I’ve been reminiscing on all my favorite gameboy games and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Advance Wars, a game that inspired my love for turn based strategy.
A super short synopsis for those not in the know:
Advance Wars is a Gameboy Advance game created by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It was released as Advance Wars in the states and as Game Boy Wars Advance in Japan. Advance Wars is a turn based strategy game where adorable modern war machine sprites move across square tiles to battle. You play as several different commanders for the Orange Star Nation to uncover a plot by an evil force to control the world.
Advance Wars is hard.
Advance Wars has a relatively simple design and streamlined gameplay, but don’t be fooled by the cute graphics, this game is no cake walk.
It starts off easy enough, introducing the player slowly through a series of levels to the mechanics of the game. Shortly after the intro, however, the game ratchets up the difficulty level. I’ve only beat the game once, and that was just the regular campaign. Once the initial campaign is beaten an advanced campaign is unlocked, and I’ve never managed to best the advanced campaign. Now difficulty is relative, and as I’ve stated in past posts, I’m not top of my class when it comes to video games. So take ‘difficult’ to mean challenging to Pugs, the tactical genius.
Regardless, the challenge of Advance Wars is what sucked me in, and I refused to give up until I beat the campaign. Well, until I beat the regular campaign at least. Mission Accomplished!
To make a comparison, Advance Wars is a lot like a popular board game genre, commonly referred to as ‘Dudes on a Map’. Think games like Risk. I’ve always wondered if love for video game franchises like Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic go hand in hand with love of ‘Dudes on a Map’ board games. Do the fans of these games overlap? That’s certainly true in my case.
Before playing Advance Wars my only real exposure to strategy games had been Risk, which really should be called, ‘Let’s play a 10 hour tedious game to see who is the luckiest at rolling dice’. A tactics game not based entirely on luck was a welcome change. So here’s to you Advance wars, for inspiring my love of time sucking, soul crushing, turn based strategy games.