Leo's Fortune iPhone & iPhone game review

In Leo's Fortune, a puzzle-platform game for both iPad & iPhone, Leo's actual fortune has been liberally scattered about linear pathways in a manner that only seems to occur in platform games. This forces the gruff, moustached hairball to partake in a journey to recover his gold coins, working his way through suspiciously spike-filled forests, deserts of crumbling ruins, and cog-filled factories spewing molten metal.

It's a familiar set-up, as are the game's mechanics, which borrow evenly from Limbo, Sonic and 1980s 8-bit platform games. You'll find yourself manipulating scenery to solve puzzles, zooming along dizzying loops, and repeatedly getting killed in tight, unforgiving circumstances, which a bit too often involve leaps into the unknown.

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Leo's Fortune iPhone & iPhone game review

Leo's Fortune iPhone & iPhone game review

But there's a charm about Leo's Fortune that makes perseverance worthwhile. Despite a slightly fake, plasticky feel, the environments are detailed and lush - some of the most beautiful of any iOS game. Leo has plenty of character, too, expressing delight on surviving a series of traps unscathed (with voice acting that puts many other games to shame), and being able to inflate himself to float, or compress himself to dive on switches and underwater.

Immediate respawns on death somewhat balance the leaps of faith, although they make it fairly simple to bludgeon your way to the end within a few hours. However, again echoing classic fare, the true reward is in fully mastering the game. Each level has three objectives, which bestow stars for unlocking breezy, enjoyable roller-coaster bonus levels: collect all the gold; finish within a time limit; don't die.

Mercifully, given how tough Leo's quest is towards its conclusion, these objectives needn't be completed simultaneously, and repeat play is therefore rewarded. Just don't expect Leo's success to come easy, or you'll hurl your iPhone at the wall and need a small fortune of your own to replace it.

Leo's Fortune iPhone & iPhone game review

Leo's Fortune iPhone & iPhone game review

If you like Leo's Fortune, you may also like...

Limbo: An equally evocative platform-puzzler, but with more emphasis on the puzzles, and an identical throwaway attitude to death!

Stealth Inc: A tight, charming platform-puzzler that matches Leo’s Fortune in terms of humour, difficulty, and richness of play.

OUR VERDICT

A visually dazzling, fast-paced - and now Apple Design Award-winning - platform game that's frequently a treat, but also sometimes a bit too tough for its own good. Still, the smart design ensures almost anyone can finish the quest, and speedruns are there for the truly dedicated to master.

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