2020 was a year many of us will want to forget. With the arrival of 2021, what better way to launch headfirst into a new year than with the arrival of Balan Wonderworld, an exciting, brand new IP from Square Enix. Balan Wonderworld is an all action, all adventure 3D platformer where you can explore 12 amazing worlds, discover over 80 different costumes each with their own unique abilities and play alongside that special person in your life with 2 player co-op.
But Balan Wonderworld has one other totally unique ingredient that makes it so special – it tackles head on all those real-world niggling worries and anxieties that we all have. From fear and loneliness to weakness or just feeling different, Balan Wonderworld incorporates these emotions into its gameplay and it’s up to you to step into the mysterious Balan Theatre and help its inhabitants balance their emotions.
To celebrate the release of the Balan Wonderworld demo today on the Xbox Store, we caught up with Noriyoshi Fujimoto from Square Enix, the producer for this game for a Q & A about what makes the game so special.
Hello, I’m Noriyoshi Fujimoto from Square Enix, and I’m the producer for this game. Thank you for playing the demo of Balan Wonderworld. This demo is just one bit of the game, but in it you can experience one of the main distinctive features of the game – switching between different costumes as you explore stages where all kind of mechanics await you. Balan Wonderworld is easy to play, regardless of whether or not you are good at action games, and you can also play cooperatively with two players. I hope that playing this game makes you feel happy!
Rob Lightbody: Where did the idea of using ‘balancing emotions’ come from as one of the games unique USPs?
Noriyoshi Fujimoto: Since the early stages of working on the game’s concept, “balance” has been a major keyword in the development of Balan Wonderworld.
This idea led to the concepts of incorporating changes in the balance between positivity and negativity into the game’s world; creating mechanics in the stages that rely on balance; and for each action from a costume to have a corresponding and opposite action. The names of two characters in the game, Balan and Lance, also come from the word balance.
When it comes to the idea of “balancing emotions”, I think we all face little worries and problems in our daily lives. Anyone can feel negative at times. As we worked on the development of Balan Wonderworld, our hope was that playing the game and sharing the negative worries of the cast members in each chapter, and then sharing in how these problems are resolved and changed into something positive, would help players to feel positive themselves.
Rob Lightbody: How did you decide on which emotions to pair with which characters. Do you have a favourite?
Noriyoshi Fujimoto: We included a variety of themes that different people from all around the would be able to relate to and feel close to.
My personal favourite is Chapter 10 with the story of “The Artist with Painter’s block.” It is a story about an artist who, as she become more famous, gradually draws less and less of what she really wants to draw and draws more of what would please the people around her. Then, she gradually starts to think about why she draws, and whether she’s drawing the art that she truly wants to draw. This is a familiar story to creators, who tend to have this worry, and so it made me think about this situation again. At the same time, I also felt like it gave me a solution and a way to feel positive about it.
If this has you excited, then download the Balan Wonderworld demo now on the Xbox Store. And to add to the excitement, if you play the demo now you also obtain the bonus ‘X Launcher’ costume in the full game on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S if you have play data from the demo. We hope you enjoy playing the demo until the full game releases on March 26 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S!
BALAN WONDERWORLD Demo
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