From Lou "herobyclicking" Adducci
As a much younger man I was interested in various world religions, the occult and magic. I frequented old bookstores, new age shops and talked with the interesting, if not bizarre practitioners of these various systems of belief. Magic and mysticism is abound in our world, you just have to look for it. Clever Plays infuses Leap of Fate with our stories from faith, magic and myth with an incense laden, ancient manuscript strewn action role playing game. There is also a scoop or three of cyberpunk for good measure.
I first experienced Leap of Fate on a tablet. I sat in the hall just outside of the press room at E3 with Angela Mejia, Clever Plays’ Studio Manager. Amidst the bustle of E3 Leap of Fate snapped up my attention. No small feat mind you. Leap of Fate is crisp, quick and satisfying to play. We hadn’t time to play the PC version, but I was pleased. Action games are challenging to pull off successfully on a tablet, yet Leap of Fate just nails it.
Designed to be equally enjoyable on mobile as it is on PC, Leap of Fate works beautifully in either case. Though, admittedly, the tablet version feels so good. I just might prefer playing on tablet over its PC counterpart. I liked the idea of playing a challenging roguelike ARPG on the go, though flinging the tablet when I am defeated the umpteenth time might not be ideal. The tablet controls mimic a twin stick style shooter. The PC uses mouse and WASD to dole out your magic might. The tablet allows you a bullet time mode to activate your special moves and powers, while you must quickly react on the PC. It balances out certainly, though again, it does feel significantly more fluid on the tablet.
It’s not an easy game by any stretch. Playing as one of the several mages motivated by facing the challenges of the Crucible is not a simple task. One does not simply walk into the Crucible without challenge. It is the ultimate testing grounds of the mage. Here they can ascend to great power or be utterly destroyed, only to start over from the beginning.
You hurl firebolts, call down meteors or, my favorite, send them running with giant gong. You will wield amazing power, if but temporarily and in limited supply. Along with your basic attack and special spells you can leap, fly, float and teleport across the board. Temporary upgrades to health, movement and your basic attack are earned by collecting power ups, spending points gained by destroying your enemies and unlocking chests. Unlocking these abilities is charted through a skill tree fashioned after chakras of the body.
In the preview I played as Aeon, a young mage determined to on avoid and eventually destroy the Cabal who enslaved him in their arcane cult. Each level is unlocked and generated by drawing from a cascade of tarot cards. The cards transport you into levels to battle enemies, unlock treasures, trade life for valuable glyphs or entrap you. It’s a matter of the draw of the card. Each playthrough can have minimal to drastic differences due to its roguelike nature. Though there is a degree of permanence in core attributes of your mage of choice. You unlock these by playing the game, unlocking secrets and achievements. This the carrot. It kept me playing to unlock and watch the next beautifully drawn graphic novel style cinematic. It kept me wanting to unlock the story, which each character has several unique endings. It kept me playing just enough gain the next tier. You need the extra power. You also need to pay attention to what the hell you are doing. Things can get hectic.
The controls are tight, the world is interesting and unique and the levels are parceled out in powerful, quick morsels of action-laden fun. Those short levels are what really hooked me. High risk, high paced moments that rely on skill, reaction and cleverness weave a special spell around Leap of Fate. Play, die, repeat may be the standard in roguelikes, it can be cumbersome and exhausting to trudge through that formula. Leap of Fate has manipulated the fatigue caused by repetition in most roguelikes into motivation. The Crucible awaits. The demons aren’t going to fight themselves.
Day 31 | Clever-Plays