I have played my fair share of 2D sidescroller platformers in my lifetime. To date they have provided me with some of the best gaming experiences ever. Games like Mario and Rayman still hold up today and are still being upgraded the further the industry gets. It’s a formula that appears pretty easy to get right and at the very least can be quite decent, but every now and then a game comes along that makes it feel bland and outdated. Which does Wooden Sensey fit in? Read on young padawan.
Having never heard of Wooden Sensey I had low expectations, but perhaps not quite low enough. The game starts off as your little town is completely destroyed by some robot-looking thing. I still have no idea what it was meant to be even. You play as Goro, a chief from the little town and in no relation to the four-armed monster from Mortal Kombat.
Goro ventures on a revenge mission to destroy the evil robot thingy for reasons that start mostly with ‘because’. Armed with a dual-wielding axe which sounds a lot cooler than it is, Goro will move through various different levels collecting little potion bottles (again, I think that’s what they are) while attacking enemies. The enemies are… er… a mixture of things. There are bats flying around, spiders and melee enemies. But the majority of the enemies are these black squiggly things, again I have no idea what they are meant to be. Some just stay still while you kill them, others attack back. All are mostly harmless.
If the enemies seem dull and uninspired then the combat is possibly even worse. Goro has a standard three combo melee attack which never changes. He has a jumping attack and a grapple attack. So if you enjoy the same moveset for a few hours then this is the game for you. Okay, you do very occasionally get bombs and shurikens to use, but they are rare and don’t add a thing to the game.
Wooden Sensey doesn’t have a whole lot going for it truth be told. It’s only 9 levels long and depending on how much you die is pretty short from start to end. You will die a fair bit though, and not because of difficult platforming sections, but rather from poor design. It’s just not very fun. The different levels are at least rather varied, from the town setting, a dreadful underwater level, a level where you see only outlines and an airship setting. They are quite vibrant but nothing to write home about.
The sound is similarly vibrant and at least adds a bit of atmosphere to the game. The music fits the setting and is rather pleasant, but the sound effects are annoying and appear to have been created by two kids using whatever they can find in a garage to make the sounds.
Wooden Sensey does include collectibles… well sort of, it’s actually the enemies and little potion bottles that are the collectibles and if you miss nothing on a stage you get a high five (not even a real high five). There is a challenge mode to add something different to the game. For this you go to a singular section and have to collect bottles in a certain amount of time. After a few of them I was so bored I just couldn’t be bothered any further.
I think you can tell from the above that I didn’t quite enjoy my time with Wooden Sensey. Thankfully it was rather short lived. Almost like the developers know you aren’t going to want to play it for long. It may very well appeal to a younger audience who don’t want much of a challenge and need something to play through. If you are used to well-designed sidescrollers and a bit of a challenge then you will not want to take part in this Sensey’s life, at all.
PS. I have no idea why it’s called ‘Wooden’ Sensey. Suppose Goro is made of wood but it’s not referred to anywhere and seemingly has no relevance.