Losing in Woody Two-Legs: Attack of the Zombie Pirates takes effort. I literally left it on during a trip to the café and returned to find the Kraken still attempting to kill Woody, who was stuck in a state of perpetual respawn. The humiliating thing about this (at least for the Kraken) is that I was slowly chipping away at the Kraken's health the whole time I was away, since every time you respawn, Woody enters the field with a new ship in a valiant hail of cannonballs. These hails were actually killing the mighty Kraken without my interference. So how do you actually lose? All of your gold must be taken by enemy looters, but in several of the difficulties the amount of enemies that attempt to steal your gold can't acquire enough to doom you to loss. They steal a finite amount, and the mini-bosses don't even care about the gold at all. In such levels it is impossible to be defeated. Despite the comic relief it provides, Woody's immortality severely hinders the suspension of disbelief; outside of the high-score fanatics, there's minimal incentive to even try. You will win. I promise that. You just might not have the highest score on the board, but you'll win. The only negative to having your vessel blown to smithereens that I could find, even though I dug extensively looking for a way I was punished, was that I lost my score multiplier. I could not see any reason to have a high score; I was there for the gold and zombie/skeleton/ghost slaying, all of which were unfortunately uninteresting.
In contrast to the sketchy gameplay mechanics, the art in this game is very well done. The style definitely fits the overall mood of the game, and definitely fits Woody. The undead looked and sounded exactly as you would think they should within a universe as unique as Woody's. The musical score was also very well done and fit in beautifully with the ensemble of undead and silly pirates - who are a story of their own: Woody's remarks to his attackers are incredibly lame, yet loveable at the same time. "Oh, throw me a bone here!" Woody scoffs at the "rattle and clank" of the encroaching skeletons' kneecaps.
The gameplay is pretty simple. You move your ship with WASD and fire the cannons on the sides of your ship with the Left- and the Right Arrow keys. W and S alter the velocity of your ship, and holding down W for a while will get you to max speed, at which point you can let go of the button. The rate at which your ship's speed will increase / decrease is exceedingly high, making it difficult to navigate at a comfortable cruising pace. I kept having to juggle between as fast as I could go and almost not moving at all. Power-ups existed but were not worth much in the game; enemy ships drop one of three boxes, good boxes (green ones), bad boxes (red ones), and random boxes (brown ones). The random boxes merely gave you a good or bad power-up. The amusing names for the power-ups added more to the game than the powers they gave you, oddly enough. Does it matter if your cannonballs shoot through multiple enemy ships hitting all of the ships in a row? Not really, but you'll chuckle when you pick up the "balls of steel" power-up. Does freezing enemy ships with frost shots really add anything to the game play? Not a ton, but acquiring "blue balls" definitely does. There are also other power-ups that do not directly affect your ships cannons, such as "Homing Dolphins" and "Mines," but the increasingly powerful weapons do little other than water-down an already easy game. The negative power-ups were even less noticeable then the positive ones.
The story is captivating for how short and basic it is, amplified by art that really exudes the theme of undead piracy. Humor distracts you from the awful gameplay, thankfully. Woody Two-Legs is also updated frequently; I had this game for a little over a week and it patched three times. Paradox Interactive supported Mount and Blade, and I dig that.