Leo’s Fortune is a charming, if rather simple, little indie platform game. The game play is a mix of Sonic the hedgehog, with the need to use speed and momentum to curve around the environment, and a bit of Gish. The controls are in no danger of boggling the mind. It’s basically a matter of jump, glide and pound most of the time; but let’s face it the sonic controllers were simpler, so I don’t feel this matter is detrimental to the game. In fact, unlike Sonic, when Leo goes underwater the controls do change to reflect it. Whereas Sonic used to sink like a lead weight, Leo can swim and even use his buoyancy to gain momentum.
The game has a charming, if short narrative. Leo’s treasure has been stolen and in order to track down the culprit and reclaim his property, Leo goes on an adventure, following the trail of coins dropped by the culprit. It’s well narrated with the voice acting fitting nicely into Leo’s character. If a furry head with a moustache that does Movember proud did exist, then, in my opinion, they’ve captured just what he would sound like.
The trail of gold leads you through a variety of environments from lush green forests to barren desert ruins. Each area has its own unique look and colour pallet, and I have to confess that what really makes this game for me is the visuals. It’s one of those games where you can stand in one place and just admire it. The attention to detail is exquisite, and even levels within the same areas have quite a bit of visual variety to them, going from external landscapes to internal caves and passages, to underwater pools.
While the game has a lot of basic platform elements, it has also thrown in a few puzzles. I wouldn’t really call the puzzles mentally taxing, and a few times when Leo said “I solved it” I did sometimes think, solved what? As the puzzles can in places be as simple as just pushing a boulder on a switch. They do get more tricky as the game progresses, but the difficulty is generally in the accomplishing rather than the conceiving, as the slightly imprecise, floaty controls do become noticeable the further you get into the game. It’s not a major issue, but in games like these imprecise controls can become cause for considerable frustration. But whenever that became an issue for me I just stood in once place took a deep breath and admired the scenery before having another try.
The only thing that I would really like to see added to the game, are some actual death animations. All the game does when you die is flash the screen red. I’m not talking gushing blood or anything that would ruin the soft visuals. I just think that when Leo is impaled on spikes, his expression could change, just a little.
The game is short, little over two hours, and I think that is likely a reflection of the fact that it’s essentially a mobile game port. If you’re the type of person that just likes to play from start to finish then it might be a disappointment for you. But each level does reward stars for coin collection, death and speed and to get all three for every level would take a completionist a chunk of time, so the game does come with replay value. The game isn’t expensive and, in my opinion, while it’s not amazing value it’s worth the price you pay.
Overall, this is a solid platform game with really quite stunning visuals. The levels are well designed and have a nice gentle learning curve but the imprecision of the controls can hinder progress a little in the later levels. If you’re a gamer that’s out for a challenge however, then you might find this game’s difficulty a little slow to ramp up, but I hear there is a hard core mode which unlocks once you beat the game, so bear with it. It’s got a quirky style and narrative that I found charming. If you happen to have an evening to kill then this game will likely do it.
Stunning visuals with great attention to detail
Well designed levels
Easy learning curve
It’s got character along with an entertaining narrative
Has replay value through level rating and hard core mode
If you like a challenge then you’ll be waiting a while
Controls can be floaty and imprecise