Last year at PAX, a developer cancelled on me at the last minute. If I’m being honest, I can’t remember the developer I was supposed to visit, but I definitely remember the gentleman who grabbed my arm and pulled me in to play a demo for Leap of Fate. “We’re trying to do something new,” he said – a spin on both isometric dungeon-crawlers and rogue-lite games. I spent only ten minutes on the game, but I was hooked.
I was thrilled to get my hands on the beta, and feel like we’re in for a pleasant experience. Leap of Fate features a great cyberpunk-style atmosphere and offers and unique gameplay experience with every playthrough.
The atmosphere is best described as Cyberpunk. Lovers of RPGs like Shadowrun will find themselves right at home in this world, beginning their journey with Aeon – a brilliant physics Student-turned-magician. Aeon hasn’t had a great home-life, and during his tenure at NYU, he comes across some ancient magical tomes. He is inducted into a magical cult, but soon finds himself losing his mind to the very forces he wishes to control. Our game begins as he tries to wrest free, wishing to control his magical powers without his order controlling his will.
The binding theme in Leap of Fate is the “Deck of Fate,” a deck of tarot cards that are dealt randomly each playthrough. The player dives into each card, representative of normal levels, difficult challenges, treasure levels and more. The character you select begins with default abilities, but can swap or improve their special abilities for more firepower as the game goes on. Some abilities are permanently upgraded via skill trees, but other will last you only the duration of your run. Even though each level contains general themes, backgrounds and enemies, the cards dealt were completely random each time, offering a completely different challenge on each playthrough.
When starting a new run, players are given missions which can be completed to unlock additional content. This content includes everything from additional characters (with extra stories and different base ability
es!) to additional passive abilities that will help your character advance in future runs. These will keep replay value pretty high as you obsessively work to unlock just about everything Leap of Fate has to offer.While Leap of Fate’s gameplay is supremely satisfying, those looking for truly crumbly backgrounds and fancy particle effects seen in games like Diablo 3 or Torchlight 2 may find themselves a little let down. The emphasis is truly on the mechanics, and those who appreciate a good rogue-lite and great atmosphere will not be disappointed.
Leap of Fate has just exited early access, and is available to the public on Steam for PC for $15.99.