Balan Wonderworld Image
Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 176 Ratings

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  • Summary: BALAN WONDERWORLD is an action platformer game themed around the Balan Theatre. Led by the enigmatic maestro named Balan, the stars of the show Emma and Leo will use special abilities from a multitude of characterful costumes as they adventure in the bizarre and imaginary land ofBALAN WONDERWORLD is an action platformer game themed around the Balan Theatre. Led by the enigmatic maestro named Balan, the stars of the show Emma and Leo will use special abilities from a multitude of characterful costumes as they adventure in the bizarre and imaginary land of Wonderworld. Here memories and vistas from the real world mix with the things that people hold dear. Twelve different tales await our stars in the Wonderworld, each with their own unique quirks. They will explore all corners of these labyrinthine stages, filled with a myriad of tricks and traps, to get to the heart of each story. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 11
  2. Negative: 8 out of 11
  1. Mar 30, 2021
    65
    Balan Wonderworld feels like a platformer game from 20 years ago, with outdated mechanics, controls and a horrible costume mechanic which locks the player out of many collectibles way too soon.
  2. Apr 1, 2021
    62
    From afar, Balan Wonderworld looks amazing and charming, but as soon as you get a little closer, its magic is lost. Balan Wonderworld got stuck in the nostalgia and success that Sonic and Nights into Dreams had during their prime. It does not take risks and its creativity falls short.
  3. Mar 29, 2021
    60
    Painfully average in most respects, Balan Wonderworld won't draw much admiration for its contents. Still, it's a competent game that does have its charms, few as they may be.
  4. Mar 30, 2021
    40
    Balan Wonderworld isn’t always an awful platformer, but it is a consistently boring one. It’s full of charming character designs and the occasional hint of a clever idea, but its insistence on being a one-button game with dozens of needlessly overlapping abilities that are thrown aside just as fast as they are introduced rots it to the core. It’s a mess of undercooked concepts and clunky mechanics that slow it to a crawl, and it seems to take inspiration from better games without properly recapturing what actually makes them fun. Its platforming never evolves beyond the most basic possible obstacles it can throw at you, but it's the fundamentally flawed choices behind that mediocrity that take Balan Wonderworld from unamusing to outright bad.
  5. Apr 5, 2021
    30
    Balan Wonderworld gets no standing ovation for me – not even a clap. In fact, get your tomatoes at the ready for this musical theatre flop because as much as I wanted to like Balan Wonderworld (and believe me, I really wanted to like it) this game gets more than a few boos from me. With basic platforming, the removal of a jump button, and a distinct lack of challenge, there's little to recommend here.
  6. Mar 30, 2021
    30
    Balan Wonderworld tries to be an homage to nostalgic platformers from the PS2 era, but it forgets to be a good game in the process.
  7. Apr 11, 2021
    20
    Balan Wonderworld is just plain bad. Apart from its terrible costume system, it does nothing new and just poorly copies things that other 3D platformers have already done better.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 69
  2. Negative: 33 out of 69
  1. Mar 28, 2021
    10
    Masterpiece of the platform genre.

    Absolutely recommend it to everyone who loves the platform games
  2. Mar 29, 2021
    10
    Easily one of the best platform games of this decade.
    A truly surprising experience.
    Fun to play
  3. Mar 27, 2021
    10
    What a ride. A luminous and intriguing journey around the normal experience of the people of this game.
    Lovely message with sublime
    What a ride. A luminous and intriguing journey around the normal experience of the people of this game.
    Lovely message with sublime soundtrack.
    Top 10 best platform for me
    Expand
  4. Mar 31, 2021
    7
    I have extremely mixed thoughts on this game. I personally enjoyed probably around 70% of my time playing it. I unironically loved it upI have extremely mixed thoughts on this game. I personally enjoyed probably around 70% of my time playing it. I unironically loved it up through World 6. Everything after that was a mixed bag with World 9 being the last major highlight. There were so, so many times I just stopped and went "...really? THAT'S the best they could come up with? That's it? REALLY?" Basically, I do not hate this game but I don't exactly love it either.

    First, the gameplay. Honestly, I don't mind it. The patch fixed the movement speed and jump being too slow and floaty so it doesn't feel awkward anymore. As for the controls, I followed the game since the initial reveal back in July 2020 so I always knew what it was going to be like and the issues with everything relying on the same button. I think it's heavily flawed but the level design is built around it surprisingly well so it doesn't really feel like too much of a problem to me. I'm not constantly switching back and forth between powers because the levels are broken down into chunks. You have sections where you fight enemies, sections where you're just running along trying to solve a puzzle to progress, and designated exploration sections where there's very obviously something hidden for you to find and you have to get to a hard to reach spot somehow to get it. They're usually distinct and I only found myself switching once every few minutes. It's not bad at all but still I have to ask... why even have this system in the first place? What was the point?

    Then there's the powers themselves. There are so many repeats. There's a costume that lets you cross gaps and then three more that do the same thing, although they give you more distance and one gives you extra vertical height. I guess it's cool that there's more useful versions of powers later on but it just feels lazy. If they're just variations of each other then why not have an upgrade system instead? Let me turn my Air Cats into Frost Fairies or something. There's no point in having both. There are some creative powers such as one that lets you detach your head and fly around and one that lets you teleport to large gems but there's not that many like them. I like the amount of options they give you but it still seems a little underwhelming overall.

    More about the level design, I actually think it's well done. In general the collectibles are hidden well enough. Nothing ever feels too unfair. There are some costumes that do feel really satisfying to find for the first time like most of the post-game ones as well as Double Jump and Paladin Punch.

    The visuals and soundtrack are good. I have no complaints about anything though I know a lot of people will hate the cheesy vocal songs. I love them though. It's like I'm watching a really awkward Disney movie and it's kind of great.

    Last, the story. So it's a platformer and a 90s esque one at that. I wasn't expecting amazing storytelling but I was at least expecting more than what we got. Nothing is explained at all. I don't know what the Tims are, what the clock is, what I'm even doing or why I'm doing it, the relationship between the characters and the protagonists, why I should care about these people, why everyone's always dancing for no reason, etc. Nothing at all. There is a novel that goes along with the game but I don't want to have to purchase supplementary material just to be able to understand the basic story. I did read the book and while it was a very fun read, this shouldn't be necessary! Game books are supposed to be for the extra lore, not this. I don't know if they were scared of bogging the game down with cutscenes or what but they could have just made them skippable. No one would have complained about optional content. They don't have to be the big budget prerendered ones, even simple in game cutscenes would have sufficed. They made all these great looking models and even created a fictional language and it's all barely used. I just don't get it. Why? Why ignore all of that? What happened here?

    There's so many things I like about the game but it feels like for every one thing it does well, there's something it does totally half-baked. I don't know how I feel about it overall. I enjoyed playing this game for the most part but I can't actually determine if it's good or not. That's how conflicted I am about it. A game has NEVER made me feel this way before, for better or worse.

    I'm giving it a 7. I think it's more of a 6.5 for me but 6 feels too low since I did generally enjoy most of it. I have NO idea what the people rating it 10 are thinking, same with the ones below 5. It's not amazing but it's far from terrible. It's just a painfully average game with a couple satisfying bits thrown in here and there. If you like 90s era platformers then you might like this but just wait until it goes on sale. It's fun at times but not $60 worth of fun
    Expand
  5. Apr 15, 2021
    2
    I was not immediately turned off by the idea of a 1-button platforms. However it feels as though that was the only creative idea anyone hadI was not immediately turned off by the idea of a 1-button platforms. However it feels as though that was the only creative idea anyone had when creating this game. I’ve never experienced such a hollow and bland game. It’s clear after playing ~5 hours that the decision to use one button was not a creative choice but a method of cutting corners.

    Do not buy this game. It’s pretty clear that there’s bots in the reviews, so even if I did enjoy this game (which I didn’t) I’d tell you not to buy it because supporting a company that bots metacritic is terrible
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  6. Jun 13, 2021
    0
    Bad controls, bad graphics, lazy powerups story makes no sense, and the QTEs are the worst I've ever seen.
  7. Mar 27, 2021
    0
    DO NOT TRUST THESE POSITIVE USER REVIEWS. THIS GAME IS ABSOLUTE GARBAGE.

    Seems like Squirt-Enix are resorting to the cheapest tactics
    DO NOT TRUST THESE POSITIVE USER REVIEWS. THIS GAME IS ABSOLUTE GARBAGE.

    Seems like Squirt-Enix are resorting to the cheapest tactics possible and are trying to buy their way out of this mess by flooding this site with fake user reviews (look at the profiles of these people, none of them have reviewed anything else besides this POS). For which, shame on you, you f***ers! Don't you have ANY dignity left?

    There was a reason as to why they didn't hand out any review copies: This game could not even be considered decent as a free-to-play mobile game. To release something this bad as a fully-priced console title borders on fraud and is absolutely shameless.

    If my review gets marked as "not helpful", you know who's to blame (hint: it's not the actual players).
    Expand

See all 69 User Reviews