Recently named Apple’s Game of the Year Runner-Up (missing out to the excellent Threes), Leo’s Fortune is a gem of a platformer, and without a doubt the best game featuring a moustachioed ball of fluff ever made.
Leo has lost his fortune, and it’s up to us, the player, to recover it, whilst uncovering the culprit behind the treasures mysterious disappearance. The story is slight, yet effective in providing background to the globe-trotting adventure. The cutscenes feature a simplistic greyscale colour, with Leo narrating in his bizarre Eastern European accent (think Borat meets Aleksandr the Meerkat), which contrasts nicely with the beautifully colourful levels you’re given to explore.
The levels themselves are inventively created, starting off fairly simple to negotiate, before the latter levels crank up the difficulty significantly, but importantly, without it ever feeling unfair when you skewer yourself on one of the many traps. To navigate the levels you’re going to need good timing and precise control of the intrepid explorer that is Leo.
Controlling Leo is intuitive on a touch screen, with the left half of the screen being used for directional controls, and the right for inflating or deflating Leo, allowing him to glide gracefully between spikes, or to squeeze carefully between narrow gaps. Skill and patience is a must, Leo can feel a little floaty to control, particularly initially, but you’re at least afforded an essential meter to show the speed you’re applying to his directional movement – as well as forgiving checkpoints – to help avoid the trickier puzzles becoming frustrating.
The obstacles themselves might not win any prizes for originality – you push blocks, use timing to negotiate falling traps and leap spikes – staples of any good platformer. But everything is executed with such precision that it’s a joy to breeze through Leo’s 20 levels; if only there were more!
It’ll take you just a few short hours to wrap up all that Leo’s Fortune has to offer, and though each level features a three-star system (one for collecting all of Leo’s gold, one for perfect runs, and one for beating the set time), only the perfectionists among us are likely to go back to replay each level to grab all of the stars on offer. Completion of the game does also award you with “Hardcore Mode”, which tasks you with getting through as many levels as possible without dying, but repetivity soon sets in. With the outstanding level design on offer that’s not such a bad thing, but a bit more longevity certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Short, sweet, near-perfect platforming.
Rating (out of 5):