Title: Leo’s Fortune
Version Tested: Xbox One
Where To Buy: Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, App Store, Android Market
Leo’s Fortune was originally conceived as a Smartphone adventure but, as is the case with any successful game, it has seen many ports to other platforms. The most recent appearance is on PS4 and Xbox One. Running at a steady 60fps and at 1080p, the game has never looked better. Unfortunately, performance is not everything and the simple controls and puzzles are fine on a portable device but mundane when a controller is in your hands. Leo’s Fortune is a solid platformer but if you are willing to spend a little more money, you can find a far more engrossing experience.
You play the game as Leo who is essentially an inflatable fluffy ball. He looks adorable with his huge eyes, soft fur and endearing moustache, but do not be fooled by his appearance as he is a bitter old ‘ball’. He sounds like a retired mobster with his thick, eastern European accent and the whole narrative revolves around wealth. The story begins with his riches being stolen and a simple case of whodunit ensues. Each level begins with Leo informing the player about a potential suspect within his family and he gives us a brief history about them. The levels themselves act like a breadcrumb trail leading towards the true culprit except you’ll be collecting his coins along the way.
Over the course of the game, you will visit five different locations which all look significantly different from the last. You will traverse across pirate ships, grassy knolls or even find yourself burrowing into volcanic caves. The levels look elegantly crafted with wonderful hand-drawn art and a diverse colour pallet. Stages will seamlessly transition from varying backdrops which will keep you captivated throughout. The surroundings are not purely cosmetic though as the obstacles in each level are relative too. When aboard the pirate ships, you will be greeted with underwater puzzles and so forth. With Leo having no limbs, the complexities of these puzzles are limited as you are pretty confined by the control options. He can move left and right, jump, plummet or inflate which is as much as you can expect from a fluffy ball. By modern platforming standards, the precision of his movements can feel a bit sluggish as you will mistime jumps or slide off of platforms into hazardous spikes. These controls are great on a touch screen device but when translated to a controller, you have a lot of buttons which are irrelevant.
As you glide through the levels you will collect Leo’s stolen coins and complete puzzles. The puzzles are fairly simplistic, but they become more challenging in the later levels. Once again, the complexities of these puzzles are restricted by the design choice but they do utilize weight based mechanics to freshen up the experience. A few of the later puzzles will employ you to use your intellect, but trial and error will lead you to success. You only have 25 levels here which some may see as disappointing, but they all feel unique and never repetitive. Once you complete the game, you unlock a hard game mode which asks you to finish the game without dying. The game took me a few hours to defeat, and I found myself attempting speed runs, but this might not tempt everyone towards a second outing.
The game redeems itself with the high-quality performance. The game has been completely remastered for the consoles and visually the whole game looks beautiful. You can see the individual strands of Leo’s fur and the environments are rich and vibrant. There is a small amount of dialogue within the game, but the artists have done a great job of conveying Leo’s personality through his facial features. Every time he pops on a spike or deflates to fit through a tight tunnel, you can see the pain, anguish or frustration in his eyes. As you would expect, loading times are instantaneous on the powerful consoles so when you perish, and you will, you are immediately thrown back into the world to try again. I appreciate the gesture of allowing more people to experience the game by bringing this port to consoles, but some additional content would certainly have been welcomed.
The most disappointing aspect of Leo’s Fortune is the serious lack of originality and experimentation. Gameplay, story and ambience; they are all present here, but there are other games available which execute these elements better. The odd occurrence when Leo’s Fortune feels like it is trying something new, it falters and settles back into its comfort zone. One level sees Leo leaping aboard a moving train which felt offbeat and genuinely had me excited. Twenty seconds later, this excitement had diminished as the segment had me repeatedly jumping over the same few obstacles and then it was over!
Leo’s Fortune should absolutely be played if you have a Smartphone, but you need to consider how deep of an experience you are looking for when purchasing the console version. On Xbox One, the game retails at $6.99, which is certainly a great value, but if you are looking for a more challenging and comprehensive experience, Limbo or Rayman Legends, albeit slightly more expensive, would be the smarter choice. That being said, if you thoroughly enjoyed Leo’s Fortune on your portable device and you wish to embark on the adventure again, this is the place to do it.
- Gameplay: Simple, responsive and easy puzzles
- Graphics: Beautifully crisp hand-drawn art with bright, vibrant colours
- Sound: Simple narration with fitting music throughout
- Presentation: 60 frames per second and high-resolution visuals
- Beautiful Presentation
- Varied Locations
- Faultless Performance
- Great On Smartphone
- Puzzles Are Easy
- Limited Creativity
- Short Amount of Content
- Better Alternatives
An Englishman living in Australia. I edit and provide video/written reviews for all of the latest games.