While some games take a classic presentation and combine it with innovative gameplay to create a fun mix of old and new, this game tries to reach that same potential but falls well short. The biggest problem with Mable & The Wood is that the whole thing feels like a tapestry of half-finished ideas scrambled into some mess of a presentation that's then tossed out into the world to fend for itself. The result is a game that's confusing, frustrating, and generally lacking in any sort of fun. Right from the game's opening, with the player summoned as part of some overly vague prophecy, it's hard to tell if the story is supposed to be taken seriously or is being played for laughs. One minute the dialogue is trying to riff one-liners and comedic moment, like the "official sign painter" pointing out the quality of his work. The next minute, though, you're supposed to focus on the plight of the villagers being terrorized by the creatures of the forest.
Moving past the story, the gameplay and controls are just awkward and cumbersome. In your human form, you barely move above a walking pace, weighed down by the sword you're dragging on the ground. Combat requires first dropping your sword and positioning enemies between it and you, before calling the sword back to your hand and hopefully taking out anything in its path. Your movement's also tied to different forms, such as flight as a fairy, digging as a mole, or swinging from a web as a spider. None of these feel particularly intuitive though, and quickly become more of an obstacle than any enemy you might find. Worse still, you're left to discover most of this on your own, as the game rarely gives players much in the way of direction or guidance. Mable & The Wood's lack of polish goes far past being just rough around the edges, and frankly leaves little motivation to play.