Gaming Editor James Law finds a piece of his childhood being reborn in Chucklefish games’ Wargroove
I managed to get my hands on Wargroove at EGX Rezzed, and it was bloody fabulous. I spotted it from across the room and it was love at first sight. Something I think about a bit too often is how I wish my favourite series from my childhood would be released on modern consoles. I want to replay them easily and relive that carefree time in my life. Phoenix Wright. Wario Land. F-Zero. Some have been closer to happening than others. One series that I haven’t seen since the Nintendo DS days is Advance Wars. Apparently, I’m not alone in my weird nostalgic mess of a mind, as some folks at Chucklefish felt the same. Sure, some of the Fire Emblem series has similar tactical gameplay, but it just doesn’t feel as good to me.
Wargroove, however, combines turn-based tactics with beautiful pixel art, puppies, and skeleton-man archers to create a really beautiful, bright aesthetic in which the battles happen. The 12 unique ‘commander’ characters are a cool feature too – in order to win the battle, you must either capture the opponent’s ‘HQ’ building or eliminate their commander.
Commanders are super powerful, so normal units do barely any damage. It’s another layer of depth to tactical thinking – can you afford to let these puppies die in service of the greater good? (The answer is no, keep your pups alive at ALL costs). It isn’t quite as large as some of the Advance Wars series’ rosters, but Wargroove’s commanders are actually playable units on the battlefield, and will each have campaigns and stories of their own too.
As well as the intricate, tactical combat and the super cool look and feel of the game, online functionality will of course be present and accounted for. Players will be able to make their own maps and campaigns, and play them against others around the world, so there’ll be no end of new stuff to discover and create. Even newcomers who were not into the Advance Wars series back in the day, will be able to appreciate Wargroove, as demonstrated when my co-editor Emma almost bested me on the field at Rezzed. It’s a great balance of ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ design.
I’m gushing because this is the game I’d forgotten I wanted. I apologise in advance to my final uni year… Chucklefish are releasing Wargroove on all platforms, including the Nintendo Switch. R.I.P. my spare time.