Action Henk review for Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Curve Digital
Developer: RageSquid
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

It’s pretty apparent right from the get-go that Action Henk isn’t hugely original. You zoom along preset tracks, you try to beat leaderboard times, you earn medals based on your performance. You can compare it to Trials, you can compare it to Joe Danger, you can compare it to whatever else that reminds you of: the bottom line is, you’ve almost certainly played something like it before.

Just because you’ve played something just like it before, however, doesn’t mean it’s not a whole lot of fun. Indeed, I have no doubt that neither of those games I mention above originated the concept, yet they succeeded anyway because of how they put everything together in a enjoyable package. So it is too with Action Henk.

action-henk 1

Much like those games, Action Henk works because it takes that well-worn formula, and makes it its own. In this case, it means building a story about a once-popular toy (that would be the titular Henk), now retired and more than a little paunchy, looking to reclaim a bit of his former glory by racing against other toys. As plots go, it’s obviously pretty thin, but RageSquid have made the concept come alive by setting the game in the most vibrant-looking messy bedroom ever created. The tracks — particularly those in the disco-infused levels against Neil — pulsate off the screen, and the accompanying soundtrack generally does a pretty good job of getting you (and keeping you pumped).

Most importantly, every track has that “One more time!” aspect down pat. Between medal times and personal best ghosts, there’s more than enough to keep you going back to each level again and again, just to try and shave milliseconds off your time to earn that extra medal and unlock more tracks.

action-henk 2

In other words, it does exactly what games like Trials HD and Joe Danger do to keep you coming back for more. That may not win Action Henk points for innovation, but you’ll be too busy obsessively having one more go at each level to care.

Grade: B+