of characters are fantastic and feel ripped right out of a Saturday morning cartoon, from a bowtie wearing frog salesmen and a old turtle historian I always enjoyed meeting a new character but it would’ve been nice if they had more of a role outside of just being shopkeepers.
Overall I found these to be minor setbacks in an all around stellar package, all the combinations you can make between stickers you find, toys you collect, change the flow of the game in a satisfying way each time you play, the game also has local Co-Op for 2 players which also allows for different ways to tackle puzzles and combat.
The Swords of Ditto ignites the same sense of exploration and wonder i had as a kid playing the classic games it takes inspiration from it implements modern gameplay mechanics in a smart way that any level of player could enjoy.
Reviewed on a Standard PlayStation 4 system with a review code provided by the publisher.