The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse is a video game roguelite with two different faces. On one side, it’s charming, funny, and has a fascinating primary game mechanic. Yet on the other side, it’s monotonous, confusing, and decidedly not enjoyable to play single-player. Whether this Two-Face of a title is worth your while is entirely a matter of what matters to you more: gameplay or writing?
A fantastic tale
Let’s get one thing straight: The Swords of Ditto‘s central theme is a wonderful idea. Basically, your avatar is stuck in a cycle where every 100 years they must defeat a witch named Mormo. Victory or defeat, Mormo will return to make everyone’s life miserable. It’s up to you to find a way to weaken her and break the curse.
Head out into the unknown
As you play Mormo’s Curse, you’ll get into a certain rhythm. Explore the map, grab as much gold as you can, find fast travel stops, and return to town often to obtain power-ups. You’ll find enhancements stickers you can equip on your person to boost stats, upgrades for your toys/weapons that enable elemental damage, and a variety of food you can eat when your health runs low. One neat thing a player will notice is that depending on whether Mormo kills you or not, the environments, dungeons, and even NPC reactions to the Sword of Ditto will change. It’s a cool detail!
I can’t do this alone
It is highly recommended that you play The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse with a friend. It’s easier to solve puzzles and deal with enemies when someone is watching your back. In addition, some of the puzzles I encountered in dungeons seemed impossible without a partner. There was one point where my loved one threw me over a wall to activate a switch. All I could think was, “Wait, how was I supposed to do that by myself?”
This was not the only instance where I was perplexed by The Swords of Ditto‘s design. Every cycle, you must visit dungeons in a specific order to be able to destroy Mormo’s anchors. If you decide to traverse the map freely without subscribing to this linearity, you will eventually reach dungeons you cannot access. This is due to the fact you need unique Toys of Legend in order to open certain entrances. I wish the title offered more freedom in this regard.
In addition to these annoyances, the combat in The Swords of Ditto is lackluster. While the weapons you obtain offer some cute variety, (I was partial to a spiked yo-yo that did continuous damage; my partner found a record you could deploy like a boomerang.) your avatar will do the most damage bashing a baddy with the sword. Often, you and a friend will be employing the same three-hit combo to dispatch most foes. Your sole defense is a dodge roll, with no shield or parry of which to speak. It’s disappointing there isn’t more meat to the game’s battles.
It’s not the end of the world
If it sounds like I loathe The Swords of Ditto, it’s not true. The roguelite is beautiful and has some catchy tunes. Dialogue and journals you come across are humorous and well-written. There are ways to make sure your descendants have great equipment when they begin their journey. Seeing a little graphic of Mormo getting worried as you gain levels is hilarious. Plus, every cycle is unique and has tricks up its sleeves to keep you on your toes.
In conclusion, however, The Swords of Ditto is not an excellent game. It’s better than alright but not great. The fact that it’s good lies in its charm and writing, not its boring combat and cumbersome design. If you’re a fan of roguelites, give it a spin. Just make sure you bring a companion along for the ride.
A review code was provided by the publisher.