Wooden Sen'Sey review: it's tough competing with classic Nintendo platformers

£8.00; Wii U; Neko Entertainment

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The Independent Tech

Developed by a three man team at Upper Byte Studio, Wooden Sen'Sey is an action platformer set in a uniquely Japanese 'Steam Rock' world. Players take charge of chunky chieftain Goro and his grappling blade as he jumps and swings through a variety of environments ranging from spiderwebbed caverns to treacherous factories in his quest for vengeance.

It's pleasing to see allowances for the Wii U's myriad control options, as well as supporting off-TV play, though as you may expect for a traditional platformer, the Wiimote proves the most effective. Motion control allows easy execution of the crucial downwards-firing double jump move which vanquishes Goro's foes, an old school style mechanic that works neatly. The grappling hook also functions well, reminiscent of Link's hookshot in Wind Waker but rendered in flat 2D, allowing you to traverse spike pits and deadly waters with ease.


Combat is somewhat less satisfying, the main problem being Goro's tiny arms. His reach is extremely limited, leaving you either to overuse the grappling hook as weapon or get in dangerously close to the amorphous black blobs that threaten your progress. This leads to frustration when an otherwise innocuous enemy fells Goro and steals that precious last life, marring gameplay which is otherwise promising.

The presentation is strong throughout, with the music being a particularly noteworthy blend of ninja movie soundtracks and modern rock. There are 30 levels of increasing difficulty to get through, including a neat underwater section, and those who finish the game can try the time attack mode to complete in the shortest time possible.

Unfortunately for Neko Entertainment, one thing the Wii U doesn't lack is a catalogue of quality platformers. Wooden Sen'Sey bounces into a competitive marketplace and despite showing some interesting features, falls short of the required standard.