Last week on Indie Spotlight Thursday I played the pre-alpha build of the hardcore, rogue-like adventure game, Leap of Fate from Montreal development team, Clever Plays. The team describes their first title as so:
“New York city, present day. Unbeknownst to the average man, and hiding in the shadows of the city, are those who can manipulate the very fabric of reality. These mages, sometimes known as cabalists, technomancers, or illuminati, use their extraordinary abilities to further the goals of their secret societies, often pulling strings from behind the scenes. But power comes at a terrible price and forever alters the fate of those wielding it.
In Leap of Fate, you play a fugitive mage who heeds the call of an arcane temple hidden within the city. Through this lethal rite of passage, you will face countless challenges while growing your magical abilities. If you survive, you will forge yourself a new fate. But what if life was not one path, but rather a branching tree leading to different futures; would you be tempted to explore them all?”
The pre-alpha build of Leap of Fate was understandably short, but that doesn’t mean there was a lack of things to see, do or unlock while playing. On the contrary, Leap of Fate quickly and effectively established an interesting and engaging story set in dystopian, yet modern cityscape. Mixed in were elements of dark magic, occult and cyberpunk, an interesting mix that grabbed my attention off the bat. I was left wanting to know more about Aeon, the character I was playing as well as the other 3 playable characters that will be included in the full game.
The levels you’ll play, the enemies you’ll encounter and the value of the loot up for grabs is all determined by the drawing and spread of a deck of cards. This means you can work your way through the path of least resistance or take on bigger trouble for bigger spoils on your way to the “end” card, depending on the state of your health bar or your confidence and greed.
The upgrade system in Leap of Fate is particularly cool. As you get farther and farther during a play session, you unlock randomly generated upgrades for the 4 key points of your mage’s powers: mobility, passive, attack and equipable glyphs. This meant that I was playing a different way each time I died horribly and needed to start over, something that kept the game even fresher (aside from the randomly generated levels).
As much as I am not talented in the ways of rogue-like gameplay, I enjoyed my time with Leap of Fate very much. The game’s numerous ways to play (and replay), fair difficulty curve and graphic novel-esque story appealed to me and drew me in, traits I believe will also appeal to a wide variety of gamers. From those of who are new to the Rogue way of play, to those who consider it old hat.