Advance Wars Review

Developer: Webfoot Technologies Publisher: Atari
Release Date: November 24, 2003 Also On: None

Remember when there was a ton of turn-based strategy games for the SNES? Sadly, that golden age was a long time ago. Too many people these days play real time strategy games, not turn-based, such as Warcraft 3 or Age of Mythology. However, Advance Wars puts new life and hope to the dying genre of turn-based strategy.

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The beauty of this game is that the gameplay focuses on outsmarting your opponent and not researching new discoveries (like in StarCraft). It is easy to produce new units and it is even easier to make them move and attack. The objective in battles is to conquer the opponent’s headquarters or other various objectives. There are three types of units in the game: air, water, and land. Each type of unit has its strengths and weaknesses and it is your job to master them.

Advance Wars also has various weather conditions such as snow, rain, and fog of war. Snow and rain lowers the range of movement allowed for each unit, thus making them slower and weaker. Fog of war makes the player not able see land that his units haven’t come across that he normally would have seen. This forces the player to change his strategies to account for the unraveled.

The game also has a good money system. You conquer smaller cities using your infantry and get more money every turn after you conquered that city. The more money you have, the more units you can purchase to fight your opponent. You also get a commanding officer in battle that gives you the ability to perform a special move, such as making it snow or damaging all the opponent’s units. Each commanding officer has unique traits, such as higher costing units, but stronger units.

In a nutshell, the game’s single player mission is very fun. You are an advisor for Orange Star and it is your duty to fight opposing armies. While the missions aren’t that open ended, you can still expect a lot of enjoyment. There is also a massive tutorial in the beginning of the game, so newbs shouldn’t worry about being lost.

The game’s multiplayer is where the huge replay value comes in. You could actually choose different commanding officers, even the enemy CO’s. However, the greatest part in the multiplayer feature is the ability to create your own maps, though they already give you a large variety of pre-made maps.

The game’s audio isn’t much to brag about. I really don’t remember a catchy tune, but it really didn’t bother me because I was too occupied with the gameplay. As for the game’s graphics, they are pretty good, but I felt rather disappointed when the units die; they vanish in a millisecond.

This game is very uncomplicated to say the least. In this case, however, simpler is better, much better. The idea behind this was to make a game that has simple rules that are easy to follow and simple interactions and differences between opponents. The end result was a complex game where the player finds out great strategies that suit him. I suggest that you try Advance Wars out.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 10
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.5
Written by Simon Review Guide

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