Wargroove is an acclaimed turn-based tactics game from Chucklefish that has finally arrived on PS4. Learn more about this Advance Wars-like release in our Wargroove review!
The story of the Campaign mode starts with Sigrid, a vampire who enters a castle to assassinate the King of Cherrystone. The vampire succeeds, and the world goes to war. You’re then taken to see the main protagonist of the game, Mercia, the daughter of the fallen king, who will set out on a quest to find out who killed her father. Not long after her coronation, the Fallen Legion, with Sigrid in their ranks, will invade her country and force her to leave and look for allies to win this war.o
Battles are played on a grid map that will feel familiar to anyone who’s played Advance Wars or even Shining Force. Each turn, you can select your units with the Cross button and move them anywhere within their movement range. If you end within enemy range, you can choose to attack them. A preview of the damage you’ll do, and suffer if the enemy survives and counters will be displayed before you make the attack, to give you a good idea of what to expect and maybe plan differently.
Each unit has different strengths and weaknesses against other types of units, so checking out which unit you’re attacking before actually making a move will definitely help not being overwhelmed by units stronger than yours. At any time during battles, you can inspect enemy units to know what type they are and prepare yourself accordingly. Each unit also has the possibility of landing a Critical Hit, which will be done on specific conditions for each of them. For example, the Pikemen unit will land a critical hit only if another Pikemen unit is positioned behind them on the map. You’ll also notice that the damage preview will flash to indicate that this hit will be a critical one.
In order to have more units on the battlefield, you’ll have to rely on some specific buildings that can produce a single unit per turn at different costs depending on which unit you choose. To give you the necessary money to acquire more units, you’ll have to take control of villages, as each of them gives you money each turn. When beginning battles, you and your opponent will have some, there’ll be neutral villages you’ll be able to capture, and there’s also always the possibility of taking your opponent’s villages by attacking and capturing them.
Visually, the game honors the 16-bit era of video games with some nice pixelated maps and battle animations. Cutscenes have some voiceover that gives some extra life to the characters in a way that allows you to clearly see their personality traits, making the story all the more interesting.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started the game, as I’ve never played Advance Wars , but I did know that this new game was definitely inspired by it. After the first few maps that gradually have you learning the basics of the game, I was already in love with how it plays. Things are easy to learn as it’s pretty much either move, attack, capture, or build units at every turn. But then the whole tactical aspect kicks in and if you don’t adjust the difficulty to something easier, you’ll definitely be there for a real challenge.
The story is also quite interesting and makes you want to dig into it as you learn more about the four different factions that rule this land. With a solo campaign that has over 30 missions, you’re in for a solid campaign that’s worth investing your time in. And then when you think you’re done, there’s the Arcade mode to suck you in for a few more hours. In this mode, a run is a set of 5 different battles you’ll do with a Commander, the heroes of the game. Each of the twelve commanders has three runs for you to complete so you’ve got a lot on your plate. Then there’s also Puzzle mode where you have to complete the maps in a single turn, which can prove to be a real challenge. And if you thought that wasn’t enough, the game has online multiplayer and a map editor for you to create and share content, and you can obviously download other players’ creations. To put it simply, this is one of those games out there that have an incredible replay value.
The one thing I didn’t enjoy was how your rank is given at the end of a battle. Getting an S-Rank, or even an A rank, requires you to complete battles in a certain number of turns, which removes a bit of creativity to have you more doing a specific playthrough in order to reach this goal.
The whole rank thing wouldn’t be much of an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s tied to the trophies. While a lot of trophies will come naturally while playing the game’s different modes, getting an S-Rank on all the story missions will prove to be a great challenge, as it can only be completed on the Hard difficulty setting. But if you enjoy the game, you’ll probably just play it endlessly until you get that shiny platinum.
Wargroove is one of those games that’s a must-play title if you’re a fan of tactical turn-based games. It’s got a great story and more content than you can possibly imagine. Add the fact that the price is only 20$ and there’s probably no reason for you not to be downloading it at the moment!
PSN Price: $19.99
This Wargroove review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Chucklefish.