Leo’s Fortune: a golden puzzle platformer played on Apple TV
Find Leo’s stolen fortune of gold on an adventure through different lands filled with dangerously fun puzzle contraptions.
All that glitters
Leopold the Golden is a rich man–I mean a rich furry blue ball creature with a big Stalin ‘stache. Unfortunately the vast fortune in gold he’s amassed through great engineering inventions has been ripped off. Leo’s Fortune is gone, so he leaves his wife Mathilda to find the gold and the culprit thief. A trail of coins leads him on a fantastic journey through dangerous and mysterious landscapes in this puzzle platformer adventure. But “All that glitters is not gold” in Leo’s Fortune as the fable-like story unfolds.
Leo’s Fortune physics
Leo doesn’t run or fly, he slides. And as a furry blue ball he can inflate and deflate his form whenever he wants. Sure he jumps, by inflating himself, which is actually more like floating upwards. A deflate therefore makes him move down. Hold the Apple TV Siri remote in the horizontal position. Use left-right touch-pad slides for direction, play/pause to inflate and pad-clicks to deflate. I honestly found the Siri a little clumsy, so opted for the play action of my SteelSeries Nimbus MFi gamepad. Mastering the moves takes practice, but the difficulty is incremental and becomes familiar quickly if you have the Midas touch. Star awards for level achievements like gathering all coins, not dying and timing are most challenging. The physics-based gameplay–confronting Leo with fast slipways, harrowing obstacles, deadly traps and puzzles flows smooth as liquid gold.
The story consists of 5 acts, each with 4 scenes and 4 bonus interludes–24 levels in all. The coin trail takes Leo coincidentally to the lands of his relatives, Cousin Victor, Aunt Olga and Uncle Sergej. All of them have suffered financial ruin and disappointment making them prime suspects in Leo’s skeptical squishy blue mind. Is it coincidence? His journey takes him to lofty heights, strange mine shafts, watery depths and volcanic catacombs in risky environments. Each scene pits Leo perilously against moving puzzles and contraptions to side-scroll through. The rotating spikes, spike traps, spike balls with wind and…yeah, lots of spikes are only some of the dangers. Leo’s Fortune is more a platformer than a puzzler, or a nice combination thereof. While the puzzles are often light, the platforming is–I’m an expert–worthy. Then there’s that giant robot apparatus showing up sometimes?
Filigree of design
The gold does really glitter in the game design and aesthetic by developers 1337 & Senri LLC. The myriad detail of flawless graphics and movement animation really is golden. Textures and color jump out, light and shadow dynamics set a mood. Leo’s Fortune begs to be played big-screen. Like an epic film soundtrack, the music puts you into its turn-of-the-century style setting. You have a classic fable-ish story, a likeable (if not piteous) protagonist, imaginative obstacles and flawless gameplay action. Perhaps that’s why this game still tops the tvOS charts–and won the Apple Design Award. And there’s a morally intrinsic plot twist too–what more could one ask?