Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.3
Sound:
8.2
Control:
7.7
Replay Value:
7.8
Overall Rating:
8.1
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
1337 & Senri
Developer:
1337 & Senri
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Platformer
Release Date:
September 8, 2015


Traditional platformers are few and far between these days, so when I heard a “handcrafted platformer” was coming to PlayStation 4, I was intrigued…despite the fact that it began its life as a mobile title. Typically, I abhor playing games on mobile devices, mostly because the overwhelming majority of those games are just painfully bad. And if they’re not bad, they’re certainly not comparable to the full-fledged interactive productions we get on consoles. That all being said, I think Leo’s Fortune fits very well into the PlayStation Store library, as it’s quirky, fun and very well-designed. Aside from some control shortcomings, this is well worth the $7 price of admission.

There’s a crispness and cleanliness to the graphics that I definitely appreciate. I seriously doubt it looked this good on a silly smartphone, as the environmental detail and effects are quite attractive. Above all else, the gameplay design takes center-stage because there’s a mix of platforming and puzzle challenges throughout. It’s not the best design for this genre I’ve ever seen but it’s quite good and allows the player to get accustomed to the admittedly odd control scheme. There were times when I sensed a sort of blandness or repetitiveness in the background but again, we’re not talking about a Media Molecule game, right? For what it is, Leo’s Fortune looks great and there are no visual hitches to speak of.

The sound is equally solid, thanks to good gameplay effects and a decent soundtrack. I wish the music had a bit more variety and we weren’t restricted to only one score per chapter, but I can live with it. There is a voice performance; Leo has a distinct Eastern European accent (it might be Russian) and it’s appropriately guttural with a comical twist. The audio balancing is also a highlight, as everything blends together nicely during the course of your adventure; it’s a relatively minimal presentation the whole way ‘round but it’s still technically proficient. You’re not going to leap out of your seat but rather, the game’s graphics and sound has almost a lulling, captivating effect. You don’t need a ton of flash to keep one’s attention.

Leopold once had a fortune but now it’s gone. He suspects the jealous members of his extended family and so, he sets out to investigate. He will travel through 5 chapters – each chapter represents a different clan member that may have stolen Leo’s gold – and as he progresses, he’ll find pieces of his lost loot. They’re easily obtainable in each level and snagging them all will earn you a star for that level. As you might expect, Leo’s excursion quickly becomes challenging and even tense, as the obstacles in his path are always deadly. Thing is, Leo can’t get hit even once; falling or getting nailed with spikes means instant death. The good news is you start right near where you died; the bad news is you often have to complete a level with zero Fatalities to get a star.

Each level is filled with all manner of challenges and puzzles. Sometimes, you have to figure out how to raise or lower a wall that’s in your way; other times, you have to carefully hop between floating spike balls. There are no enemies – an anomaly in platformers, of course – but they’re not really necessary. You’re always focused on the task at hand and the obstacles and puzzles give you plenty to do; I think foes would just clutter up the presentation. For the most part, everything works smoothly and easily, but there is one bizarre gameplay inconsistency I will soon address. In the meantime, when discussing the gameplay, we have to describe the situation. See, this isn’t your standard bounce-around platformer.