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Balan Wonderworld is a video game created by Square Enix subsidiary Balan Company, which is headed by Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog. The talent behind the game led to considerable hype prior to its release, but it received mostly negative reviews from critics. However, suspected anti-review bombing, in which users suspected to be bots gave the game positive scores on Metacritic, caught the internet's attention.
Balan Wonderworld was announced on July 23rd, 2020 (trailer shown below). The game promised to be a retro 3D-style platformer. It was created by Yuji Naka of Balan Company, a Square Enix subsidiary. Naka is the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Naoto Ohshima would be working as the lead artist. The game marks the pair's first collaboration since 1998's Sonic Adventure, leading to considerable anticipation around Balan Wonderworld. The game released on March 26th, 2021.
Balan Wonderworld released to mostly mixed and negative reviews. As of March 30th, 2021, the game has a score of 58 on Metacritic. Screenrant gave the game 2/5 stars, bemoaning the game's lack of story and uninspired levels, which players will have to backtrack through in order to 100% complete the game. Noisy Pixel gave the game a 5/10, writing, "Balan Wonderworld falls short on all gameplay fronts, making it a mostly unfun title with a criminal amount of missed opportunities."
Curiously, the game's Metacritic page is suspected to have been anti-review bombed, with a bevy of vaguely written positive user reviews on its Metacritic page. Game Rant wrote, "many of the accounts being used to write these perfect score user reviews are new and have only written a review for Balan Wonderworld and nothing else." The suspected bots were caught by @spawnwavemedia on Twitter (shown below).
Balan Wonderworld has not developed a significant online presence. A subreddit for the game created July 22nd, 2020 has accumulated 300 subscribers. The Twitter account for the game has gained 13,000 subscribers.
 Screen Rant – Balan Wonderworld Review A Far Cry From A Wonderland