Leo’s Fortune Game Review

Leo’s Fortune is an action-adventure game created by independent Swedish studio 1337 & Seri LLC and available for Windows and Mac OS personal computers, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles, and mobile devices. with iOS and Android operating systems. The player controls a lump named Leo, who must travel through labyrinths in search of his stolen coins[4].

The development of the game was led by the Swedish game designer Anders Heisenberg, who wanted to embody in his own independent project the design ideas conceived while participating in the development of the Battlefield games, but which were not possible to implement due to the lack of creative freedom for developers of high-budget games. The game designer wanted to create a classic platformer, but to focus not on the complexity of the passage, but on photorealistic graphics, in-depth plot and freedom of movement of the controlled character[5]. Leo’s character was voiced by American Ann Reitzel[6].

The game received varying scores from game critics, with notable differences across ports, such as the mobile version of the game receiving positive reviews, with critics praising the game for its visual design, quality, and music, as well as a balanced difficulty level suitable for players of different experience[ 7]. The console versions received more lukewarm reviews, with critics complaining about the low number of levels provided and being too easy and fast to complete.[8]

Story and gameplay

The game is a 2D third-person action-adventure platform game. According to the plot, a lump named Leo is a famous engineer who comes from a wealthy family. Recently, his relatives – cousin Victor, aunt Olga and uncle Sergey lost their fortune and Leo suspects that they are involved in the theft of his gold. As you progress, Leo learns that the thief is his wife Matilda, who believes that Leo has lost all his decency because of the gold. Although Leo manages to regain his gold again, he donates it to the “world machine” that maintains order and balance in the world[9].

The player controls a male character named Leo in the third person, he is a lump, almost devoid of weight. The game is accompanied by comments by a character speaking with a pronounced Eastern European accent. The hero himself and his relatives refer to stereotypical Russian images. Leo can slide forward/backward and also inflate to be able to float in the air. The character can accelerate to be able to take off, slide over ledges and elevations.

Leo’s low weight also has its disadvantages: the character cannot move quickly, and his landing on the right point on the surface is complicated due to high inertia. Often on the way the hero encounters cliffs that can be overcome by taking off, or using a special trolley. There may also be unstable platforms along the way.

swaying under Leo’s weight, or acting like a springboard. In these cases, the player can send the “down” command to swing the platform and jump up. Leo’s journey is also accompanied by the passage of catacombs or underground mines.  Sometimes a passage is blocked in the mines, the opening of which requires the activation of mechanisms. It can be levers, buttons. Sometimes the activation requires an item – a box or a stone that Leo can find and move[10].

On the way, Leo also faces all sorts of dangers, the most obvious of which are the risk of falling into the abyss, contact with spikes and sharp gears. Spikes are found both on the surface and underground. In the dungeon, the entire section of the passage can be pierced with spikes and it is possible to overcome it only in a flying state. Also dangerous are spiked platforms, mechanisms and gears. Mechanisms can also move around actively.

and bypassing them requires careful calculation of Leo’s flight path or waiting. If the character touches the spikes, he will die, but the game will continue in the area where Leo died. Although game progress is not lost with death, the number of deaths in the end is taken into account. Along with the passage of the level, the game awards the player three stars, which can be obtained if: the character has never died, the player has collected all the coins and completed the level in 2-3 minutes. Stars open access to bonus levels. After passing level 20, the player gets access to the “extreme mode”, which restarts the passage of the level in the event of the death of the character[9].

20 levels are also divided into 4 thematic locations associated with one of Leo’s relatives. These locations are distinguished by their artistic style, musical accompaniment and game mechanics. For example, “Cousin Victor Harbor” consists of levels that are partly underwater. Leo can breathe underwater and navigate there using the “down” command.

The ruined city of Aunt Olga is a ruin in a desert area, their feature is unstable and collapsing platforms and other elements of buildings on which you can only move for a short time. Uncle Sergey’s mines are distinguished by a special abundance of traps and dangerous gears, as well as areas with strong winds, moving through which is possible by holding the team “down”. The last levels take place inside the “world robot”, in which the character will face an abundance of traps, limited horizons due to darkness, as well as lava flows that are deadly for Leo[10].

Creation and release

Leo’s Fortune was created by independent Swedish studio 1337 & Seri LLC. The main game designer and ideological inspirer was Anders Heidelberg, who previously took part in the development of Battlefield games. The designer noted that he was always annoyed by the lack of creative freedom among developers of big-budget games and the constant pressure from management interested in the pipeline release of profitable sequels. When the App Store opened in 2008, Heisenberg finally saw it as an opportunity to start an independent project and bring his artistic ideas to life. In his new team, the designer recruited four more people: