Platforming games are a dime a dozen these days. With each passing week, a new platformer is released though many of them fail to inspire the kind of engagement that platformers of old, like Sonic the Hedgehog or the Mario Bros, have achieved. Leo’s Fortune, though, is one new platformer that I think does have what it takes to stand out from the swathes of generic clones, so let’s see what exactly is different.
The premise of Leo’s Fortune is simple: you play as Leopold, who is chasing the thieves you have stolen his fortune. Luckily, the thieves have left a trail of coins for Leo to follow, but to do so, must traverse various challenging landscapes. Throughout the game, there will be cut-scenes and exposition from Leo to flesh out the narrative, and while it is mostly pretty vague, does give you at least a sense of how important the “fortune” is that you and Leo are chasing after.
The game is structured in chapters, each subsequent chapter progresses the story. The good thing about Leo’s Fortune is that there are no IAPs to speak of, so the price of entry is all you have to worry about and all the content you paid for is there.
Playing as Leo, who can most accurately be described as a Tribble from Star Trek with cartoony eyes, you traverse the side-scrolling landscape by way of sliding, jumping, floating and dropping to get around obstacles and avoid traps. The default control scheme in Leo’s Fortune let’s you control Leo’s lateral (side-to-side) movement with your left thumb and vertical movement with your right thumb. It’s a pretty intuitive system that is easy to pick up and very forgiving. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are also on screen buttons and also gamepad compatibility, but I never found the need to explore those as I was perfectly happy with the default controls.
The graphics are easily the highlight of Leo’s Fortune. Chief among the visuals is the detail put into Leo’s model; whatever he is doing, his mop of short hair follows, whether he is sliding around or inflated to float away from danger. This is complimented by absolutely fantastic level design and background landscapes, all of which differ from chapter to chapter, giving each chapter a distinct theme and follows the story laid out by Leo’s exposition.
A close second to the visuals of Leo’s Fortune are the sound effects and music. The background music that plays while you are traversing the various landscapes is majesty and moving, really giving a sense of journey and purpose, and absolutely fits the game without being distracting or overly intrusive. The second part of this is Leo’s voice, which is a fantastic, Russian-accented man’s voice who is somehow just perfect for delivering exposition. During platforming sections, Leo will also make hesitant noises as difficult sections approach and triumphant sounds when you get past said sections, really making him an endearing part of the game.
Leo’s Fortune is right up there with my other favourite mobile platformers, Rayman Jungle Run and Type:Rider, as it really covers all the bases that you need covered from an enthralling platformer. The gameplay is varied and challenging, the characterÂ isÂ loveable, the graphics are top notch and the soundtrack is fantastic. It may cost $4.99, but if there’s one platformer you should get in 2014, it should be Leo’s Fortune.