Sonic The Hedgehog comparisons are easy to make, and are a compliment to Leo’s Fortune. The curved paths looping back over each other cause players to defy gravity with speed and momentum, and they are a joy to explore. Gold pieces collected along the way, with each one making a pleasing ringing noise, complete the homage.
But this is not cheap nostalgia. This collaboration between studios 1337 and Senri has resulted in a game deserving of its many awards and shining reviews.
The many puzzle mechanics and obstacles are carefully painted across the screen from start to finish in handcrafted detail, bringing joy instead of frustration. There is pleasure to be had in both the navigation of these obstacles, as well as their gorgeous depictions. Many of the mechanics are familiar gaming tropes: players will float up on wind drafts, push and pull blocks and levers, solve physics puzzles, engage in speed runs to evade death from behind, and so on, but this familiarity will somehow make you smile with its special-sauce blend of artwork, creativity, and charm. The end result is familiarity pushed and painted to a point that feels original.
The icing on this 2D platform cake is the story and its telling. Short vignettes precede each level, revealing an Uncle or Auntie that Leo has cause to suspect, and why. These cut-scenes are presented with humour that stops short of trying too hard, and just the right amount of heart that stops short of schmaltz. Leo’s Fortune walks this fine line with confidence, and I believe Pixar would be proud to foot a subtitle with Leo’s headline.
Leo’s Fortune offers a fair amount of gameplay without outstaying its welcome, which helps to keep it fresh and tight all the way to the end. There is a hardcore mode unlocked on completion which adds replay value, but the original play through is all the more satisfying thanks to it not repeating itself unnecessarily.
This is clearly a glowing review, but I’m not ashamed of the hyperbole that brought me to this end. Hyperbole is sometimes justified.
There are lots of reasons why Leo’s Fortune has been a mainstay in the Top Paid Apps list of Apple TV since making the leap to the platform.
In A Nutshell:
Gameplay and story score equal billing in Leo’s Fortune; a superb, quality production from the moustache to the end credits.