MOVE OVER FIRE EMBLEM!
Seriously though.. Take a seat. Advance Wars has been around to scratch all of our turn based itches since the GBA days, even longer if you’re from Japan. It’s one of my favorite series of all times and the undisputed king of stolen hours from my life. Advance Wars is a turn based strategy game in which you’re tasked with building an army, managing your funds, and conquering your opponents. Intelligent Systems were some of the best in the game with AI back then and Advance Wars made for fun, challenging tactics. Add in a colorful asthetic, likeable characters, and a fantastic soundtrack, and you’ve got something really special. OH! It also had single console multiplayer, allowing up to 4 friends to take turns battling it out on a single console. I spent many Saturday Nights putting friendships at risk for this game. Yeah, it’s a near-perfect experience.
When Nintendo and Intelligent Systems dropped the first US entry in the series on GBA in 2001, I was already well on the turn-based strategy train, growing up with fantastic tactics games like Shining Force and* Final Fantasy Tactics*. So when my best friend’s older brother told me I needed to check it out, you better believe I did. Long story short, it is incredible and I’m so thankful Intelligent Systems made such a thing.
Unfortunately, Intelligent Systems ALSO made Fire Emblem.
In an early 2000’s, Anime saw something of a rennaisance in the US, and Fire Emblem fit that bill perfectly. It was ALSO a turn based strategy game, but put a more focused spin on character development and a storied lore. It’s fine and all, but it never quite grabbed me as it did with the rest of the world. As Fire Emblem’s popularity grew, Advance Wars was forced to take a back seat. It saw some great titles spanning all the way to the Nintendo DS, but finally faded into obscurity after 2008’s Days Of Ruin. Here we are today: Fire Emblem continues to see a number of titles releasing and still in development, while Advance Wars has just vanished. Many fans have given a quiet plea to Nintendo over the years to bring the series back, but to no avail.
THEN YESTERDAY HAPPENED!
During Nintendo’s Nindie Showcase, indie dev Chucklefish revealed their newest title, Wargoove.
Let’s take a look at the games description:
“Wargroove is a turn-based strategy game for up to 4 players, in which each player takes control of an army and its commander unit to wage war on their enemies! Wargroove is extremely easy to pickup, with accessibility at the forefront of its design, and very difficult to master, with deep gameplay mechanics that complement strategic play.”
Sound Familar? It should. It’s a direct love-letter to Advance Wars.
You might know Chucklefish from their fantastic work on Starbound. Turns out, they’re huge* Advance Wars* fans like me! If Zelda wasn’t enough of a console seller for me, this one definitely would have sold me. If Nintendo isn’t going to step up and make the games we want, it’s at least nice to know they’re standing behind those developers who want to make them
Here’s a quick run down of what they’ve said so far about the game:
Wargroove is a modern take on the simple yet deep turn-based tactical gameplay popularised in the 2000s by handheld games such as Advance Wars. As big fans of those games we were disappointed to find that nothing in this genre was available on current generation platforms and set out to fill the gap ourselves. Wargroove aims to recreate the charm and accessibility of the titles that inspired it whilst bringing modern technology into the formula. This modern focus allows for higher resolution pixel art, robust online play and deep modding capability, ultimately creating the most complete experience for Advance Wars and TBS fans.
- Choose from one of 12+ groovy commanders from the 4 warring factions, unlocked as you progress through Story Mode
- Each commander has a lengthy campaign of their own, exploring their motivations and personality
- Local and online multiplayer skirmish modea with complete rule customization
- Local and online competitive and co-op play
- Easy to use in-game map and campaign editors
- Beautiful high resolution pixel art battle scenes and charming aesthetic
- Starbound’s Floran race reappears as a playable faction!
- A number of new to the genre gameplay features TBA at a later date
There’s no release date as of yet, and one can assume that this is only a timed exclusive. Even so, Nintendo has been blowing it out of the water with their Indie Push, and this is just one fantastic example of what to expext. Check out the rest of our coverage on the Nindie Showcase here!