If you’re a fan of strategy games, then you’re in for a treat with Advance Wars available for Game Boy Advance! This retro classic has been developed by Intelligent Systems – a Japanese studio responsible for many well-known game series like Paper Mario, WarioWare, and Fire Emblem available for systems like Nes, Snes, GBC, GBA, NDS, and more.
This turn-based strategy game was originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001 and has since gained a loyal group of avid gamers.
But without further adieu let’s go and delve into the details of this retro piece in which I’m going to cover details like story, gameplay, graphics, and overall appeal.
Let’s get ready to command your troops and conquer the battlefield!
Story – A Gripping Tale of War and Strategy
It’s important to note that the story mode is presented as a Campaign Mode in the game. The story mode in Advance Wars offers a straightforward yet enjoyable experience, it may not offer any complex narrative but it adds depth to the gameplay experience. which makes it more enjoyable. Additionally, the game offers an element of strategy and decision-making to the gripping storyline. While it may not be what you expect or know from today’s games, it still offers an engaging gameplay experience.
Advance Wars takes a place in Cosmo Land, a region within Wars World that is divided among four nations: Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth, and Yellow Comet. These countries have enjoyed a period of relative peace until a mysterious new army known as Black Hole disrupts the tranquility.
The campaign commences with Orange Star engaging in a war against their neighboring country, Blue Moon. As a tactical adviser for Orange Star, the player embarks on a thrilling journey that takes them through all four countries as the war effort unfolds. However, as the story progresses, it is revealed that the true adversary is the enigmatic Black Hole Army, led by Sturm. Utilizing a clone of Andy, one of the COs (Commanding Officers) of Orange Star, Sturm has orchestrated conflicts among the four nations to sow confusion, weaken them, and ultimately conquer the land.
As the plot thickens, the player gains access to three additional COs: Andy, Max, and Sami. With the revelation of Black Hole’s nefarious plans, the four countries put aside their differences and join forces to drive out the invaders. The final battle of the game features all allied COs – commanding officers. Each of them has its own unique personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
Gameplay – Strategic Depth and Tactical Choices
One of the standout features of Advance Wars is its deep and engaging gameplay mechanics. Players take on the role of the commanding officer and lead their armies in strategic battles on a grid-based map. The goal is to defeat the enemy forces by outmaneuvering them. You can do it by destroying all of the units that belong to your opponent or capturing their headquarters.
The game offers a wide variety of units with unique abilities and strengths, including infantry, tanks, artillery, aircraft, and more. Each unit has its own movement range, attack range, strengths, and weaknesses against other types of units. Players must carefully plan their moves, manage resources, and adapt to changing battlefield conditions to achieve victory.
Besides the main Campaign mode, the game also features a few extra modes:
- War Room
A mode in which the player can earn Advance Wars Coins. To get them you need to take on special missions. War Room offers 20 missions.
- Vs. Mode
You can play on pre-selected maps. Although several of those need to be bought from Battle Maps mode.
Stats is the mode where you can keep track of your achievements, mostly this means a track of your rank and battle records.
- Battle Maps
Hachi, a former Orange Star CO is your friend and can offer you a selection of new maps, COs, and miscellaneous items.
- Design Maps
In this mode, the player can create his/her own custom maps, save them and use them later in Vs. Mode or Link Mode. You can also trade them with others. Up to three maps can be saved.
- Link Mode
Multiplayer mode, allows a player to challenge their friends. You can connect up to three other Game Boy Advance systems and play.
Each of these mods adds high replay value and extends the longevity of the game, as players can constantly refine their tactics and compete with others for supremacy.
Graphics – Charming Pixel Art
Advance Wars boasts charming and vibrant visuals that are sure to captivate players of all ages. The game features colorful and detailed sprites for units and maps, creating a visually appealing experience. The battlefield comes to life with smooth animations and special effects, making battles visually engaging and satisfying.
Players can enjoy a variety of environments from grassy plains to snowy mountains, each with its own unique aesthetic. The attention to detail in the graphics adds to the overall immersion of the game, drawing players into its world and keeping them engaged for hours on end.
Back in 2001/2002 when the game was released, this was something special, but it never died as the Pixel Art style become even more popular, and even after many, years we can enjoy this game as we remember it.
Conclusion – A Must-Play Strategy Game
Advance Wars has gathered a dedicated fan base over the years and for good reason. Its deep gameplay mechanics, beautiful pixel art visuals, gripping story, and engaging multiplayer mode make it a must-play for strategy game enthusiasts. Whether you’re a veteran player or new to the genre, Advance Wars offers a challenging and rewarding experience that will keep you coming back for more.