My first matches in Broomstick League didn’t quite turn out as I was expecting. My visions of graciously zipping through the air as I scored goal after goal were cut short, as I helplessly stared at the definitely more skilled rival players. Adding insult to injury, an embarrassing moment resulted in general laughter, as I inadvertently scored an own goal, catching the ball after a rebound and taking it into my own hoop without time to change trajectory. The opposing players laughed, my teammates laughed… I laughed.
I was having a blast, even if I was pretty much worthless during my first two matches. Slowly but surely, I was getting the hang of it, learning how to master the intricate art of the blast, scoring the odd goal now and then. I was coming to terms with the breakneck speed at which everything and everyone moved, and joy was finally overcoming frustration.
And I hate Harry Potter with a passion, so credit where credit is due.
The Wizarding World of You | Broomstick League Preview
There’s no way to start a debate about Broomstick League without addressing the elephant in the room. This is Quidditch for the new generation, a game that draws inspiration from the fictitious sport that Harry Potter and friends entertained us with in several films from the saga. It’s not the first game of the genre – there’s an official adaptation for PS2 – but it tries to spice up the matches with infuriating speed and a sense of freedom that takes a lot of practice to master. Broomstick League is to Quidditch as Temtem is to Pokémon, and that isn’t a bad thing at all – they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
The Broomstick League beta gave us a good taste of the aerial mayhem that this competitive fantasy sports game is going to unleash into the world on March 5, 2020. It seems to possess that undecipherable quality where ostensibly simple ingredients contribute to a delicious dish that you just can’t get enough of, as one Rocket League can vouch for. It’s unclear if Broomstick League has the kind of long-term appeal that will keep players zipping around for years, but first impressions are encouraging.
Your first steps into this wondrous world of brooms, wands, and capes start with the character creation. You can pick from male or female, browse a few faces and hair styles, and select additional embellishments such as trails, taunts, and emblems, among other things. While developer Virtual Basement isn’t shy where it comes to using every trick in the book to make a good-looking game, including volumetric smoke and particle effects, the character faces are beyond ugly. You may choose all you want and combine any kind of hair style with it, but the result is always going to be a face that only a mother can love.
Granted, you won’t be paying much attention to this as everyone whizzes by without giving you the time of day, but when the goal celebration time comes, get ready to stare into the soulless eyes of an emotionless puppet. It’s not pretty, and it doesn’t do the game any favors if one of the plans is to monetize it by selling cosmetic items – there’s a Store option, so I’m guessing that this is indeed going to happen. Give some life to those character models and immersion is going to go up a notch. Since the arenas look really good, especially the one set within a majestic castle, this is an aspect that is deserving of further care.
Of Wands and Brooms | Broomstick League Preview
Playing Broomstick League can be an exhilarating experience when you have a full grasp of the mechanics and play a role in a skilled team. You can play in 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 modes, although I’m yet to judge the appeal of playing solo – the more the merrier sounds like a good motto for this game.
Beyond the apparent simplicity of Broomstick League lies a game with enough depth to separate the men from the boys. Boosting is a natural action that still requires a keen eye on the mana bar, and blinking is an option that has the potential of being a gamechanger if used with perfect timing. However, it is crucial to master the art of the blast spell, which is used to take the ball out of the opponent’s hands or give it a knock at the very last second. You’re not going to excel at this game without a full understanding of the blast mechanic and how to time your actions right.
Eventually, you’ll learn other tricks that will give you the upper hand over novice players. Using physics to your advantage is one of those, as you fly downwards to gain the momentum that will give you a significant speed boost. Dashing is crucial to keep the ball under possession, as you dash sideways and avoid the rival’s blast spell. Last but not least, the ball magnet ability can be challenging until you understand how to make it work properly, pulling the ball from the wands of other players at the very last second.
Solo plays can be remarkable and praiseworthy, but Broomstick League is all about teamplay. Passing the ball from one player to the other is a surefire way to progress without relying on luck and rebounds, frustrating the opposing team’s attempts to blast the ball from your hands.
However, no amount of advice or tips is going to shape your actions as a player. Ultimately, you must rely on your coordination with team members and your overall strategy in the arena. Taking advantage of vertical play is key, aligning pass after pass to progress without hiccups, and aiming your shot from impossible angles are all tactics that a winning team needs to master.
Broomstick League is a fun time for everyone, even if you’re not a fan of the theme. This is a game of skills and the gap between new and veteran players is testament to the depth that it possesses. With leaderboards, player leveling, and every aspect of stat tracking that you could desire, Broomstick League is shaping up to be a serious offer; the question remaining is if these wizards have enough magic to secure a spot within a very competitive genre.