This is kind of a big mess of a game. Balan Wonderworld has all the basics of a decent little Mario-style 3D run-and-jump adventure, including colorful worlds, simple controls, and lots of stuff to find and collect. Other than an occasionally uncooperative camera, it's a fairly smooth and glitch-free experience. Unfortunately, that's about all it has going for it. The visual presentation feels dated, like a game designed a decade or more ago using bland, soulless objects and characters. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to its art choices and overall atmosphere. It's just a mishmash of random elements and architecture that feel as though they've been pilfered from a grab bag of other games and franchises, from Crash Bandicoot to Sonic the Hedgehog.
The action, meanwhile, feels unfocused, unoriginal, and haphazard. There's little narrative theme or reason for the varied costumes and abilities we earn other than that someone apparently thought it'd be fun to have a Kirby-like ability-changing mechanic thrown in. While most abilities are fairly straightforward when it comes to how they can be used to traverse or bypass an obstacle, their use as a means of attacking enemies is often clunky. (Thankfully, most enemies aren't too bright.) Even more problematic, the whole experience suffers from poor localization, meaning that not all scenes have been subtitled or made otherwise digestible for Western audiences. There are times when it's difficult to understand how the action relates to the story, and vice versa. Balan Wonderworld feels half-baked and directionless. It's not broken, and most players should be able to work their way through it with relative ease, but the chances of anyone being truly satisfied are low.