Leo’s Fortune PS4 Review
Publisher: Tilting Point Developer: 1337, Senri Genre: Puzzle, Platformer Players: 1
Age Rating: 7+ Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One
Leo’s Fortune is a platform game through and through and, mixed with some puzzle elements, it certainly has a quirky style of its own. Even though it is obviously heavily inspired by the likes of platform games such as Sonic and Mario, it still manages to offer its own unique spin and I was immediately hooked. The controls feel very much like a platform game and instantly feel familiar, with the gameplay feeling very laid-back, flowing smoothly and with simple controls that are quick and easy to learn.
Originally released for the iOS, Android and Windows phones, it’s no surprise that Leo’s Fortune is a short game but one that is indeed sweet, and very much addictive, especially so on a console. It greatly took me back to the days of consoles of old, where games were challenging but only offered a few hours of gameplay and yet were still satisfying upon completion. These types of games suit mobiles very well, games that can be played bits at a time or when you find yourself in a situation where there is lots of waiting around to do.
On a console, Leo’s Fortune still works very well and can be played within at least two to three hours, depending on your skills. The story has you following Leo, a puff-ball version of the Annoying Orange, only Leo has a slick moustache. He wakes one day to find that his fortune of gold coins has been stolen and it is up to up to you to guide Leo through many treacherous levels filled with deadly traps, loop-de-loops and pits of death to try and find out who stole his precious treasure.
Reminiscent of the Mario games, the currency of this world is gold coins, and Leo collects these throughout the levels, but they aren’t just some shiny things to collect. Of course, they do add to your overall score, but they also play a part in the story itself and so are given more meaning than what Sonic’s gold rings or Mario’s gold coins do.
There is, surprisingly, some substance to the story; narrated by Leo, the story is one that explores greed and conveys its message very well. A minimalistic moral tale, the message isn’t very subtle and many players will catch on straight away what it is trying to get across, but the heartfelt message becomes more evocative as the story progresses, especially towards the end and packs a bigger punch than expected from such a short game.
There are no enemies in the game, with the only dangerous foes being the obstacles that you have to get past. Anything that can have a spike poking out will almost certainly be guaranteed to have one, or multiples of them, be it on rotating platforms, sticking up out of the ground, in clusters on walls, or even swinging maces, all ready and indiscreetly placed and waiting to impale our furry protagonist. As mentioned, there are also loop-de-loops, and it is fun to go at full speed down slopes and around these loops, à la a certain fast blue hedgehog.
However, whereas Sonic runs, Leo’s preferred way of getting about is by sliding; you would think he would roll around like a ball, being ball-shaped, but he doesn’t, and as he has no visible limbs, he must be secreting some kind of mucus or slime trail that we are unable to see, as he moves at quite a fluid pace.
The controls are very easy to learn and Leo comes with some interesting moves. He can blow himself up like a puffer fish and float around, and can squash down to make himself more weighted, enabling him to drop from platforms quicker. He also has a stomp manoeuvre which is used to lower platforms and at certain points he will also be able to move objects in order to use them in some way. The controls feel very floaty and with the way Leo moves they can also feel very slippery, which can make manoeuvring awkward at times. Thankfully these can be handled with ease after a relatively short time and so do not have much of a negative impact on the gameplay.
The puzzles don’t require much brain power and it is very much about reaction time, and whilst the initial playthrough can be quite easy, there is a hard mode which will provide a much greater sense of reward for your efforts. Leo’s Fortune is one of those games that has a learning curve, one where getting caught by a trap and dying makes you change your approach to pass through. Whilst later puzzles do offer quite a challenge, there perhaps isn’t enough for a console version, at least on the first run; this is definitely a game that will appeal to younger people or players who prefer time-wasters as opposed to games that require your full attention.
The levels are well designed and even though there aren’t any that particularly standout, there is a lot of variation in them to keep them fresh and to keep you playing on. From chases to rock-slides to under water sections, to windy areas and underground mines, there isn’t really anything we haven’t seen in other platforms before, with the obligatory snow and lava level also making an appearance. However, the levels are successful at making the most of Leo’s abilities, and there is certainly enough detail that shows the game has been given a lot of TLC.
Leo’s Fortune is certainly a quirky game and one that feels instantly familiar with its simplistic controls and homage to Sonic and Mario, yet is a game that is able to offer something that feels different. With the story adding some depth, it makes the game just a little bit more special, and priced at £5.79, this is definitely a game worth the couple of hours of your time.