Review

Balan Wonderworld review: Sonic’s creators return with a defiantly dated platformer

Yuji Naka’s latest could appeal to a niche audience, but everyone else will find it far too antiquated

Game director
Yuji Naka
Key Credits
Noriyoshi Fujimoto (Producer), Naoto Ohshima (Character design)

For better or worse, Balan Wonderworld feels like an HD take on a PS2-era platformer. As long as you manage your expectations accordingly and accept the limitations that come with this, there's some enjoyment to be had with it. By modern standards, however, the game falls far short of expectations.

  • Its wide range of costumes create a backtracking mechanic that adds replay value
  • Generally charming to look at and listen to
  • Feels like a fairly standard platformer from the turn of the millennium
  • Some severe performance issues at times, even on next-gen systems
  • A decent number of the 80+ costumes are either rubbish or have duplicate abilities
2 / 5
Version tested
Xbox Series X | S
Balan Wonderworld review: Sonic’s creators return with a defiantly dated platformer
Game director
Yuji Naka
Key Credits
Noriyoshi Fujimoto (Producer), Naoto Ohshima (Character design)

For better or worse, Balan Wonderworld feels like an HD take on a PS2-era platformer. As long as you manage your expectations accordingly and accept the limitations that come with this, there's some enjoyment to be had with it. By modern standards, however, the game falls far short of expectations.

  • Its wide range of costumes create a backtracking mechanic that adds replay value
  • Generally charming to look at and listen to
  • Feels like a fairly standard platformer from the turn of the millennium
  • Some severe performance issues at times, even on next-gen systems
  • A decent number of the 80+ costumes are either rubbish or have duplicate abilities
2 / 5
Version tested
Xbox Series X | S