Leap of Fate
Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em
W e’re not sure but we have an inkling that Australian developed indie game Hand of Fate may have slightly influenced the development of Leap of Fate. Leaving aside the obvious similarities in the names of the games, both titles also feature a mechanic in which the randomly generated levels and the overall mission structure are conjured using a pack of game specific cards featuring enemies, shops, loot and the like. Aside from the fact that Leap of Fate is a twin stick shooter and Hand of Fate is a hack and slash action game, the other major difference between the two Fates is that whereas Hand of Fate utilised cards for all aspects of the game from structure through to rewards, Leap of Pate instead uses the cards only to create new levels to fight through.
Players take the role of one of four cyberpunk technomages (the early access code only feature a single playable character at the moment) undergoing trials in the Crucible of Fate to discover if they are in fact the most powerful mages around. The trials take the form of a series of randomised gauntlets made up of encounters generated via a mystical tarot deck. Each card features either combat or a chance to upgrade in some way using the mana accrued through killing enemies. Completing a trial requires the player to shoot their way through cards until they can reach the exit card marked with a stylised eye. If they can defeat the combat challenge on the exit card, players are rewarded with an upgrade and sent on to the next, more difficult challenge.
Other than combat, cards can feature shops allowing players to buy more life, power or keys (used for opening some reward chests), random reward rooms that must be unlocked with a key and can gift the player with mana, karma (the resource used for continues), health, keys or skill upgrades, or skill upgrade rooms. These final rooms confer a permanent upgrade to the character that persists through death, allowing the player to slowly become more powerful over time even though the game features permadeath (unless you have enough karma for a continue) and forces you to start from the beginning every time.
Combat, even at this stage, is extremely fast and very satisfying, with a basic attack, and two special abilities per character. It’s also extremely challenging. In its current state the game tells you that playing on easy is the way to go, and even then getting past the first trial is a challenge, let alone making through the subsequent trials. Even though the skill tree upgrades are relatively small and iterative, there is still a palpable sense of progress to be found in the constant cycle of death and restarting, with each upgrade getting you a little further. Hopefully by the time the final code is released we’ll have died enough and bought enough upgrades that we’ll be able to make it to the end. Fingers crossed.
DEVELOPER CLEVER PLAYS STUDIO PUBLISHER CLEVER PLAYS STUDIO DUE EARLY ACCESS
www.clever-plays.com My brain chakra is more
of a mauve colour