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Leo's Fortune

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Tilting Point
Developer: 1337 & Senri LLC
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Platformer

Graphics & Sound:

Let me tell you the story of a very fortunate man who met with a stroke of misfortune. Today, let us listen to the story of Leopald the fortunate in Leoís Fortune, a very well-off individual who possessed a large sum of gold. Tragedy befalls even the most pleasant of individuals, and Leo soon finds out he is no exception to this rule.

Originally a mobile platforming dream, Leoís Fortune makes the transition to Xbox One very smoothly. I was incredibly surprised by how vivid and amazing the worlds look. The backgrounds were very clear and looked beautiful as I traversed through the traps and puzzles each stage had to offer, even though theyíre only present as decoration, but the pretty graphics should be expected since the game has been updated to 1080p. Some backgrounds feature animations such as a fire burning or steam bellowing, but they wonít affect your progress through the level. Leoís model, along with the rest of the world around him, is updated to look very high definition on the Xbox One. Youíll really notice the updates once you get into the game and also when you view the little cutscenes that play after certain levels to progress the story as well. Players definitely wonít be disappointed with the graphics when they dive into the various worlds.

The best part of the game in my opinion is the soundtrack. The music in this game is truly fantastic to listen to and makes each level all the better. To describe the soundtrack, Iíd have to say it felt very ambient with orchestral elements in some levels. As you can imagine, the tracks made for very relaxing gameplay as I hopped through the levels. Along with the excellent soundtrack, players will also hear Leo make comments from time to time based on whatís going on. Along with Leoís narration on the story, youíll get very used to his voice quickly. Itís pretty good, so you shouldnít get too annoyed with it.


Gameplay:

Players join Leo in his quest to reclaim the gold that was taken from him. Heís a furry little blue fellow with an incredible mustache. Seriously, he could compete with Mario. Anyway, players take control of Leo in this little platforming indie gem and will traverse a variety of levels to reach the end goal, Leoís gold. Youíll quickly understand why the game is called Leoís Fortune.

Leoís Fortune boasts simple gameplay as a platformer. As Leo, players must navigate their way through the twists of the various stages present in the game. To get started, all you must do is select a stage from the overhead map. The game is broken up into five chapters with four levels along with a bonus level. Bonus levels are locked and can be unlocked by gaining a certain amount of stars. You gain stars by completing the objectives in each of the four main missions per chapter. Donít worry, theyíre nothing fancy. Each level has three stars and you can earn a star by either collecting all of the gold coins in a level, never dying in a level or getting the correct time completion on a level. I could get the first one consistently, but the second two are a bit more difficult, at least for me. Perhaps youíll have better luck than me, but in my rush for the timer star, I made mistakes and lost out on the no death star as well.

If youíre wondering what the stars do, they unlock special bonus stages in the chapters. Each chapterís bonus stage takes a certain number of stars and the amount increases as you go through the chapters. The bonus stages have their own special objective where you must complete as many laps as possible on the stage before the time expires. The more laps you can do, the better. Youíll also net a higher spot on the leaderboards the more laps you can complete. Laps are tracked as you make your way through the stage, but not only by total laps completed. The game also tracks how far into a lap you are. Think of it like partial credit for giving it a shot. The partial laps even help towards your final score, so itís always worth it to go as far as you can even when the timer is about to expire.

Once you dive into the stages, youíll find that the game itself is not very difficult at all. Like a standard platformer, you simply must run and jump your way to victory. Players control Leo with the Left Analog Stick and can jump with the (A) button. You can control Leoís speed precisely with how much pressure you put on the stick, and this will be crucial for getting faster completion time, as well as solving certain puzzles later on. As you rush for the finish, youíll be met with different puzzles and obstacles you must get past in order to progress. Obstacles will include things like bottomless pits or spiked surfaces. Fall down a pit or touch a hazardous surface and Leo will be taken to the last safe area he was in. Basically, itís a checkpoint, and by safe area, I mean platform or surface immediately before the trap you met an untimely end on. The puzzles arenít too difficult, and youíll know you hit one when Leo says something like "a puzzle to tease my brain" or something. I think itís a nifty little feature, so you can know you hit a puzzle and should look out for solutions.

You wonít be working co-op with others in Leoís Fortune, but you can challenge your friends for higher scores on the leaderboards. When you start the game, youíll see the leaderboard icon to the right of the screen on the main screen. This will show you where you rank in the world, as well as who some of the best Leoís Fortune players are. For regular stages, youíll see the completion time. For the bonus stages, youíll see the amount of laps a player could complete within the time limit. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the layout of a level so you can get to the top, too.


Difficulty:

Leoís Fortune isnít a difficult game at the start. Thereís no set difficulty level and most players should be able to pick up the game and finish it without too much trouble. Adding to that fact, thereís only 20 levels, so no one should have too much trouble with simply completing the game. Now, hereís where you can really get some hours in. After completing the game, you will unlock the Hardcore Mode. You can select Hardcore Mode from the Main Menu and youíll find the icon to the top right above the leaderboard icon. Hardcore Mode is a step up from the normal game and requires players to get through all 20 levels without dying. No, you donít get a break. I tried it and the game seemed to just take me right to the next stage as I progressed through. Think Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and the All-Cup Tour, except you canít die. I died pretty quickly, so I doubt Iíll be making too much progress in the Hardcore Mode, but maybe someone out there will be able to best the mode. Itís certainly fun to try and is a pretty interesting challenge, so give it a shot.

Game Mechanics:

Leoís Fortune features two necessary tricks that youíll need to become very familiar with in order to clear the stages in the game. The first trick is Leoís inflation ability. By holding the (A) button after a jump, Leo will inflate and can slow his descent drastically. He can also be blown around by gusts of wind and propel himself from vertical paths. By inflating, he can even lodge himself into crevices to keep from falling if he needs to time a descent down a hole that may be filled with traps or hold himself in small spaces for safety. Youíll be using this ability a lot in the game so make sure you familiarize yourself with its mechanics.

The second ability Leo can use is increasing his fall speed. By pressing the (X) button, Leo can compress his weight and make himself heavier. Youíll be able to propel Leo from hanging boards to get some air time or even just tilt a teetering board to a certain side, so you can jump off the higher side. Using this ability in tandem with the inflate ability will allow you to gain more speed going through the slopes of a level for a faster completion time. Try to set a good pace so you can speed through levels and get a good completion time for the star and a higher spot on the leaderboards.

Leoís Fortune is a charming little game that I would recommend if youíre looking to kill a few hours before something comes up. The more competitive players out there will likely shoot to complete the Hardcore Mode and that will definitely eat up your time. The simple gameplay reminded me of Mario platforming back in the day and I really enjoyed that nostalgic feel. If youíre looking for a little platforming in between those big hitters like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Leoís Fortune wonít disappoint.


-SS-54, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ren Plummer

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