Don the lycra with Henchman Story, a visual novel on PC and console

Xbox One

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We get bombarded with movies and comics about superheroes, but what about the henchmen, lackeys and extras? What about the people who consistently get an elbow to the face, who run bravely into combat even though they are up against an Asgardian god? What motivates them? 

Henchman Story from Top Hat Studios looks to address the balance. Rather than follow chiselled superheroes, it puts you in the boots of a young man in lycra called Stan. Stan just wants to get by: he’s been a henchperson in Lord Bedlam’s gang for years now, and he has dodged danger, avoided promotions and generally stayed out of sight. And it’s worked wonders: he’s making enough money to survive, and he’s not died once.

Unfortunately, he can’t stay anonymous forever. Lord Bedlam’s heists are escalating, moving beyond street level crime, and another supervillain has teamed up with him called Madame Scorpion. She seems to think you’re a person of interest, and she’s not the only one. Madame Scorpion’s lackeys join forces with Lord Bedlam, and you’re given the task of showing a rookie called Kate around the base. Suddenly, all eyes seem to be on you, and some of them are lazer-eyes.

This is a visual novel, part romantic and part comedic, giving rise to more than one Austin Powers comparison. There’s plenty of content, too, as it has twelve different endings, some positive, some not, and dozens of choices that lead you down different threads of the spiderweb. You will cross paths with multiple supervillains and superheroes, and the writers have had a fun time deconstructing them and showing them up as the buffoons that they are. 

Key features include:

  • Superhero Satire: A comedic take on the world of superheroes that revels in the ridiculous nature of its setting, and showcases a colorful, comic book aesthetic.
  • Colorful Characters: Find friends, enemies and even romance amongst a lively cast of villains, heroes and fellow henchmen.
  • Meaningful Choices: Your decisions directly influence the story – leading to eleven endings, determining the fate of its characters, and if you play your cards right, you might even earn a promotion!
  • Full Voice Acting: Starring a talented cast of professional actors that have been featured in anime, video games and more!

We’ve played Henchman Story and a review is available here. We gave it a favourable 3.5/5, enjoying the unusual premise, the multiple branching paths, and the broad comedic strokes. We were less taken with the annoying main character. If you’re a fan of visual novels and are hoping for something different, then Henchman Story is well worth your time.

Henchman Story is out now on Xbox One and optimised for Xbox Series X|S from the Xbox Store. It’s also out on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC. 

Game Description:

Henchman Story is an interactive story where you play as a beleaguered henchman working for a bumbling supervillain. It’s thankless work. Week in and week out, you put on your purple spandex and get the crap beaten out of you by much stronger, much cooler people wearing much fancier spandex. But the checks clear, and Lord Bedlam offers healthcare, so a job’s a job, right? Even henchmen have bills to pay, and sometimes, even henchmen can make choices that change everything.

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