No, you’re a ball of fluff! First booting up Leo’s Fortune on Xbox One throws you into a story narrated, by Leo of course, about amassing wealth and having it ripped from your grasp. All of the spoils from your hard work are gone, scattered across the landscape in a Hansel & Gretel breadcrumb-styled “come at me, bro” journey to find the game’s villain.
You play as Leo, a greenish-blue ball of fur, not to be confused with the bluish-green balls of fur you will meet along the path to restoring your vast fortune. Gameplay is simple, jump across the landscapes on your quest to completing a level. Each level will offer up 3 stars for completing an all-gold-acquired, no-dying, beat-course-time run, but doing that on your first try is extremely difficult, at least for me.
Aside from environmental obstacles such as spikes, crushing mechanisms and death falls, there aren’t any enemies. It’s you against physics in a quest to get your gold back and find out what vile fiend stole from you in the first place. You are shown all of Leo’s abilities from the beginning. Jump and glide by pressing and holding A or Y, compress and drop like a 10-ton stone by pressing and holding B or X. Floating, when you have good forward momentum, will allow you to skip large sections of a level, but you’ll need to master compressing down hills to get your speed up. Sounds simple on paper (or screen), but using just these two abilities correctly will result in shaving seconds, and deaths, off of your times.
Why do times matter? Leaderboards, ma’am and sirs. Leo’s Fortune has leaderboards for all levels, including bonus levels that task you with ending with the most time possible remaining, and allow for collecting hour-glasses that grant you more time, as well as levels that challenge you to run as many laps as possible in the time allowed. During review the leaderboards were fairly sparse, but I’ll still count my single first place run as an accomplishment.
There are 5 Acts, each including 4 levels, with 4 bonus levels, for a total of 24 levels. While that might not seem like a lot, what you get is 100% fun, and includes a story that is just serious enough to get the message across without taking itself seriously at all. My start to end play through took just under 90 minutes, and while your mileage may vary, without replays you are looking at 3-4 minutes per level if you haven’t played before. However, getting all 60 Stars throughout your journey will keep you playing for some time, and leaderboard addicts will find themselves throwing down on the same levels repeatedly to continue their upward climb through the ranks.
The graphics are very nice. The world is bright and colorful, and works on my nostalgia in remembering the 2D platformers of my youth. There appears to be loving care taken in every ruck, platform, tree and death spike. You’ll see Leo’s fur part around world geometry when close, and you can even use this to your advantage and maybe get a bit closer to spikes than you would think. The whole world really is gorgeous and the voice acting matches the tone of the game, whimsical, fun, and not too serious.
The only negative I really have for sound would be the effect used for the loading screens. It’s literally a ticking clock. The loading times aren’t bad, but the ticking exacerbates the feeling of waiting. Not much else to say about that sound other than “not a fan”. What at first glance may seem to be simply another Sonic clone gives way to a fun physics-platformer with a little comedy, a little heart, and an amazing amount of fun and only a little light on content.
Don’t skip the cutscenes!