Genre: Strategy RPG
Developer: KTX Software Development
Publisher: Signo and Arte
Platform: PC [Reviewed]
Release date: November 11th, 2014
Leona’s Tricky Adventures is an 8-Bit inspired, point and click, puzzle game, influenced strongly by Super Mario and 2D Zelda games. Originally Leona’s Tricky Adventures was created with the premise of being featured on the Dreamcast and Amiga consoles, one of the many games being created to revive the two retro consoles. Although the Kickstarter campaign has been cancelled, KTX Software Development continue to take donations via their website, through PayPal. The game has not managed to make it to these consoles as of yet, but can be purchased for PC, MAC, iOS and Android.
Leona’s Tricky Adventures claims to “Explore a world of mystery and cutesy residents and recover a lost paradise” but unfortunately falls short of these expectations due to lack of narrative, in fact, The Super Mario franchise has more of a narrative than Leona’s Tricky Adventures. As soon as the campaign starts you are received by an unnamed Owl who welcomes you to Basopia. After the extremely brief introduction, you are asked to right the wrongs of Basopia by solving puzzles, in order the control the various “Sockets”. The narrative does not become much more complex than this; occasionally you will speak to a variety of characters, but this has no bearing on the gameplay and disappointingly displays a lack of creative flare. The script was incredibly simple, contained spelling and grammar errors and annoyingly cut off text mid sentence, within the text boxes; this was incredibly infuriating as I was unable to fully immerse myself, into an already lacklustre script.
The games saving grace was its endearing, 8- Bit inspired art style and wonderfully retro soundtrack, composed by Chris Huelsbeck. Retro inspired video games are particularly prevalent right now, and games such as Shovel Knight have definitely paved the way for this precise art style. It’s the little things that remind you of the 8- Bit era, for instance the loading symbol is a floppy disk, a great way to reminisce; it’s just a shame that the rest of the game left me feeling so dissatisfied.
The campaign itself seems to be constructed around the properties of the Super Mario Brothers gameplay map. The basic elements are the same, except instead of visiting a Mario level, you will need to solve a puzzle to proceed further on. The controls are just as modest as the narrative to grasp, which makes me wonder why this puzzle game really needs to be on PC. Leona’s Tricky Adventures is a game more suited to a tablet or mobile device, due to its pick up and play nature. The aim of this point and click, puzzle game is to create paths throughout Basopia, by solving three puzzles in a row; each time you finish three puzzles in a row you will be able to control a “Socket”. This game is highly repetitive and unless you have an insatiable need to win, this game will not be for you.
Chris Huelsbeck references the importance that the game Gem’ X held within the companies decision when creating the puzzle mechanics; the puzzle mechanics are also said to be somewhere in between “Picross” and “Bejeweled”. There are two sides to the puzzle and both sides are oddly named “Playgrounds”. The idea is to match both “Playgrounds” so that they have the same pattern. The centre of the puzzle comprises a row of coloured gems in a vertical strip. The idea of the puzzle is that you click on a gem in the puzzle, and that will change colour depending on the colour below in the vertical row. Take a look at the image below to see exactly what I mean. Once you know how, the puzzles are really simple, in fact the puzzles are pretty easy and take a while to find their momentum.
All in all, Leona’s Tricky Adventure is pretty much a disappointment for the PC and all other platforms. I have played a lot of other games that cost the same price of £6.99 and I have received far more in return. The best part of the game is the retro art style and soundtrack that take me back to my early childhood. It’s not surprising that Leona’s Tricky Adventure did not receive the funding it needed, to appear on the Dreamcast, but I do think that the game will probably appeal more to the iOS and Android market within the future.