Leo’s Fortune just passed the one-year anniversary of its launch into the Google Play Store. I finally get my hands on the critically acclaimed adventure platformer to see if it is still good today.
I’ll admit, I had never played Leo’s Fortune until this week and the only reason I picked it up was because it was on sale for only $0.99 last week. Sadly, the sale has ended but it is still marked down from what it typically costs. The game generally sells for $4.99 so getting it for only $1 was a very easy decision for me. Especially after I have heard so many good things about the game when it was launched. I haven’t really heard much about it since as the hype seems to have died down. At this time though, the game is priced at $2.99 and after playing it this week I have to admit that is a fair price.
The reason why I never picked the game up before was because of the price. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to mobile games, but it does go beyond that. If the gameplay piqued my interest more, then the $4.99 price tag wouldn’t have been a big deal. The game’s trailer and screenshots just make it look like a very casual focused game. Sure, I like puzzle games and I like platformer games but the whole package of Leo’s Fortune just made the thing seem meh. There just wasn’t anything that stood out to me. Thankfully the dev team, 1337 & Senri, put the game on such a tempting sale and I just had to pick it up to see what all the fuss was about.
Leo’s Fortune Review
Leo’s Fortune doesn’t come with very many settings. The main menu and the settings pages are very basic and this definitely lends to the casual game focus that the developers were after. Not to say that adding in more settings would have made it a hardcore game, but it seems very obvious that the developers wanted to keep things as simple as possible. You have two different control options, Touch and Buttons, and then you have an option to toggle the subtitles off as well as an option to allow the application to download using your cellular data. Again, very basic, very simple and right to the point. So let’s dive in and see who Leo is and what is it about his fortune that merits a game to be created about it.
Leo’s Fortune has some amazing graphics for a mobile game but I’ll get into that a little later. The game starts off with Leo doing a little narrating. He talks about how he is/was an engineer and incredibly smart. How he used his knowledge to amass a great fortune but things take a turn for the worse. It seems someone has stolen his gold and the goal of the game is to not only retrieve it all, but to solve the mystery of who did the thieving. So as you progress further and further into the game, you’ll learn more about Leo’s family and friends and which ones would have a reason to steal his fortune. The developers did a great job of creating a mystery and pulling you into the story as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, the thief has quite the butterfingers and they have left you a trail of your own fortune to follow them. As you see here, there is almost always trail of gold coins that leads you from the start of the level to the end. Your goal is to collect up all of your coins for each level and to do it as quickly as possible. You are scored on these goals but I’ll get into that a little later. During these levels, you’ll come across puzzles, obstacles, platforms and more, all to test your agility, your problem solving skills and your wit.
The controls are quite simple and the game gives you the choice to run through the tutorial at the start of the level or to make you figure it out by yourself. I love it when game developers give you the choice for this. Not everyone wants to fiddle with the controls(which aren’t very apparent here in this game) for 5-10 minutes just to figure out the basics. As you can see, the screen is divided into two sections, a left side and a right side. When your thumb touches the left side of the screen you will be able to control Leo’s forward and backward movement.
With the left side of the screen controlling your forward and backward movement, the right side of the screen controls your upward and downward movement. Swiping up on the right side of the screen will inflate Leo and cause him to jump. Swiping down on the right side of the screen will make Leo deflate or dive down. This sounds basic and easy at first but the game takes things even deeper with variations of this. For instance, if you swipe down while you are in the air, you do a quick dive down onto the floor. If you swipe down while you are going down a hill then Leo will speed up and gain momentum.
The controls even go a little deeper too. Swiping up and holding up will cause Leo to inflate and stay inflated. As you can see from the image above, Leo will inflate and he will put pressure on various environmental objects. Some things, like the objects seen above control a platform that will raise or lower the longer you put pressure on them. Things are very simple at first but the developers expand on this more and more as the game progresses. Also, swiping up and holding after you have jumped will cause Leo to float or glide in the air at a reduced fall rate. This allows the developers to really test your reflexes as they make you weave in and out of various hazards.
The game starts you off small and slowly eases you into the game with more and more difficult tasks. This style of learning reminds me of how games like Mega Man were on the NES. Introduce one new gameplay element per section of the level and let the player figure it out before they proceed. You’ll first be asked to jump up, then eventually you’ll be asked to push down a gate and then you’ll have to test your platforming skills by gaining some momentum and then jumping from ledge to ledge.
Leo’s Fortune really has this Sonic the Hedgehog vibe going for it. You’re a little ball, you gain momentum and cling to walls, allowing you to do loops as you see above. Swiping down on the right side of the screen while you are going down a hill will speed you up and allow your momentum to carry you farther. Also, as I mentioned before, the game scores you based on the time it takes you to complete the level. So, you will continually find the urge to go faster and faster but you have these obstacles to watch out for. Unlike Sonic though, one hit on the obstacle will kill you.
Thankfully though, the game doesn’t really penalize you for dying. Sure, you get one less gold star at the end of a level if you die even once, but it’s not like you have to start over from the very beginning. There aren’t checkpoints throughout the level but each obstacle is a checkpoint itself. If the obstacle is just a single object then you’ll have to reset right before that object if you die. However, if the obstacle is bigger and more complex than you might have to start over at the beginning of the obstacle area if you end up dying. For example, at the spot where those spikes were on the box, you have to jump from box to box to get to a lever and then jump back where you came from.
If you hit any of those spikes then you’ll have to restart either at the start of that area or at the lever(which is half way through). I was a little worried at first to find out how far back the game would send me if I died so I was very cautious at first. Going slowly and making sure I looked before I leaped. However, after I found out there wasn’t much of a penalty, I started to be a little more carefree and allowing myself to go faster and take more risks. Sure, this won’t end well if you are trying to complete a level without dying once but if you aren’t worried about that then you can have a little more fun throughout the levels.
As I mentioned, each level grades you on how well you completed it. Each level, at least toward the start, allows you earn three different stars. One star is for collecting up all of the gold coins, one star is for completing the level without dying at all and one star is for completing the level under a certain amount of time. Each level has a different time for you try to complete it under. It all depends on how big the level is so you’ll have to complete the level one time through before you can find out what that goal time is.
There are 5 acts in Leo’s Fortune with a total of 19 regular levels. Acts one through four have bonus missions that you can only participate in if you collect up enough stars for that specific act. Act 1 only requires that you collect up three stars to play the bonus level, Act 2 requires that you collect up four stars to participate in the bonus level and so on. I’m not sure if all of the bonus levels are the same, but as you can see from the image above, the first bonus level asks you to complete as many laps as possible before the time runs out. These bonus levels help to teach you how to use the inflate and dive techniques to optimize your speed.
I have to give credit to the developers of Leo’s Fortune. I didn’t have much initial interest in the game but they really made it fun, interesting, unique and with superb graphics. The game weighs in at just over 300MB to download and install. I can only imagine there are more things to download(assets or something) from the option that was on display within the settings of the game. Then again, maybe this is just for communicating with the game’s servers for things like a high score and such. As of right now, Leo’s Fortune has been able to maintain a 4.6 star rating and now I can understand why.
I can’t recommend this game enough but there are some caveats here. If you don’t care for puzzle or platformer games then you probably won’t enjoy Leo’s Fortune. Also, if you don’t like a game where dexterity comes into play, then you probably won’t like the game. There are some parts where you have to operate with optimal precision to get past and obstacle and this can frustrate a certain type of person. I only found a couple of spots that I had to repeat 5+ times in order to get it right but I imagine this will happen more and more as the game progresses. However, if you enjoy that type of gameplay style, and like puzzle games then you will probably love this game.
At $2.99, I would recommend it to anyone who has had an interest in the game at all since it was released. At $0.99, like it was last week, I would recommend this game to everyone. Even if you just play and enjoy the game for an hour it is still worth the $0.99(again, assuming you like this type of gameplay). I found myself not wanting to put the game down but knew that I had to so that I could write up this review. I will continue playing it over the next couple of weeks as see how it progresses. If I have anything else to say about the game after playing it some more then I will be sure to come back and write more about it.
Have you played any of Leo’s Fortune yet? I want to hear what you thought about the art style, the gameplay aspects and the overall package. Even if you haven’t played the game yet, I am curious to hear why you haven’t picked it up yet and whether or not you plan on getting it at a later point in time.
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