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Directed by Yuji Naka, the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Balan is a musical theatre-themed game which sees players switching between costumes to utilise abilities such as freezing time and manipulating objects.
It is the first game from Square’s new Balan Company studio, a collection of veteran developers including Naoto Ohshima, the artist who created the original designs for Sonic the Hedgehog.
Playable solo or in two-player local co-op mode, the Balan Wonderworld demo will offer access to the game’s hub area and three of its 12 worlds, including The Girl and the Kitten, which is shown in the trailer below.
Naka recently told IGN that he had received permission from Square Enix’s president to make a full-scale platform game with the condition that it was his “one chance”.
“I think Square Enix has an RPG image, but I don’t think I’d be good at making RPGs,” he said.
The designer previously created Sega classic Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star Online, but said he feels most skilled in the platformer genre.