Balan Wonderworld isn’t a particularly complex game, but it’s got some unique design choices that require getting used to. Regardless, bear these quick tips in mind and things will become more clear. Well, some things.
Some costumes in Balan Wonderworld are infinitely more useful than others. As such, they’ll be much better to have larger stocks of. Whenever you get hit or fall off a level while wearing a costume, you lose it. It’s a pain to lose a valuable costume that you don’t have many of, but you’ll mitigate the problem by identifying which costumes are the best all-rounders and which you’ll need the most. For instance, it can be annoying to get attacked by a bunch of enemies when your costume can only jump and nothing else.
But attack-based costumes often can’t jump at all, meaning their mobility simply isn’t enough to get around easily. This is mitigated by costumes such as the Aero Acrobat, which has normal mobility, but easily clears out most normal enemies with ease via its homing attack. Movement-based costumes such as Air Cat and Double Jumper will also be good choices for having high stacks. All you need to do is to go to their crystal spawns, grab some keys, and then take their crystals. The crystals respawn after a minute or so. Since you’ll already have one of them in your inventory, make it so that they’re in your third space and you’ll immediately add an extra to your wardrobe.
As long as you can reach
You’ll occasionally see statues in Balan Wonderworld that are just out of reach or risky to grab. But physical attack costumes can grab statues and gems simply by touching them. The Pumpkin Puncher costume, for instance, has a notably long reach and can be used to punch items from afar. Similarly, some mobility costumes are so useful that you can get to trophies much more easily once you find them. As an example, Chapter 2-2 has statues in high places that can be tough to reach. You can either get to them the hard way, or you can just use Air Cat to walk straight to them.
Balan Wonderworld doesn’t really explain Tims. Long story short, if you feed them gems in the hub, they eat them until they grow to maximum size. The color of the crystal you feed them determines what their capabilities are. Once they’re full-grown, they’ll tell you what kind of other Tim you need to throw at them. Once you do so, they’ll lay an egg, which increases their population. It’s kind of weird and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but whatever.
Please make this the final bout
Balan Bouts are one of the worst parts of the game, but completionists will need to contend with them. Yes, they’re boring. In order to collect their statue, you’ll need to get Excellent ratings on each QTE section. The easiest way to do this is to hit a button right when Balan’s shadow is about to completely line up with him. But you’ll need to be careful, as being off by a tiny bit will mean you have to exit the level and try again another time.
Don’t touch the analog stick when exiting mirrors
This is one I learned the hard way. After exiting a mirror portal, it’s easy to fall to your death and lose a costume due to how close you emerge to edges. As such, take your thumb off the analog stick as soon as your character steps through a portal. That way, you won’t have to incur any unnecessary losses.
It takes three
Boss battles in Balan Wonderworld are easy. So very, very easy. But the challenge isn’t in simply beating them. Each boss has three ways of being harmed and the only way to get all three statues is to hurt them in all three ways. Each boss arena has two costumes in it, which should clue you into what exactly needs to be done to hurt bosses in specific ways. Plus, it’s safe to experiment because the costumes respawn. You can’t even lose these.
Can’t get ’em all
It can be tempting to try and grab every statue you can right away. But you can’t. Most statues in Balan Wonderworld require you to come back later with a different costume. This means that, especially early on, it’s literally not possible to get all the statues and costumes on your first go. If you’re playing on PC, just take screenshots of things you can’t get to, followed by a screenshot of your pause screen, as that tells you which level you’re currently on. That way, you won’t forget about anything. The bigger worry is forgetting what individual costumes do, as there are like 80 of them.
Don’t worry about gems
Gems are all over the levels in Balan Wonderworld. If you’re anything like me, you try and collect every last thing because they’re all probably super important for completion or some such nonsense. But the gems in this game aren’t. They’re only used for Tims, so there’s no reason to go out of your way to get them. Especially since they respawn indefinitely when you exit a level. Even if you decide you want a ton of them, getting them is easy.
Don’t forget about rainbow eggs
There’s a grey Tim statue in the hub that can only be activated with rainbow eggs. You can find these in two ways. The first is to find the hidden grey Tim statue in each level. Approaching it grants you one egg. But the others are much easier to come by. Simply replay a level all the way to the end after beating it. The first time you do this, you’ll get a rainbow egg for each level.
That’s all for our Balan Wonderworld tips. There’s a fair amount to keep in mind, but you’ll get the hang of things fairly quickly. All you need to do is find the willpower to ignore the Balan Bouts, because I don’t even care about completion, man. For real, though, I never want to look at another one of those boring things again.