The procedurally generated dungeon crawl has come a long way in my lifetime. I grew up practically learning to read by playing the original Rogue. Whole worlds constructed of letters and symbols, full of strange new words like Q for Quaff (a fancy word for drink) and K for Kestrel (a cave-dwelling, face-hating murderbird).
Thinking back to those early memories, it feels all the more surreal to look at The Swords Of Ditto, a game taking some of those core concepts – random dungeons and permanent death along them – and for it all to look like a pin-sharp, smoothly animated cartoon come to life. It’s still a ways off, but the game now has a release date, and a new trailer to go with it.
If the trailer tickles your fancy, then cast your mind and eyes back to July of 2017, where we covered the game in a little more detail, including a lengthy 12 minutes of gameplay footage. None of the video so far has really dug deep into what’s supposedly the big twist in Ditto’s design: The idea that every death or successful playthrough alters the world in some capacity, with a vibe halfway between Nethack’s graveyard files and Rogue Legacy’s progression mechanics.
Beyond that particular wrinkle, more than anything The Swords Of Ditto reminds me of Four Swords Adventures, a lesser-known Zelda spinoff for the Gamecube. In Four Swords, teams of up to four players tried to work together to solve puzzles and explore dungeons, but more often than not the game devolved into chaotic flailing and passive-aggressive backstabbing, as all the best co-op games are wont to do. While The Swords Of Ditto looks limited to just two players, the potential for screwing over your best buddy just for laughs looks high, and oh-so-tempting.
The Swords Of Ditto is out on April 24th, and you can wishlist to track its release on Steam here.