World Basketball Challenge Game

Recommended Basketball Games

You’ll notice a lack of decent basketball flash games out there, but Mousebreaker’s World Basketball Challenge is certainly one of the games attempting to bring basketball fun to the masses. You shouldn’t expect anything near the complexity of a console or mobile-based basketball game of course, but the swift back-and-forth of going one-on-one against an opposing player in tournament fashion is one that quickly becomes addictive. The added depth of being able to create and customise your own character also makes this game stand out, and the ability to train up your player’s stats further strengthens this game’s long-term appeal. This review covers its brand of basketball fun in more detail.

Simple Premise, Simple Controls

World Basketball Challenge’s gameplay is quite a simple thing for new players to pick up. Starting with the premise, it’s not a game in which you can play full-on basketball games with multiple members on a team, but more like Mousebreakers’ Sports Heads games in its approach (Sports Heads Basketball, for example), with two players on the court: you, and the opposing player. Matches are short and consist of you and your opponent attempting to gain control of the basketball on the court, which begins with the ball falling from the sky at centre court. From this moment until each buzzer, the game consists of a frantic scramble for control of the ball in order to shoot it at your opponents’ net.

The whole of the action takes place with a side-on view and your opponent on the right half of the court and you on the left. In terms of controls, Mousebreaker has again kept things very simple. You use the directional arrows to control left and right movement of your player on the court, and the Up arrow allows you to jump. When the ball is at your feet, you press the Down arrow in order to pick it up, and the Spacebar to shoot. There is a small trick you can do to feign a jump with a quick tap of the Down key, but aside from this, controls are kept very simple.

Dominate the Competition: Upgrade the Skills

It’s almost certain that the overarching appeal of World Basketball Challenge will come from the skills-upgrade aspect of the gameplay, since its gameplay isn’t anywhere near the standard reached by, say, the NBA Live mobile games. If you navigate to the Shop section of the menu, you can purchase a variety of items in different categories, from Head to Legs through to Hands, Glasses, Your Ball and, somewhat amusingly, Steroids. Certain gloves, for example, improve your ball handling skills, whilst purchasing a decent pair of basketball shoes improves your speed and travelling with the ball. You earn money for purchasing these objects through winning matches and tournaments.

Not only does the ability to purchase enhancements make things more interesting over the course of the game, but it also allows for you to consistently improve your skills and therefore become a better player on the court. In comparison, a lack of skills improvement features would have been detrimental to the game, and its gameplay would have become stale very quickly.

Basic Design, Somewhat Buggy

Though engaging in the various basketball tournaments across the world is an entertaining affair, the game does suffer a little bit from some bugs and overly-simplistic design. The physics don’t feel very natural, for example, and movement on the court often stutters. If the ball gets stuck behind you, it can be quite annoying to move backwards towards it while your opponent is frantically pushing you back in an effort to also get to the ball. Picking up the ball is a somewhat hit or miss affair, as it will sometimes fly past your hands yet other times you will steal it from the air quite easily. It is the unpredictability of these aspects that make the game a little frustrating at times

Visually, the game’s design is quite basic, though is presented with the usual Mousebreaker style and has just enough polish for it to be easy on the eyes. The simplicity of the visuals reflects the rather basic nature of the gameplay, too, which in spite of the upgrades and skills improvements remains the same throughout. It’s essentially a lot of back-and-forth between two players with a few bugs thrown in to make things a little annoying. It’s still a rather enjoyable basketball game, however, and it can become quite addictive if you give it a chance.

"