Little Witch Academia VR: Broom Racing (LWAVR) is not shy about catering to fans of Luna Nova Academy and its students, setting up a story in which the player is a guest student at Luna Nova. However, while fans of the Little Witch Academia anime will surely love teaming up with their favorite characters and immersing themselves in the magical world, fans of racing games and VR in general might also enjoy the game, especially with the cross-platform online multiplayer mode!
What to Expect
As a VR racing game, Little Witch Academia VR: Broom Racing is pretty simple in regards to setup and controls. Set up much like a VR version of Mario Kart, LWAVR there are power-ups you can pick up in each round and which you can use to slow other racers down or speed yourself up. The cinematics in between certain levels allow the player to interact with the Luna Nova students face to face before jumping on the broom and racing along with them which is a fun plus for fans of the franchise. You can also customize your broom to make it better, faster, and stronger!
One thing to point out is that though LWAVR boasts motion sickness reduction technology, the rollercoaster nature of the game and the need to constantly tilt one's body and head to maneuver may still cause a bit of motion sickness for some players. We experienced a tiny bit of it during some erratic flying in some of our races, though not enough to make us actually sick or force us to stop playing. We can only imagine how dizzying it would be without UNIVRS, Inc.'s tech!
“Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing” New Trailer
After creating your character, Neby, a magic crystal sent to help new students, makes sure to give you a crash course on what exactly is going on, how the controls work, etc. Then, Akko and friends explain that there is an excess of magic in the air and show you how to fly your broom.
After the magic festival at the Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy, there's a sudden, unexpected overflow of previously scarce magic power so the school invites guest students to help consume the excess magic, and you're one of them! The goal is to practice with Akko and other students and then win the Stella Cup, a two-witch broom race, on the last day of your term.
It's a simple setup, but it's really all about experiencing the VR races with our favorite witches. Like most racing games, there really isn't much need for an explanation as to why one is racing. Just get on your brooms and ride!
Maneuvering in Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing is easy enough, as simply shifting one's head and body will accelerate (tilt forward), turn (lean/turn to the side), and slow down (lean back)! Using magic to purify ghosts (shooting) is done by pulling the trigger and using power-ups is done with the X button. Unlike in most car racing games, though, the track is in mid-air so maneuvering involves more than just accelerating and turning left and right; one can fly over, under, around, and through the track, making it easier to get off-track and adding a bit of welcome difficulty and excitement to an otherwise standard race. Though this is also where some motion sickness may happen.
There are more than 10 tracks to conquer in single-player mode, each one completed alongside a different student of Luna Nova like Akko, Diana, Lotte, Sucy, Amanda, and others, each of which gives you a different edge in the race. Likewise, upgrading your broom with points and tickets will give you different benefits and power-ups when racing. You start with a bronze broom and are able to upgrade to silver, gold, mercury, etc., and add magic stones that enhance certain attributes like speed, shot size and accuracy, maneuverability, and more! You earn points and tickets by meeting goals set at the beginning of each track like completing the race in less than a certain amount of time, finishing in 2nd or 1st place, purifying a certain number of ghosts, etc.
While it's fun to talk to the students—which can be experienced in Japanese or English—actually riding the broom and racing is the real point and highlight of the game. The world design and art are gorgeous and it's so exciting to soar around, over, and under Luna Nova alongside the characters! The fact that moving one's body is what moves the character and controls speed and accuracy makes it incredibly immersive and it truly gives the feeling of flying on a broom! (Or what we imagine it would feel like…). It's an especially exciting bonus that the game also allows for online multiplayer racing so fans of the series can play together as well!
The art and characters are beautifully rendered, not to mention the voice acting is straight out of the anime which adds to the unique experience of LWAVR and what sets it apart from any other standard racing games, VR or not.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus
Playing Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing is exactly what we were expecting and more. The game is able to focus solely on the actual experience of VR racing and making it as enjoyable and immersive as possible while staying true to TRIGGER's source material by keeping the gameplay and storyline simple. The world the player is invited to is as close to the anime as possible without too many explanations and little to no motion sickness, which is, honestly, quite the achievement considering how responsive the controls are and how fluidly the environments are generated.
Overall, Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing to VR is a fun, rollercoaster-like experience with a competitive quality that will be especially enjoyable to fans of the Little Witch Academia anime.
Immerse yourself in the world of Little Witch Academia like never before
Great graphics, art, and sound
Motion sickness reduction
If calibration is even a little off, racing and maneuvering will be very negatively affected
Even reduced, some may experience motion sickness
The price may be too steep for non-fans of Little Witch Academia considering the game's simplicity
Honey's Final Verdict
Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing is a great addition to any Little Witch Academia fan's collection. The world is beautifully built, interaction with beloved characters is fun, and the mechanics are enjoyable and exciting. VR fans and racing fans alike will also enjoy those aspects of the game, especially with reduced motion sickness, fluid movements, and easy controls. However, some racing game fans may find LWAVR a bit too simple for the price; especially if they are not necessarily fans of the anime.
If you're an anime and VR fan, you will likely enjoy Little Witch Academia VR Broom Racing. If you prefer your VR games extremely complex and with life-like HD graphics, maybe skip it. If you enjoy all things VR like this writer, give it a whirl! It's definitely a fun time for a VR-loving otaku!
The game comes out July 15th! Will you join Akko and friends for a race? If you do, let us know in the comments what you think! And stick to Honey's Gaming for all things Anime & VR!
Author: Lizzy Nyanko
An otaku as far as I can remember. I grew up playing video games, watching anime in Spanish in Mexico where I grew up, and then was a member of both anime clubs at UTEP for my entire university life when I moved to Texas. I love going to cons, I used to cosplay (always hoping to get back into it), and I got to live in Japan for 2 years and be an otaku there! It was literally a dream come true! Now back in the US, I love being a writer and editor for Honey’s. It’s a great chance to keep up with all the latest anime each season and up to date with all otaku news. And without our readers, that wouldn’t be possible so, thank you for being a part of our hive!!