If you're looking for a challenging game then you can't do much better than a twin-stick roguelike. Leap of Fate has you work through card-based stages in order to uncover the pasts of four fateful heroes so if you're up for it; let's shuffle the deck.
Leap of Fate is a basic twin-stick shooter at its core. You'll spend the majority of the campaign weaving through enemies and their projectiles as you perform attacks and try to emerge unscathed. As you progress, you'll unlock four characters that have their own distinct attacks and abilities. Aeon (the starting character) is well-balanced and has a decent ranged shot, Big Mo can use a powerful laser, Mukai is ideal for close-range encounters, and Rasimov implements soul-sucking magic. The variety of gameplay styles that these characters offer is impressive to say the least and experimenting to find your favourite of the gang is an enjoyable part of the challenge. In the end, whether you're zipping around stages via a dash ability, setting up traps or turrets to take out enemies, hacking and slashing while reflecting projectiles, or focusing a laser on a tough boss; there's a ton of rewarding gameplay to experience in Leap of Fate.
One aspect of Leap of Fate that surprised me is its creepy atmosphere. The story sequences are told mostly through spoken narratives on top of comic-style visuals and many of the scenes are quite engaging. Then, when you actually get to the gameplay portion; the environments are gritty and surreal which makes the hectic action all the more visceral. You'll come across plenty of eerie sights such as a figure with a giant eyeball for a head who acts as your spiritual guide in a sense. It's pretty unique and immersive stuff. On top of all this, the atmospheric wailing electric guitars add a layer of realness to the game world. The rock soundtrack blends well with the gameplay portions, too, as you slay countless dastardly creatures. Overall, Leap of Fate looks and sounds fantastic.
Upon choosing a character, you're thrust into their campaign which consists of six themed stages. Each stage is played by navigating through a series of random cards in order to eventually reach the guardian of that stage so you can defeat it and move on to the next one. Every card has its own type of event. Most of them involve fending off monsters and surviving as best you can while others may be shops, upgrades, or special challenges that might increase your maximum health. Additionally, you'll try to complete a couple of assigned missions that unlock permanent upgrades and unlockables depending on your chosen character. For example, if you complete 20 missions then you may unlock an extra outfit for that character. The combination of roguelike elements, the random card-based campaigns, and these achievement-like missions make Leap of Fate an incredibly rewarding game whenever you have a good run.
Unfortunately, you can't suspend your progress in the middle of a run. If you're doing well, you could play for over an hour so you have to ensure that you set a large chunk of time aside whenever you start playing. There are a couple of other substantial downsides as well. First, the individual arenas that you battle within are often very cluttered and confined which can make combat needlessly frustrating as you struggle to make out your surroundings. On top of this, backing away from encroaching foes is frequently problematic as the stages usually contain many dead ends and impassible obstacles. Finally, I found the lack of multiplayer and leaderboards to be a big letdown. For a game where you can achieve high scores, not being able to show them off online is quite disappointing.
Leap of Fate is a solid twin-stick roguelike that fans of the genre will thoroughly enjoy. Although it has its issues, the addictive nature of seeing what the cards will deal next definitely makes it a game worth checking out.
- + Solid twin-stick roguelike gameplay with a variety of distinct characters to play as
- + Creepy atmosphere and great soundtrack
- + Rewarding card system and missions
- - Inability to suspend progress means you have to set aside a lot of time to play it
- - Arenas can be too cluttered and confined
- - No multiplayer option or leaderboards