Balan Wonderworld is a theatrical action game from the co-creators of Sonic

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Balan Wonderworld is a theatrical, fantastical action game coming from the co-creators of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The pair of creators have reunited at Square Enix to form the new Balan Company label, and their first project is a 3D action platformer following the direction of an "enigmatic maestro named Balan". Protagonists Emma and Leo don a variety of costumes to take on new roles in the imaginary land of Wonderworld, and each costume comes with its own special ability that you can use to fight, travel and solve puzzles.

Balan Wonderworld will take players through 12 different stories, blending in fantastic elements as well as memories and sights from the real world. It sounds like an interesting blend of fast-paced action and dreamy, stage-influenced visuals.

While Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima are best known for their roles in creating Sonic the Hedgehog, Balan Wonderworld has some serious vibes from another of their collaborations: Nights into Dreams. Instead of an odd Jester puppet person guiding you through dreams, now an odd theater director is helping you resolve peoples' negative emotions and memories by diving into fantastical realms inspired by their experiences. Look out for whimsical moments punctuated by surprisingly touching insights into the lives of everyday people.

Balan Wonderworld looks like a delightfully colorful new adventure, and you can look forward to playing it on both Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) and Xbox One when it arrives in spring 2021.

Find more great stuff to play in our guide to upcoming Xbox Series X games (opens in new tab).

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.