Leap of Fate (Clever Plays)
Leap of Faith, the debut release of indie studio clever-plays, certainly isn’t lacking in ambition. With influences that range from The Binding of Isaac and League of Legends to Diablo, it is a game that aims to offer replayability, precise controls and feel-good combat. These are lofty goals, but despite the fact that the game is still in Early Access, it already looks like the developers will be able to deliver on these promises.
The game is a rogue-lite title, viewed from an isometric overhead perspective, where you use your magical powers to clear arenas full of enemies. Adding to the replay value is the fact that your progression is determined by a magical tarot deck, called the Deck of Fate. Before each round you get to pick the card that determines what you will be up against. The cards are shuffled each time you play, so picking the positive cards and avoiding the risky ones are not always that easy. In addition to straightforward battle arenas you’ll also encounter trap cards, portal cards and many others. Some even allow you to sacrifice health in exchange for upgrades.
Each time you play your character is provided with only one life. Get killed and you have to restart from scratch, but fortunately you do get to unlock some permanent upgrades along the way, if you are skilled enough. The fast pace of the game means levels can be completed quickly though, and the game is definitely addictive enough that starting from scratch doesn’t feel like a chore. The enemies you face are a bizarre and varied bunch that attack in waves, but the responsive controls provide you with a fighting chance. Thanks to the amount enemies, projectiles flying about and destructible scenery the game can get very chaotic. It also runs in a 4:3 resolution, with black bars on the side of the screen, which makes it feel even more claustrophobic. According to the developers this is an intentional choice to ensure that players feel threatened from all sides, but it does take a while to get used to.
For an Early Access title Leap of Faith is already very playable and the colorful, comic book style visuals help to make it stand out. The story, which involves plenty of magic and secret societies, along with cyberpunk elements, also looks set to be pretty interesting. The initial Early Access release only featured one character, but the first major content update added another playable character. While there is still some balancing to be done and features to add, Leap of Faith is already more than playable in its current state and we didn’t encounter any game breaking bugs. For an action packed game that has plenty of replayability and a stiff challenge we can wholeheartedly recommend Leap of Faith.
*Preview based on Early Access Content Update 1.1.