ESRB – 10+
Reviewed on WiiU
Wooden Sen’Sey is adorable. The hand-crafted wooden aesthetic made it feel like I was playing with a set of antique toys. I doubt that was the aesthetic they were going for, but it grabbed me and greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the game.
Unfortunately, it took a lot longer for the game to grab onto me as it should have. Wooden Sen’Sey is an action platformer. This means that players are expected to deal with fighting enemies as well as timing their jumps to get across treacherous gaps. The control method was a bit floaty for my tastes which made timing some of the jumps very difficult. Players who are used to playing games like Super Mario Brothers U might have difficulty adjusting.
The motion controls with the game pad are where things get seriously interesting. There are jumps that required me to jump, push a button to throw out my chain-axe to stick into the ceiling, and then tip the control pad in the direction I wanted to go in order to build momentum to cross massive pits. Even more challenging were the sequences that required me to repeat that for a span without a platform to land on like a chain-axe swinging Tarzan! I cringe at the idea of less experience players trying to complete those challenges.
The time challenges that unlock after the levels are completed are where this game really shines. You are forced to make careful choices about every jump, swing, or weapon strike as seconds are precious while trying to beat the best times. It also adds a lot of replay value to early levels for players who might not be able to complete later challenges.
Family Gaming Assessment:
Wooden Sen’sey features stumpy-shaped, legless character models that are made of wood. I couldn’t help but think of the Fisher Price Little People figures while I was playing it. The main character does fight with an axe which is pretty intense considering the wood theme, but there is no blood or gore to speak of. Enemies simply blink out of existence after being defeated.
The game earned an E10+ rating for alcohol consumption, but it was largely abstracted. Your kids won’t know that the liquid they are collecting is alcohol (sake I presume) unless you tell them.
There is no reading to speak of in Wooden Sen’Sey.
The game play is not complex, but it is very challenging. In order to be successful, players will need to combine the use of buttons and motion controls to help swing themselves through the different levels.
This becomes even more important in the time attack mode that is unlocked after each level is finished. The fastest times will almost all require some form of shortcut that will require master that the control scheme and younger or inexperience players will struggle with it.
Wooden Sen’Sey was definitely challenging, but its charm made it worth playing. The WiiU is suffering from having so much time in between releases and this is a great way to help fill in those gaps.