Released in April, Leo’s Fortune ($5) has picked up steam and is now hovering near the top of the paid apps chart. A gorgeous platformer with puzzle-solving elements, the game has users maneuvering the tiny Leo through a number of different environments to retrieve his fortune.
Leo is a small furry teal ball with two blinking eyes and a large mustache, and that mustache is everything. It really makes the character. He’s seeking his fortune, which has been left for him to pick up like a trail of breadcrumbs, as gold coins guide your way through the levels. The first thing you’ll notice about the game are the stunning graphics. There have been a lot of good-looking games in the App Store recently, but Leo’s Fortune might be the best of the bunch. Though he’s just a ball of puff, Leo seems to come to life in the beautifully rendered, detailed environments. The game’s score is also great, and Leo will even throw his voice into the mix at times — he has a Russian accent for some reason, and we’re not complaining.
The game’s touch controls use the left side of the screen to move Leo left and right, and swiping the right side of the screen makes Leo go up and down. Leo can inflate and hover for a short time with an upward swipe — at times reminiscent of controlling Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2, though for a longer interval — or sink quicker with a downward swipe. The controls work well, but Leo’s general floatiness while airborne may take some getting used to. We played on an iPad mini, which we would suggest is ideal for Leo’s Fortune and other similar games. Controls can also be changed to onscreen buttons, for those who prefer that style.
Leo’s Fortune quickly proves to be a top-rate platformer with addicting gameplay. The little Leo can move through levels at a fair speed, but the levels are long enough to feel like you’ve accomplished something upon completion. This isn’t the sort of side scroller that has you fighting off enemies along the way — which isn’t a surprise, considering Leo’s complete lack of limbs. Rather, you’ll be making jumps, avoiding spikes, going underwater — tough ol’ Leo can swim for as long as necessary, unlike many platform heroes — and solving puzzles. Plenty of puzzles. The gameplay is switched up enough to never get tiresome, with surprises awaiting in every level.
Only a few minor issues keep Leo’s Fortune from earning a straight A. Leo’s floatiness may bother some at times — especially during moments where gamers need to be very precise — and sometimes the puzzles get to be a bit too much. A few times, we thought the puzzles were too long, and we just wanted to get back to exploring the levels. But again, if you’re a fan of platformers, there’s no question this game is worth the five dollars. It’s been a great stretch of new releases on iOS lately, and Leo’s Fortune is one of the very best side-scrollers available in the App Store.
iLounge Rating: A-