It is the beginning of September and that means it is the end of the summer drought. Big boy games are coming out and it is a good time to play games. That being said, I decided to go back in time and relive a series that I played when I was younger.
This week I played Wargroove and it is nothing short of a spiritual successor to the Advanced Wars series. I just don’t remember Advanced Wars being this much of a slog.
Developed and published by Chucklefish, Wargroove is a turn-based strategy game that was released in 2019. It is on all platforms and retails for $20.
King Mercival has been assassinated by the Felheim nation and the remnants, which include the princess, retreat to recruit help from neighboring nations.
The plot thickens as an ancient evil that is known as the cacophony and an age-old power falls in the hands of the bad guys and it is up to the Queen to travel the world, recruit forces and take back Cherrystone and defeat the baddies.
The characters are fun. Everyone has their own personality that ranges from serious to comical. Mercia is compassionate for the world around her and Emeric is wise and assertive. Ragna on the other hand, really just wants to fight. It fits and it works.
The gameplay is just Advanced Wars, that’s it. You have a map, you have units that can move a set distance and when you get close to an enemy unit, you get a percentage of damage that will be done, and then comes the good old Advanced Wars fight animation. Units run upon their respective side and then the small skirmish begins.
I still like to see it.
To obtain units villages have to be captured. That generates money to buy the forces at the barracks so that you can CRUSH your enemies. Units range from your basic swordsmen to aerial units and even long-range weapons like ballista and trebuchets.
There is a lot to account for when facing an opponent with a lot of varied units.
Defeat the opposing commander or capture their stronghold is how to end the skirmish, but that is easier said than done. AI opponents are predictable sometimes and often enough they stray away from their objective to slay units when they have the advantage.
It is confusing and detrimental to the already long skirmish.
Commanders in battle have their own respective “Wargroove” or an unique ability that triggers when they engaged in battle enough times. Healing, defense buff and the ability to purchase units without a barracks present are only a few of these “Wargrooves.” They really help in battle enough to be able to turn the tide.
The game looks great, especially the opening cut-scene. It is always pixel graphics that get me because you can make really good-looking games with the style and Wargroove is definitely one of those games. The forests are lush green, and the water flows with nice shades of blue.
It just feels like an honest to God Advance Wars successor.
Music gets the blood flowing. A soft soundtrack echoes while on the map screen and when it is time for battle the brass instruments crash in and the beat ramps up.
Wargroove is a game that I have come to really love. It reminds me so much of the game that I used to play when I was younger and at times it is better. The relatively cohesive story adds another layer and gives the player something to follow giving more meaning to the skirmishes.
The Skirmishes are on average about a half-hour each so if you fail you have to start from the beginning. It kills my soul when I have the level complete and the AI targets something they shouldn’t of and it ruins the level.
Another little tidbit is that sometimes the battles are so large that there are moments when I forgot to purchase units for a barracks off-screen and it essentially destroyed my run. It sucks but I guess it’s on me for not being fully aware all the time.
HUGE BUMMER (and it happened more than once).
The game is incredibly accessible. When something new is introduced, there is someone to tell you how it works and how to use it efficiently.
Other than that, Wargroove is probably one of my favorite turn-based strategy games. I still have not finished everything yet and I am roughly ten hours in. It is a lot of content for a $20 game.
It’s so fucking good, man. Trust me.