Balan Wonderworld is getting a free demo next week


Square Enix has announced a free demo for Balan Wonderworld, giving folks a chance to try out the game ahead of its launch later this year. The demo will be available from January 28, and is available on all platforms that the game is coming to: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

The demo is playable in both single-player and local co-op modes, with the latter allowing players to combine different abilities and access new paths that aren’t available in solo play. There’ll be samples of three of the full game’s 12 worlds covering a few different levels, including one boss battle, as well as a hub area.

A screenshot from Balan Wonderworld showing World 4

From the press release:

World 1 – The Man Who Rages Against the Storm

Playable Areas: Act 1, Act 2, Boss Battle

World One is set in a beautiful farm, made up of rolling hills and giant crops. This mysterious world is woven from the memories inside Jose Gallard’s heart, a farmer whose beautiful cornfield is struck by a storm. The boss lurking in the depths of Jose’s world is Barktholomew, the embodiment of Jose’s despair after seeing his cornfield being destroyed.

Make use of a range of costumes to successfully complete this level, including the Jumping Jack costume that allows players to jump to places they just can’t quite reach and the Dainty Dragon costume that uses its fiery breath to clear obstacles in its path!

World 4 – The Boy Who Would be One with the Wind

Playable Areas: Act 1

World Four takes place in a fantastical setting born from the heart of Chang Haoyu and his love of the open sky, where bicycle parts and floating islands of all sizes are scattered through the sky.

Costumes in this world that could come in handy include the Soaring Sheep costume that can float away by puffing up its fluffy fleece, and the Aero Acrobat costume that can soar through the sky and aim kicks at balloons and enemies!

World 6 – The Girl and the Kitten

Playable Areas: Act 1

World Six follows the story of Cass Milligan, depicting the town where she meets a cute kitten. In this magical world built from Cass Milligan’s fond memories, candy pieces and books float in the air and there are mysterious buildings full of moving gears.

Costumes that will help players solve mysteries and perform powerful attacks include the Gear Prince costume that can spin switches with the gear on its stomach to operate machinery, and the Pumpkin Puncher costume that can shoot a rocket punch!

Players will also be granted access to the Isle of Tims – a base area and gateway to the three mysterious worlds. Here, players will meet the magical creatures called Tims; whose powerful abilities can help Leo and Emma as they explore each world and battle Negati! On the Isle of Tims, players can also harvest magical droplets from the colourful flower patches found around the island. These droplets can be fed to Tims in order to evolve their abilities.

A screenshot from Balan Wonderworld showing World 6

Balan Wonderworld is a 3D action-platformer from the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog and Nights into Dreams. Set in the mysterious Balan theatre, the gateway to Wonderworld—a place where memories and the real-world mix together in surreal ways—it sees players exploring different worlds as they help people in the real world to overcome their troubles. It looks like an absolute delight, which is what earned it a place among my most anticipated games of the year.

Balan Wonderworld is coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on March 26, 2021, with a demo launching on all platforms on January 28.


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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.