A Russian Puffball Wants His Gold Back –
Originally released and developed for mobile platforms, Leo’s Fortune has made the jump to HD as an indie release on Xbox One. Featuring a googly-eyed limbless puffball with an impressive mustache, this physics-based puzzle platformer is a curious mix between the environmental puzzles of Limbo, the physics of LocoRoco, and the overall goofiness of Tales from Space Mutant Blobs Attack.
You play as Leopold on his quest to reclaim his stolen gold. Strangely, Leo expects one of his family members to be the thief and must track down the culprit one gold coin at a time breadcrumb trail-style. Instead of stomping on enemies or using a weapon, the entire game revolves around getting from Point A to Point B through non-repeating environmental puzzles. It is a little strange as to why a blue Koosh ball would have a horde of gold, I mean he doesn’t even have hands and lives in the dirt, but the story isn’t without its personality. The appeal doesn’t come from the story itself but rather from the charming voice acting of the protagonist. The Russian accent and satisfying one liners give this title a personable charisma that many triple A titles lack.
Here is me playing through the first few stages of Leo’s Fortune.
The gimmick behind Leo’s Fortune is the floaty physics engine and simplified control scheme. The jump button can cause Leo to float with a double tap or even rocket himself out of water after being submerged. To be honest, I think Leo controls much better than Sonic as momentum always seems to be on your side, making loopdee-loops and platforming simple but yet entertaining. Whether it is crossing a bridge, jumping over a spikey chasm, or inflating himself to press a switch, the player will never really do the same thing twice thanks to thoughtful, handcrafted level design. And even through this game was ported from a mobile environment, you wouldn’t be able to tell thanks to the HD graphics, implementation of Leaderboards and Achievements, and controller friendly interface.
For about $7, this indie title only takes a few hours to complete. The replay value comes in the form of earning faster times for a higher Leaderboard rankings and the goal to obtain a 3-Star rating on each stage. Stars are obtained by collecting all the coins, not dying, and finishing each stage within a certain amount of time. There is also a hidden cog icon to collect in each stage as well. However, if Achievements were not tied to these collectables, it probably isn’t worth the frustration of playing each stage to perfect completion. There are also some bonus stages to unlock that always features a unique twist on gameplay like trying to complete as many laps of a twisty maze-like environment in a set time limit. These stages actually reminded me a lot of Rayman Origins, which is a good thing.
Leo’s Fortune is an unexpected short but sweet indie title that is worth your time if you have not already checked it out on your iPhone. The level design is never frustratingly challenging with a lenient checkpoint system and the graphics are surprisingly impressive. Unfortunately, there are times when background art looks interactive and vice versa, confusing the player on what or what not might be a platform. But the soundtrack, although limited, is also well done, complimented by the endearing voice work. Despite a story that is totally nonsensical, Leo’s Fortune is one indie title done right.
Also available on Steam, PS4, and Mac.
Better Than: playing on a mobile phone
Also Try: the Patapon games
Tastes Like: LocoRoco 2
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com