- System: PC, PS4
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Developer: Onebitbeyond
- Release Date: April 24, 2018
- Rating: E 10+
- Players: 1-2
- Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG, Indie, Roguelike
- Official Website: http://www.onebitbeyond.com/
Who it Caters to
Fans of action RPGs, roguelike games, exploration, and SNES Zelda-inspired designs and music will not want to miss this game. It's been such a long time since we've played a game that contains elements of so many excellent titles from the past while not taking itself too seriously. Swords of Ditto marks Onebitbeyond's first entry into the video game world. Their motto is short but concise: focused on creating unique gameplay experiences for consoles and PC. Even though this is their first title, they've managed to strike a perfect balance of engaging gameplay, unique experiences each time through, and a narrative that is self-aware and uses that to its advantage. This is game that classic action RPG fans needed but didn't know they were missing.
What to Expect
You'll fight through underground layers, find ancient ruins, learn about the gods that inhabited the world, collect artifacts, level up your stats, and accumulate mini-quests all while preparing yourself for the final showdown against Mormo. It's a tale as old as time. The hero rises up to confront the ultimate darkness in the world. But, The Swords of Ditto uses roguelike elements to make this game fun and refreshing each time you play. Make no mistake, your character will die and cease to exist if your health points are completed depleted. However, you will be reincarnated and be born 100 years into the future. You'll see the ramifications of your absence from the world and Mormo's activities left uncheck. You'll have the chance to continue your journey with experience and levels remaining intact.
While you're on this adventure, you'll also have a time limit placed on your activities. You have four days until the destined battle against Mormo and her forces. You'll have to discover various ways to extend time if you hope to collect all of the items and experience that will ensure your victory over evil. Or, for the truly brave, you can skip all of the exploration and questing and head straight for Mormo's dungeon. You can confront her head on if you think you're ready for it. The choice is yours. You decide how the narrative unfolds and how deep you want to explore this game.
The Swords of Ditto - Gameplay Trailer
Besides this standard narrative, there are hints early on that the world used to be inhabited by an ancient race. They were known as the Arcadians. These beings had a peaceful empire that gave rise to incredible technology and spanned the entire world. But, eventually, a civil war broke out and almost resulted in the complete annihilation of the human race. A complex system of Trial Chambers was constructed by the Arcadians. They were used as a way to test themselves upon coming of age. These chambers house powerful artifacts known as the Toys of Legend. Thus, they are linked to the Sword of Ditto's unending quest to strike down Mormo.
Those "necessary precautions" are standard RPG elements such as accumulating experience, leveling up, increasing your stats with accessories, and finding powerful items. You gain experience as you hack through zombies, floating skulls, venomous plants, and a myriad of other enemies. Your stats are increased once you've gained enough experience to reach the next character level. At the same time, you'll gain access to sticker slots. Stickers are purchasable items that affect your stats as well. They can be as straightforward as increasing your attack and defense. Or they can be more specific, such as receiving less damage from certain elemental attacks or only buffing your character during certain times of the day. The powerful items in this game as known as Toys of Legend. You'll find those after completing dungeons and their corresponding bosses. Lucky for us gamers, all the enjoyable aspects of classic action RPG games are found in this one. There are even side quests that you can find by speaking to NPC's. They're not necessary, the game leaves the amount of investment you want to put in this game completely up to you, but we recommend you take care of these because the rewards are worth it.
The music and art directions are nostalgic and upbeat. You'll often hear melodies that will remind you of playing A Link to the Past for the SNES or other RPGs from around that era. The upbeat tracks are not the only ones we enjoyed. There are also tunes that sound mystical yet comforting. The synth instruments combined with the beats can be very relaxing and provide a sense of discovery and awe. We love how when the weather changes and gets darker the music change in mood drastically and I feels very eerie. Each area and scene of the game has music catered just for it that ties in so well with the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of the game. The artwork is simple and definitely cartoony, think of Adventure Time, but it doesn't feel overly childish or corny. It strikes a reasonable balance of classic RPG-inspired designs with a modern twist. Overall, the combination of music and art feels flawless and a joy to experience. Often times, games will have a certain character or stage design that just seems awkward or unfinished. Other times certain art styles can be explicitly jarring to induce a certain emotional effect. We can't think of a recent game where we felt as comfortably engaged and immersed in gameplay as we have with The Swords of Ditto.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
If we had to pick something that disliked about this game, it would have to be that hit detection felt a little off at times. One enemy type, in particular, gave us a hard time. There's floating trio of ghost heads that are enveloped in energy that injures you if they make contact with your body. Most times, it would take several slices of our sword to deplete their life points. But, a few times our sword just whiffed through the heads and they ended up chunking out our health instead. It was a little bit annoying. Besides that, there's not really much to complain about.
- Nostalgic feel
- Tight controls
- Great soundtrack
- Essential RPG elements
- Rare instances of awkward hit detection