Leap of Fate

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Leap of Fate Game Poster Image
Clever tale ruined by frustrating fights, repetitive play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Basic concept is to become the most powerful techno-mage in the world. No overt messages that are positive, but survival might be reward enough.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. Players fight many enemies; no options for diplomacy or non-violent resolution of conflict.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn. Randomly generated levels and combat force players to think on their feet, react quickly. Permanent-death feature can frustrate players.

Violence

Players use magical abilities to blast, melt, explode enemies. Limited amount of blood shown from defeated enemies; bodies frequently remain on-screen.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Leap of Fate is a downloadable action-adventure game. Though the game is easy to learn and control, the combat requires fast reflexes to successfully fend off enemies. This title also features permanent death; if your in-game character dies, you have to start all over from the beginning, which can prove frustrating for younger players. Characters use magical abilities to blast, melt, or detonate their opponents. Though only a little blood is shown, the bodies of defeated enemies remain on-screen.

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What's it about?

LEAP OF FATE follows the story of Gabriel Auxier, a young man lured into a world of magic by a group known as the Cabal. Years into his training, Gabriel, who wants to become the world's greatest and most powerful techno-mage, finally realizes he is losing his humanity. In fact, remaining within the Cabal will mean he'll have to become a faceless, mindless magic drone that can be used by its leaders. After discovering this, Gabriel runs and becomes the Cabal's newest target. Your path is randomly determined by drawing cards from a tarot deck known as the Deck of Fate, determining which stages you explore and what you fight. Death is permanent, but permanent upgrades pass on to each playable character. New characters, abilities, and difficulty levels also are unlockable as you fight through levels and defeat bosses.

Is it any good?

Easily frustrated players may find that this action-adventure game's clever story ideas and mechanics are no match for repetitive, frustrating play. Leap of Fate features permanent death for your characters, and even a normal level offers a steady torrent of enemies swarming at you. Since your characters have a limited health bar, you will frequently die and have to start all over from the beginning, without any shortcuts to regaining your progress. Now, to its credit, Leap of Fate has some creative elements because of its use of the Deck of Fate to let players select their own paths The procedural generation of levels also is a nice touch, making the game big on replayability, but the frequent deaths feel more repetitive than exploratory.

What's more, the story concept gives a really nice buildup to the gameplay but doesn't seem to fully deliver. You never really get a sense that the story has an impact on the gameplay or on the path you choose from the deck, and after a while, it feels secondary to the constant fighting you conduct. But perhaps the biggest issue is that Leap of Fate still feels very unfinished. Though it's technically still in development, some of the promised characters for the game are missing, with a constant "coming soon" reminder plastered on the select screen. Plus, having to play, and die, numerous times to unlock permanent skills to create more powerful characters for the second time through (or the third, or the 15th) simply gets old after a while. Of course, tying the game action closer to the story would be nice, and dropping the wash, rinse, repeat feel would be better. Leap of Fate may improve with further development, but the repetitive gameplay and weak story really keep this adventure from truly fulfilling its destiny.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Leap of Fate. Is it necessary? Is there a reason behind it that's shown?

  • Talk about the skills required to play a game where levels are never the same. How quickly do you have to react to always changing circumstances? Can you use these skills in the real world?

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