- + Achieving a perfect run is incredibly satisfying, even if hard as nails at points
- + Its soundtrack keeps you locked onto gameplay
- - Extra characters are fairly pointless
- - Lack of level editor shortens its lifespan
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Ready? GO!”
Action Henk (AH) focuses on a lonesome toy looking to relive his golden days as an action hero from the 90s. It feels like the movie Toy Soldiers, mixed with the speed and level design of Sonic the Hedgehog. Through running, jumping and butt-sliding, Henk and his fellow toy tag-alongs must complete numerous levels in the quickest time possible. Those familiar with the time trial racer, Trials Fusion, will feel right at home in AH.
In total there are over 70 levels to make you question your sanity. There are also 5 different characters to unlock, each with their own set of costumes. When you’ve chosen a track you are then able to select a time trial ghost to compete against. Whether you choose bronze, silver or gold runs, it’s often handy to gauge your progress against these AI. Once you’ve acquired all the gold medals in a set you can go one step further by unlocking rainbow mode. Yes I attempted it, and no, I didn’t even come close to beating its recorded time.
Compared to Trials’ use of zippy vehicles across wildly diverse courses, Henk presents a vastly different approach. Running, jumping and butt-sliding without hitting a hurdle requires a lot of skill, but once you get the hang of it it’s hard to put down. Happily there’s the option to initiate a quick restart via tapping circle should you fail midway through a run for perfection. Courses are fairly plain in their appearance and don’t offer much in the way of eye candy, though animated backgrounds help alleviate this. On a more positive note, its soundtrack was a notable highlight and kept me engaged in the action.
Once you’ve nailed down the core mechanics of gameplay, a grappling hook is introduced to help freshen up gameplay. It’s only featured in certain levels, though it does a good job of mixing in another skill to master. The title’s original release on Steam also came with its very own level editor, but sadly this feature is lacking on console. Thankfully, multiplayer and online leaderboards should keep players coming back for more.
Action Henk may not have a ton of features packed into it, but its addictive gameplay is hard to pass up. The fact that extra characters don’t have their own special abilities feels like a missed opportunity, as it would have kept gameplay from remaining a bit one-sided.
*Action Henk was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by RageSquid