Ballance was developed by now defunct developer, Cyparade, and first released in Europe on April 2nd 2004. In 2006, it was released in the US.
Players control a wooden ball and have to maneuver through an obstacle course within a set time. Along the way there are 2 kinds of pick ups to find: One provides an extra ball (life), and one gives extra time. The player's score at the end of the level is based on the time you have left when you finish. The ball can also transform into a rock or crumbled-up newspaper. The rock is heavier, which allows it to easily push boxes out of the way, or tip over bridges. However, because of its weight, it becomes more difficult to get up inclines, and crossing bridges made of planks will break them, dropping the ball into the void. Some sections also require the ball to move along two parallel rails, which the rock is too heavy to do. The paper ball has a rougher shape than the wood and rock balls, so it is tougher to control. It is also extremely light, so pushing bridges or boxes is virtually impossible. The main advantage to the paper ball is that it can float up to higher levels when it passes over a fan.
Legacy of Ballance
At some point past the release of Ballance, the developer, Cyparade shutdown. According to an article on a site listed as the Ballance Wiki, the developer stopped updated the Ballance site (http://www.ballance.org/) around 2006 and the page went offline in 2009. Info about Ballance is scarce and is mostly provided by fans and sites distributing the game as abandonware.
According to Wikipedia,
In the late 2010s, the game achieved renewed popularity among users of Bilibili. Concurrently, several studios in China published and marketed copies of the program under different names, including Ballance: The Return.
It is not clear if Ballance: The Return is an official sequel, as the original game was published by Atari and it is not easy to find if the rights were sold. Games breaking copyright laws in the western world are a common occurrence in China. Ballance: The Return received many negative reviews on the Steam page, leading to a Mixed overall score on it's Steam store page.
A spiritual sucessor from Mushreb Games was released on Steam in the name of Ballex, using much of the mechanics and art style seen in the original. In July 2022, Ballex² was released in early access.