Leap of Fate: Cyberpunk meets tarot

Reviews

– Charlie Braithwaite

The Matrix was a cool film, and Tarot cards are also good at whatever they do. Should they be mixed together into a extremely hard game? Well they have been… sort of.

"Take the red card - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."

“Take the red card – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep these Matrix jokes go.”

The premise for Leap of Fate is certainly one of the game’s strongest aspects. And I will probably let the devs explain it themselves, because. uh… just read the premise, it’s pretty out there:

“Leap of Fate is a rogue-lite with a unique blend of hack-and-slash, cyberpunk and cards. You play as a technomancer who must confront the Deck of Fate, a magical tarot deck that makes you face a twisted version of his own existence. Grow your magic, survive this rite of passage, and prove you are the most powerful mage alive.”

Sound cool? Well it certainly is! But what isn’t mentioned is that it is brutal as all hell. I died a lot in this game, and I mean a lot. Sure, I’m not the best gamer ever, I already know that I suck at building bridges, but surely I would be an alright technomancer (shotgun using that as a band name). Well, no I am not.

Seen here shooting energy before being devoured by sentient eyeballs.

Pictured here shooting energy blasts before being devoured by sentient eyeballs.

The gameplay of Leap of Fate is technically easy, you have a basic attack, such as shooting out energy beams, and two special attacks. In the early stages of the game your basic attack suffices, but as you progress you need to rely on specials, and boy do they run out fast. Once they’re gone you need to be pretty fast at maneuvering, whilst simultaneously attacking to avoid dying.

The card aspect works a lot better than I initially thought it would. you essentially pick a card to initiate a level. Each card will have a reward value assigned to it, which as you may have guessed, is higher depending on difficulty. Words of advice here, just go for the easier ones and pick up xp. Thank me later. Once you have leveled up you can choose where you assign points in usual RPG fashion, which is great, but still didn’t stop me from constantly dying, despite leveling up considerably. Oh, and the game is procedurally generated, so once you die, you won’t be replaying the same old levels, making it even harder still.

It is important to note that Leap of Fate is in early access. Which as most gamers will know, is a very mixed bag. Most of the game is pretty well polished, however the voice acting does leave a lot to be desired. There is a talking eyeball who sounds too much like Kenneth from 30 Rock to take seriously. It is perhaps the worst sounding voice to match a suavely dressed, supposedly sinister character.

"It is eye, Kenneth."

“It is eye, Kenneth.”

Kenneth eyeball and difficulty aside, Leap of Fate is a fun game and has a refreshing enough concept to keep coming back to. You can pick it up on Steam for under $20 too, which is always a plus!

Charlie once spoke to a talking eyeball at a music festival, ask him about it on Twitter @clbraith, and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

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