Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.
Play involves exploring elaborate stages and switching between costumes to access different actions with the single button controls. There are 80 different costumes that can be collected, each has a different ability and attack style. The costumes interplay with the puzzles in each of the levels, providing abilities to help you progress. Not only that, but the varied abilities encourage experimentation and often result in discovering ways to access parts of levels sooner that the game design expects.
It's a simple approach, reminiscent of character switching in Skylanders, although some have found it too limiting. For younger players and those looking for a light and breezy game, Balan Wonderworld excels. On your own or with another played, you steadily work through each of the 12 worlds, resolving hardships in each one with a heartfelt cutscene.
The platforming action is spiced up with a load of mini games and challenges. From rolling boulders to playing soccer and bowling there is a lot to do in addition to the main game. You can also revisit completed levels to hunt down any remaining statues (and don't have to complete the levels to save the items you find). Then there are the little helper Tim characters who you can collect and breed to help you by attacking enemies, finding items and destroying spikes.
The result is a simplistic and saccharine platform game, a lighthearted escape to another world. The simplicity resulted in negative reviews but is a real boon to families and those looking for an unusual and puzzle-focused challenge.
You can play this game in the following styles:
6+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Although this is a relatively complex 3D platform game, there are minimal penalties for failure. This is particularly true if you play with an older or more experienced player. Being inquisitive is a benefit as this lets you discover new routes through levels. The way that abilities are tied to outfits also makes the game more approachable for younger players.
Although there is no difficulty setting the game automatically adjusts to your skill level. The types and number of enemies changes to make the game easier or more challenging as required. You can see the difficulty you are on via the stamp you get at the end of a stage (Red is more challenging).
The game's controls revolve around switching costumes to change the action you can perform. This enables the game to be played with a single action button. Any of the face buttons perform the action, while the upper Trigger buttons switch between costumes. You can also play with one Stick, the automatic camera is good, although a little harder to find hidden areas. As is discussed in this video, this offers an unusual platform game experience with unusually simple controls.
If you let the game do the camera automatically you can play with a single stick, one action button and one button to change outfit. There was strobe-like flashing in the game due to an error when it launched, but if you apply the free downloadable patch this is resolved.
Subtitles are large and clear but other game text is often smaller and doesn't have a solid background so can be hard to read. This is true for the instructions for the outfits, which is key information but hard to read. Some singing is in Japanese and isn't subtitled.
Diversity and Inclusion
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