Leo's Fortune is a cute platforming game for iPhone and iPad that's made a big splash in the App Store recently and for a lot of good reasons. It has finely crafted stages with beautiful graphics and clever puzzles. The story has a whimsical, old-timey charm to it and strong voice acting to boot. But is it one of the best iPhone games or best iPad games?
There are 19 stages across 5 acts all told. Between each you'll learn a little bit more about how a rich mustachioed fuzzball named Leopold lost his riches and what he's doing to get them back. The levels themselves involve split-second timing to get from point A to point B without getting hurt on various pointy obstacles, and also a bit of thinking to move around crates, flip switches, and otherwise figure your way through the path forward. Though stages are completed just by getting to the end, you can earn up to three bonus stars for collecting all of Leo's coins, not getting Leo killed, and beating a certain time record.
The controls are polished, but it's basically a dual-stick set-up that's better suited for a supported hardware controller, like the SteelSeries Stratus. Drag on the left side of the screen to move left or right, and drag on the right side to jump or drop. The gameplay is ultimately very traditional. The only real twist is being able to inflate or condense in order to adjust your airtime or interact with the environment, and even that's not a huge departure from classic platforming games. That's perfectly fine for those that love the genre, and anyone that has put a significant amount of time into Sonic games are likely to appreciate the polish and balance put into the physics here. On the flip side, grizzled platformer players may have trouble finding anything really new and will have to lean on the story and setting to get the most out of Leo's Fortune.
That said, the art style is really great. Fine details, like how Leo's blobby form melts up against the terrain, and how his eyes drift to the front and then to the side of his body as you move him left to right, are definitely appreciated. Background and foreground objects provide a strong sense of perspective as you navigate through a healthy variety of settings. The orchestral soundtrack follows closely in step with the otherworldly theme, inspiring a slight Disney vibe.
Leo's Fortune earns bonus points from bucking the trend of offering in-app purchases for shortcuts, and supporting cloud saves, so you can continue on both iPhone and iPad seamlessly. All in all, Leo's Fortune is a very pretty platforming game with familiar mechanics. It's not pushing any boundaries on either front, but that doesn't stop it from being an altogether fun, charming little game.
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Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.