Sonic creator Yuji Naka unveils whimsical action-platformer Balan Wonderworld

Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, co-creators of Sonic the Hedgehog and NiGHTs, have offered a first look at Balan Wonderworld, a whimsical new action-platformer set in a magical theatre.

Balan Wonderworld is the first fruits of the duo’s work at Square Enix – which will form part of a new brand called Balan Company – and is described as “the action game of action games”, packing in “everything you can imagine from the genre”.

It all unfolds in the mysterious Balan Theatre (there’s supposedly a bit of a musical theatre themed to proceedings), where people from around the world are drawn together when the balance between their positive and negative emotions is broken. Players are tasked with saving the “hearts and minds of the cast from negative emotions” by travelling through imaginary worlds, each created by the worries of a different character.

As you might reasonably assume, plenty of spirited action-platforming ensues – possibly with the odd musical number, based on the trailer – and things are spiced up by way of over 80 wearable costumes, each imbued with their own abilities. These can be accessed at the press of a button in order to battle enemies, solve puzzles, and overcome obstacles along the way.

Balan Wonderworld is heading to Xbox one and Xbox Series X (Smart Delivery is supported too), as well as PS4, PS5, Switch, and PC, and will be launching next spring.