Upperbyte’s Wooden Sen’SeY is set to launch tomorrow. I got my hands on a preview copy of Wooden Sen’SeY and spent some time playing through the game. For this review, I played through five of the nine levels.
Wooden Sen’SeY is a brightly colored 3D platformer that has players bouncing, slicing, smashing, and grappling through the levels, as village chief, Goro.
Goro’s quest is to travel the lands and retrieve his beloved SeY, which was stolen from him at the opening of the game.
Goro is armed with axes for melee combat, a grappling hook that he uses to swing over obstacles and kill airborne enemies, bombs and ninja-stars that he throws at attackers, and a powerful body slam attack that he use to smash foes and propel himself through the air.
The enemies in the game are shadowy-blobs with glowing yellow eyes. There is a wide variety of enemy types, ranging from simple circle-blobs that float in your way, to shadow blobs dressed as samurai that are armed with pikes, ninja-stars, and giant mallets.
Dispatching each enemy requires a slightly different strategy, but basically the body slam attack will be your go-to way to dispatch foes.
As a platformer, Wooden Sen’SeY largely features Goro traversing from the left of the screen to the right, occasionally there is some vertical climbing, but the game is largely a left-to-right side-scroller.
At first, Wooden Sen’SeY is an incredibly basic hop-and-slash game. I made a side note that the game would make an excellent introduction for people looking to get into gaming, as it introduces basic platforming mechanics. The game quickly shifts gears and abruptly kicks up the difficulty. I found my fingers clattering across my keyboard, desperately dodging giant spiders and swinging over endless depths.
Particularly, early in the game there is an underwater level that is incredibly tedious. Up until that point, the game was challenging, but doable. The underwater level increases the difficulty too fast. There wasn’t really a build-up in difficulty, the game just jumps from easy-mode to hard-mode, between levels.
The first thing you will notice about Wooden Sen’SeY is how bright and colorful the game looks. The design team did a great job giving the game a whimsical feel.
Also, the game flows very well. Swinging along on your grappling hook, jumping through obstacles, and dashing through the level is a seamless experience, and nothing is jittery or clunky at all.
At the end of each level, you see stats for how many SeY containers you collected/total, the number of enemies you killed/total, and your time spent in the level compared to a high-score speed run. This gives the game a little replay value if you feel so inclined.
As mentioned earlier, Wooden Sen’SeY jumps in difficulty, which could be a turn-off for gamers who are not too into platformers or newer players getting used to platform mechanics. Some of the obstacles are very challenging…not impossible, but
Two of the five levels I played were rather annoying to get through. The first being the underwater level, where you control a big clumsy submarine that you must navigate through obstacles that only allow a tight fit to get through. I feel like the submarine should be half the size it is. Also, the second annoying level was one that featured a setting sun in the background, which silhouetted Goro, the enemies and the rest of the level in a black shadow. This style looked cool at first, but my eyes grew weary after a few minutes of having bright red glaring in my face.
Wooden Sen’SeY is a solid platformer. Albeit difficult at times, the gameplay is solid. You won’t be playing it for weeks, but you will spend a few nights with it, and you’ll have fun getting Goro through the various challenges and the nine creative levels.
I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys casual platformers, someone looking to buy a game for a kid (the game is action-driven, but not violent since the enemies are essentially shadow monsters), or for someone looking to get into the platform gaming genre.
Visit the Desura store where Wooden Sen’SeY will go on sale on the 24th of August, for $9.99 for both Windows and Mac computers.