For the namesake character, see Henry Stickmin.
For the remastered games, see The Henry Stickmin Collection.
The series follows the namesake character Henry Stickmin on his various and very dangerous adventures. First starting off as a thief trying to rob a bank, he can later become an agent of the Government partnered with a pilot named Charles Calvin, a bounty hunter, the leader of a Notorious Criminal Syndicate, or remain neutral as a Thief, either still a criminal or pardoned. Henry can also end up as an escaped prisoner of the Toppat Clan, or he could steal from them either by himself or with a partner named Ellie Rose. In these games, the player can choose the events and endings, due to the games functioning via point-and-click format.
The series has two versions available; the legacy series and The Henry Stickmin Collection, the latter featuring remastered versions of the original games and a new final game, Completing the Mission.
The namesake character is Henry Stickmin is a silent protagonist who starts his journey by breaking into a bank, which leads him into a series of infinite amounts of troubles. Characters in the series are stick figures, which means they have minimal body design and black lines instead of clothes, but distinct facial design with long linear eyes that are unique to PuffballsUnited's style.
Behind the scenes
The zeroth of the series was the two prototypes, The Bridge and Crossing the Pit, published by PuffballsUnited in 2007. Bridge was a movie about a stick character trying to cross a bridge and failing, while Pit featured a simple stick character trying to cross a pit and all options resulting in a failure (falling into the pit).
In 2008, PuffballsUnited released Breaking the Bank, a relatively short game that carried over Pit's gameplay style. The titular character Henry was also introduced. Unlike in Pit, Breaking the Bank contained an option that resulted in progression of the story towards a canonical ending.
A follow-up, Stealing the Diamond, was released in 2011. Stealing the Diamond would make failures a centerpiece in the series, with significantly increased references to popular culture compared to the previous two installments, while also featuring significantly longer pathways with multiple ways to fail.
Infiltrating the Airship was released in 2013. The Government and Toppat Clan were introduced to the series, marking the first time Henry could side with one faction or remain neutral, as shown in the four endings. A handful of staple characters were introduced in Airship, which include Charles Calvin, Reginald Copperbottom, and the Right Hand Man.
Fleeing the Complex, released in 2015, had the series return to a jailbreak adventure, albeit a more expanded adventure compared to Escaping the Prison with its 5 endings and 60 unique fails. Ellie Rose and Dmitri Johannes Petrov mark their first appearances in the series; Ellie would go on to become the tritagonist of the series, playing a substantial role in the series as Henry's partner-in-crime. The faction element introduced in Infiltrating the Airship permeated into Fleeing the Complex, with two endings catered specifically towards their allegiances. Sometime after the release of Fleeing the Complex, PuffballsUnited co-founded the development studio Innersloth with programmer Forest Willard (better known as ForteBass), which would develop and publish The Henry Stickmin Collection.
Released in 2020, The Henry Stickmin Collection contains a remake of Breaking the Bank & remastered editions of Escaping the Prison, Stealing the Diamond, Infiltrating the Airship & Fleeing the Complex, featuring updated graphics & sound design. Alongside the re-releases was the final installment in the series—a brand new episode entitled Completing the Mission, which puts the opposing factions in a head-on conflict, and contains 16 different endings and 164 unique fails.
Henry Stickmin series (2008-2020)
- Breaking the Bank (2008)
- Escaping the Prison (2010)
- Stealing the Diamond (2011)
- Infiltrating the Airship (2013)
- Fleeing the Complex (2015)
- Completing the Mission (2020)
The Henry Stickmin series is one of the most popular on Newgrounds, and has come to be known as a classic. Every single instalment has been listed on the site's front page shortly after release, from Escaping the Prison onward, have consistently made #1 on the Weekly Users' Choice at the time of release. Escaping the Prison and Fleeing the Complex were named first on Daily Features on the day of release, while Stealing the Diamond and Infiltrating the Airship were named 2nd and 4th for Daily Features, respectively. Escaping the Prison is so far the most-played game in the series, with 2.8 million views on Newgrounds, while Fleeing the Complex is the second-highest rated game on the site. All instalments released on Newgrounds (minus Breaking the Bank) make the top twelve of the highest-rated games on the site.
The series has also become a popular viewer magnet for content creators on YouTube. Markiplier's playthrough of Fleeing the Complex has become his fifth most-viewed video on his channel overall, with over 50 million views. Jacksepticeye, PopularMMOs, Thinknoodles & DanTDM's videos on the series have also amassed millions of views.
For The Henry Stickmin Collection, Steam users have given the assemblage package "Overwhelmingly Positive" reviews, with a 99% rating based on 7,600+ reviews. Reviewers have praised the Collection for its humour, animation, production value (specifically in Completing the Mission), & storylines, with some praising the sense of nostalgia they experienced while playing the game. Markiplier gave a positive review of the Collection, calling it an "incredible, hilarious game". Despite the universal praise, some have noted the frequency of frame rate issues and crashes in full screen mode, all of which are ultimately pointless complaints as PuffballsUnited has stated he will never update the game, which means no issues in the game will ever be fixed in any way shape or form.