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Games of the week


By Features Reporter


The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse. Picture: Handout/PA
The Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse. Picture: Handout/PA

The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse

Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Genre: RPG

Price: £13.99

Unsheathe an adorable adventure

You'll wear many faces in The Swords of Ditto, some for longer than others. In your battle against the titular Mormo you might be a rabbit wielding a conker, a girl with a fire-tipped sword, or a frog wearing a crown. Until you die (which happens regularly) and, 100 years of tyranny later, take control of a new randomly generated hero. This kind of cyclical gameplay is a common set-up nowadays, but Swords of Ditto makes it feel fresh, with a quirky storyline, superb combat and cheerful visuals that recall the contemporary-meets-fantasy cartoon joy of Netflix's Hilda. There are innovations galore, and all of them come together in a characterful adventure that more than lives up to its Zelda-inspired roots.

Skip to the end: A wonderfully rich, inventive and enjoyable hack 'n' slash fest.

Score: 9/10

Close To The Sun. Picture: Handout/PA
Close To The Sun. Picture: Handout/PA

Close To The Sun

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Genre: RPG

Price: £24.99

Solar flair

Close To The Sun is set aboard an ocean-based utopia, an art-deco haven for the world's great minds. But you arrive to discover disaster – ruined facilities, ominous graffiti, and something very dangerous lurking in the darkness. So far, so familiar. If you played BioShock this will be serious deja-vu territory, and Close To The Sun echoes that submarine masterpiece in story, design and structure. In fairness, the experiences are different, particularly given there's no weaponry here (danger is overcome by running away as fast as you can), but the core similarities only highlight the ways in which Close To The Sun is less agile and dynamic.

Skip to the end: A mildly appealing but all too familiar seaborne adventure.

Score: 7/10

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows. Picture: Handout/PA
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows. Picture: Handout/PA

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows

Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Genre: RPG

Price: £17.99

Shamefaced

Masquerada looks like The Banner Saga, with its cel-shaded stylings, isometric strategy and team-based battles, but the resemblance is not even skin deep. This game has no drama or tactical appeal – it's an awkwardly bodged-together blend of real-time and paused-time skirmishing, broken up by periods of walking around rectangular blandscapes seeking doors to open or dullards to fight, at which point any chance of shrewd thinking goes out the window, given that each and every battle is a process of holding the auto-bash button until everyone keels over. There are skills to select and allies to command, but conflicts are so crowded and confusing that even pausing time only delays the inevitable, mind-numbing experience that every Masquerada session descends into.

Skip to the end: A clumsy and badly designed battle against boredom.

Score: 3/10

The Unic. Picture: Handout/PA
The Unic. Picture: Handout/PA

The Unic

Platform: iPad/iPhone

Genre: Puzzle

Price: Free

Distinct challenge

Your eyes can miss the most obvious things. Visual puzzler The Unic trades on our blind spots, tasking you with identifying unique shapes among a densely patterned array of tiles under increasingly strict time limits. Occasionally, it can feel all too easy to find the odd one out, but it's not unusual to discover the right shape was hidden in plain sight, creating a beguilingly simple and addictive challenge. Progress unlocks additional patterns, which is a neat way of steadily upping the complexity, though the free-to-play model does result in a messy host of purchasable items (like time pauses or hints) and collectables that slightly spoils the puzzling purity. But for a freebie, The Unic is impressively moreish and gorgeously designed.

Skip to the end: Brilliant gratis puzzling cluttered by unnecessary purchases.

Score: 8/10



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