Opening night is here, kids. The theater-themed 3D platformer Balan Wonderworld makes its debut today including the talents of former Sonic Team heads Yuji Naka and Naota Ohshima. Your small heroes Emma and Leo collect and swap costumes that give them new abilities to battle and puzzle through each area either solor or in co-op. They've got over 80 costumes to find, and some of these worlds look downright weird.
Emma and Leo are in charge of curing the hearts of twelve different characters across twelve worlds, where their negative feelings have manifested as baddies that need defeating. A diver needs help tackling her fear of the ocean after suffering an underwater acident, for instance. One young girl is battling her loneliness because her love of bugs has made her an outcast among her classmates.
"To accomplish this, players will jump, climb, fly, smash and more, as they explore a multitude of unique areas, collecting over 80 unique costumes that bestow special powers to assist them along the way," Squenix say. Up top there for instance, you appear to be dressed as Mickey Mouse's lesser known cousin. I can't guess what abilities that'll unlock, though there's certainly a lot going on there from the translucent platforms to the giant rainbow paintbrush.
The costumes only get weirder, as you can see down here in the launch day trailer. They turn into everything from roller skaters to dragons to what looks like a vacuum.
Early impressions of Balan Wonderworld weren't super positive, based on its demo. Enough so that Square Enix have already announced a day one patch to address some of the feedback they received about the game's movement controls and camera movement.
Another bit coming in that patch is a fix for an issue in the final boss fight which includes a flashing effect that can trigger a response in those with photo-sensitivity or epilepsy. Over on Game Informer, Liana Ruppert (who also reported on that epilepsy trigger in Cyberpunk 2077) explains the white flashing effect in more detail. Square Enix say that the Day 1 patch solves this issue.
Balan Wonderworld has launched today over on Steam for £50/€60/$60. It's also available on your Xbox boxes One/S/X, PS4, PS5, and the Nintendo Switch.