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Action Henk Looks Like Mario, Moves Like Sonic

I can't tell if he's really enjoying this or if he's in the worst agony of his life.

Who’s Action Henk, you ask? WHO’S ACTION HENK? Hah, that’s a good one.

You mean you really don’t know? Wow. What rock have you been living under? Probably not one with a mossy underbelly of pure, congealed thrills, I’m guessing. That’s the kind of rock Action Henk would live under if Action Henk ever decided to live under a rock. But you know what he does instead? He eats boulders for breakfast. Also moss. Also you. Henk really likes to eat.

But boy can he ever move. He might possess Mario’s doughy physique (albeit in action figure form), but his game plays like a modern take on classic 2D Sonic The Hedgehog.

The game’s newly released free (and also early) public build is simple and over in the blink of an eye, but massively fun and replayable. The focus is on speedrunning, so you blaze through levels, learn their curves and contours, and then blaze through them even better. And while old-school Sonic games were chock full of enemies and labyrinthine level divergences, Henk – at least, so far – seems like a more straightforward sort of guy. Levels have multiple paths, but they’re pretty direct, and enemies are non-existent.

This game, then, is all about mastery of motion. Chaining together flips and – I never thought I’d put these words into the same sentence – glorious ass slides to sate your need for speed. Go go go. Never stop. Neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Despite the fact that Henk is technically made of plastic, his game’s controls are rock-solid, and the game’s endless assault of forward motion is exhilarating. The sense of speed could be just a teensy bit better, but I can’t fault it for falling into a manageable groove. Honestly, I’ll take that over out-of-control suicide sprinting any day of the week.

There are leaderboards, naturally, and your inability to climb past the back of the pack will claw at your soul until you either go mad or get bored and find something else to do.

Action Henk still has a ways to go before he crosses the finish line, but the public build already feels great. Give it a go here.

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Nathan Grayson

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