Platforms PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC/Android/iOS
Developer 1337 & Senri Publisher Tilting Point
Genre Platformer Platform Played Xbox One
Initially released as a mobile title, Leo’s Fortune is now seeing a release across current generation consoles and the PC. While the quantity of levels leaves something to be desired, the level design is magnificent, the plot is meaningful, and there seems to be something innately enjoyable about traversing a dangerous world as a puffball.
Leo’s Fortune, as the name suggests, follows a fluffy protagonist named Leopold in search of his missing fortune of gold. The tale begins with a monologue detailing the loss of his money, who the primary suspects are, and possible motives behind seeing Leo part with his gold. Leaving a note for his wife Mathilda, Leo embarks on his quest to regain his wealth and confront the thieving culprit. What follows is an adventure which takes some interesting twists and turns, including a large robot which runs on liquid metal. While the ending is relatively predictable, it does not take away from the meaningful message found within the story, allowing for not only a greater sense of closure, but also offering players something more than a simple distraction for an hour or two.
Five worlds separate the start of this journey and the finale, totaling 20 primary levels and four bonus levels altogether. As an arcade game now found on consoles and the PC, this number of levels does feel lacking, but a fantastic art style ensures there is no shortage of gorgeous foregrounds and backgrounds to enjoy, and there are challenges available to extend the lifespan of the title. The worlds span a great variety of environments ranging from ancient ruins and cliffs to snowy peaks and coastal fishing villages. Each new world introduces a new mechanic, giving a fresh feel to each one, particularly when partnered with a difficulty increase. The levels are not inherently difficult, although there are three possible stars to earn from completing a level under a specific time, without dying, and collecting each gold coin. When attempting to complete a later level without dying, the challenge becomes quite significant and even the slightest misstep leads to starting over again. If this is still not enough challenge for your liking, completing Leo’s Fortune unlocks Hardcore Mode which grants you only one life to complete the entire game. Some may view this as a simple or superficial way to extend gameplay, but only those looking for such a challenge will likely even attempt it.
The controls in Leo’s Fortune are simple and intuitive, although I encountered a handful of times when the button pressed did not behave the way it should have. While using an input command to inflate Leo and cause him to float in the air, occasionally he would jettison downwards, usually into some sort of fatal danger. If Leo happens to be even slightly touching a surface above him when he is inflated, he will always push off of it with great speed regardless of your intention, but it will also occur sporadically when not in contact with any surface, resulting in a great deal of frustration if you are attempting a flawless run in later levels. Using gusts of wind or water to navigate also carry learning curves, but in these cases, there are always empty, harmless areas for your first introduction to the new mechanic, allowing you to practice without being punished too much. None of the introduced mechanics are terribly deviant from traditional platforming schemes, but this gentle introduction to new elements is certainly a nice touch, particularly for younger audiences.
Eventually puzzles elements are also added to levels, forcing you to examine the environment more closely to determine your path forward. Like the difficulty level, none of the puzzles are too taxing, but can add just enough of a delay while attempting a speed run to obstruct you from reaching a desired time. Again, the title seems to find its balance between offering difficulty to inexperienced players but also finding ways to challenge the more seasoned gamers who will likely attempt to complete all of the tasks laid out before them.
The soundtrack in Leo’s Fortune is unique and quirky, quite like the fluffy teal protagonist. The music is never overbearing, changes appropriately to fit the environment, but you may also never recall what the music was like after finishing a level. The tunes are relatively simple, explaining why the music may not stick with you, but complex enough that the music actually has a sense of belonging.
The biggest strength of Leo’s Fortune is finding the balance between casual platforming and substantial challenges in an attempt to appeal to the broadest audience possible. Lacking lengthy gameplay from start to finish, the game relies heavily on players challenging themselves to draw out play time. Fortunately, the same individuals who will likely complete the basic game in short order are also the very same who will take on the task of obtaining all stars or completing Hardcore Mode. When understanding the title was originally on mobile platforms, the length of the campaign makes significantly more sense, offering a game which may be played in short bursts of time rather than hours on end as many consoles or PC gamers are known for doing. The plot is easily one of the most enjoyable found in platformers of late, if only for the message it offers to the player upon its completion. Leo’s Fortune will not offer hours upon hours of replay value, and may leave you wishing there were at least several more worlds, but it is a charming, solid platformer carrying an idea which far too many people need in this age.
- Gorgeous level design
- Plot carries philosophical meaning
- Hardcore Mode offers challenge
- Little replay value
- Short campaign
- Little difficulty without attempting to obtain 100% completion
The Score: 7.3
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.