Balan Wonderworld feels like one of those games that no matter how much I see it, I still don’t know what to make of it. The opening movie looked good and the mix of Nights Into Dreams meets dress-up gameplay is certainly intriguing. Thankfully, a new trailer puts gameplay first and foremost, convincing me of the game’s whimsical appeal.
The Japanese language trailer shows off the action-platforming across a variety of distinct levels. We get a look at the various costumes (of which there are 80 different types), each of which bestow different abilities. Spin Wolf, for example, lets players create tornados while Pumpkin Puncher throws rocket punches. Using these abilities is key to overcome the wacky obstacles as well as the rogues gallery of bosses, including the humorously clever fire hydra-nt. If you’re a fan of platforming as well as the vibes of Nights into Dreams, Balan Wonderworld looks like it could be a ton of fun.
The game’s story centers on Leo Craig and Emma Cole, two kids who visit a theater and meet Balan, a mysterious maestro. Balan transports the kids to the magical Wonderworld, a dream-like realm that resembles a stage show/carnival with the volume dialed up to about 15. Balan Wonderworld made its debut during the Xbox Games Showcase back in July and comes from the newly formed studio Balan Company with Square Enix handling publishing duties. Yuji Naka, the former head of Sonic Team best known for his work on Sonic the Hedgehog and Nights into Dreams, sits in the director’s chair.
Balan Wonderworld releases March 26 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. Those who purchase the game on last-gen consoles will receive free upgrades to the current-gen versions.
How do you think Balan Wonderworld is shaping up? Let us know in the comments!