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Played time: 3 hours
Balan Wonderworld has a lot going for it, especially if you are a fan of laid-back collectathon games. Essentially, your main goal is to explore a variety of whimsical levels in search of shiny objects. In this case, you’re chasing golden balan statues – but you can only bag them if you wear the right outfit for the job.
The game lets you choose from two big-handed teenagers, Leo Craig or Emma Cole, who go on a mystical adventure in the imaginary land of the wonder world. Under the guidance of the enigmatic Maestro Balan, you step down steps depicting a person’s emotions, which is just as strange as it sounds. You can expect a lot of dancing creatures everywhere.
After playing through some of the game’s early chapters and storylines, it becomes clear that we need to lower our expectations. If you were hoping to see the same nifty level design and ingenuity that go into making games like Super Mario Odyssey or even Sackboy: A Big Adventure so exciting, Balan Wonderworld is not for you.
What it does, however, is rely on a proven formula that provides a good level of fun, even if it is to the detriment of the game.
- What is it? A platform adventure game
- Release date? March 26, 2021
- What can i play it on? PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and Nintendo Switch
- Price? The standard edition costs approximately $ 59.99 / £ 49.99 / AU $ 69
- Lots of outfits to wear
- Overcome obstacles with the skills of a costume
- Can feel like quantity over quality
There are over 80 different costumes to discover in Balan Wonderworld. The core of the game is finding the suit you need to overcome an obstacle, enemy, or new area.
The outfits that you are going to wear are downright adorable: you can dress up as a pig, which allows you to run a ground pound to smoothen the pens. a kangaroo that can flutter to reach ledges that just seem inaccessible; or some weird elastic flower pot thing that lets you elongate your body so you can grab objects in high places.
While the costumes certainly look like this (your character will often resemble a Pokémon cosplay, which isn’t a bad thing), the skills you acquire are by no means extraordinary. In one outfit you become a sheep that can float in the air, in another you can only blast fireballs.
Although the demo only had a handful of costumes to collect, it quickly became apparent that many skills overlap, making some outfits feel rather redundant. The Pumpkin Puncher outfit lets you perform a punch attack that can break down barriers, while the Dainty Dragon costume means you can overcome obstacles by shooting fireballs. Ultimately, they both achieve the same goal.
Switching between costumes is also a cumbersome affair. Since the possibilities of each costume are limited – breaking or moving obstacles, jumping further – you will have to switch between several costumes during a level in order to complete the tasks that stand in your way. Switching takes a second longer than it should, and if you accidentally pick the wrong outfit, it can be difficult to keep playing the animation over and over again if you’re quick to pick the costume you want.
- Boring events
- Decent support for adaptive DualSense triggers
- Local multiplayer support is welcome
Collecting balan statues opens up new levels, but you can also find gold silk hats hidden on the game’s stages. Take one and you’ll trigger a Balan’s Bout bonus game which can be used to earn extra drops (the game’s equivalent of coins) and a Balan statue. To do this, you’ll need to complete a quick time visual event where you press the appropriate buttons based on what’s happening on the screen. As expected, these QTE segments became extremely troublesome and fast.
However, it was particularly pleasing to see how Balan Wonderland uses the adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller on PS5. The resistance of the triggers depends on the costume used. For example, if you are disguised as a tornado wolf, there will be satisfactory trigger resistance when performing a spin. The same goes when you, as a pumpkin puncher, throw your fists. However, you can use the face buttons if you prefer.
Another plus is that the game can be played with another player, which makes Balan Wonderworld a great family friendly title. Unfortunately, there is only support for local multiplayer, so you cannot play online with a friend.
Hungry mouths to feed
- Tims are cute chicks who can help you with your search
- Feed them drops and watch them grow
Although your main objective is collecting balan statues, you will also be picking up different colored drops on each level. These can be fed to Tims, who are basically cute little chicks that can help you out on your adventure. For example, red tims can help you attack enemies while pink tims spy out items that you may have overlooked.
Before venturing into each level, start out on the Isle of Tims, where you can feed your fluffy friends all the gems you have amassed. This adds an extra dimension to the game that we weren’t expecting, and while its scope was pretty limited in the demo, we really enjoyed seeing the Tims busily mocking any gems we dropped.
If you fancy a charming action adventure game that is easy on the eye and not too strenuous, then Balan Wonderworld might be for you. However, if you’re looking for something essential, there are far better options than the often mundane Balan Wonderworld.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/balan-wonderworld/