Leo’s Fortune DEVELOPER: 1337 & Senri
PLATFORMS: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One
RELEASE DATE: April 23, 2014 (mobile devices) l September 8, 2015 (PS4, Windows, OSX) | September 11, 2015 (Xbox One)
From Swedish game developer 1337 & Senri, Leo’s Fortune is a side scroller puzzle game that was initially made and released on mobile platforms last year but has now been made available for download on consoles.
The game follows Leopold, a furry blue fluffball creature with an Eastern European accent and an absolutely fantastic mustache. Leo is on a mission: to find the gold that was taken from him by someone. He suspects it was jealous family members, and sets off on an adventure to their various locations following a trail of coins and overcoming many obstacles on the path to his final destination…wherever that may be.
First of all, it has to be said before anything else that Leo’s Fortune is just a gorgeous game to look at. Leo himself looks straight out of a Pixar movie, and you’ll visit a wide variety of locations from a green and mossy forest, rainy coastline littered with pirate ships, and dry and sandy ruins, to a windy mountain pass and snowy mountain castle. Each of the locations also includes a second underground area you’ll move in and out of to keep things fresh and interesting.
Each of the above mentioned locations is separated into four levels within the five sections. Each has new obstacles and puzzles to overcome, and each comes with three challenges: collect all of the coins, don’t die, and finish the level under a certain amount of time.
For each of these challenges you complete, you receive a gold star with a possible total of three stars per level. This creates some replayability in Leo’s Fortune, which is fairly short—only two to three hours or so to complete. Gathering all of the coins is the easiest to accomplish, while the other two are harder to pull off, especially as you get further into the game and the obstacles get more and more complex and dangerous.
It’s here where some may find some frustration with Leo’s Fortune. Despite how welcoming the game looks, one should not push play expecting an easy, laid back experience. This game has some fairly tough areas—Mr. Leo doesn’t always do what you want or expect him to do, at least not in my experience playing it on Xbox One. Being initially made for mobile devices, it might be a different story playing on your iPad. I died 39 times on one level, mostly during one maddening obstacle. Not something I was expecting to happen during this game. It felt like I was playing Pixar Presents: Dark Souls for a moment. And this is all before you even unlock hardcore mode.
If you’re rushing to beat the clock or trying desperately to make it through without dying, you may find the sudden urge throw your controller boiling up from time to time. Don’t do that. Those things are expensive. If you’re patient and adjust to each new obstacle whenever it gets the best of you, you’ll get through it eventually, and your delight at defeating one of the trickier challenges will be mirrored by Leo’s own reactions.
Overall, Leo’s Fortune offers a simple but well-told little story, such as you might find in a fairy tale, enhanced by an exceptional musical score and plenty of challenges to go back and try to complete. For the price (around $5 to $7 depending on where you want to play it), you really can’t go wrong with this one.