[Nintendo Switch] Wargroove 2 Review

by EdEN, Owner

Turn-based tactical sequel Wargroove 2 from Robotality and Chucklefish is a solid game that has improved and expanded on its prequel. Learn more about it in our Wargroove 2 review!


Turn-based tactical sequel Wargroove 2 from Robotality and Chucklefish is a solid game that has improved and expanded on its prequel. Things are not looking up for the region of Aurania. A new faction has found forbidden, powerful relics that could wreak havoc if left unchecked. If you played the previous game – which we got to review on PlayStation 4 – then you know what to expect from this one. As someone who is a fan of the Advance Wars series, I was ready to take Wargroove 2 for a spin after checking out Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp on Nintendo’s console.

When you begin, your options are the Campaign Mode and Custom – more on the Custom Mode in a bit. Campaign Mode will present you with an adventure that will take you through Aurania as you fight the good fight. It might at first look like it’s only more of the same – which would not be a bad thing – but this one does give us a new story, a new faction, new commanders, and new units to play with while also adding some new gameplay mechanics to keep the experience feeling fresh.

The controls are simple and to the point and will make those of you who have played Advance Wars or games inspired by it, such as Tiny Metal. You’ll move a cursor over the playing field as you select your Commander and the units that are brought into play. You can move them around the stage and can attack opponents to try and dwindle their ranks little by little or by landing a critical hit. Defeat an enemy to keep it from retaliating. If that’s not the case, then you need to be ready for its counterattack, which will make you lose some of that unit’s members. A unit’s attack power is based on its overall health, so the more members that a unit loses, the lower its power will be when attacking.

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Landing critical hits will be a big part of the gameplay loop since it will allow you to make the most of every single turn you take with your units. This is why it’s important to learn that swordsmen can land a critical hit when they stand next to their Commander. Archers will be able to land a critical hit if they attack an opponent without moving. Spearmen can land a critical hit when adjacent to an allied spearman. The Knight will be able to land a critical hit after traveling a distance of 6 tiles.


Non-Commander units can use items to gain an advantage in combat either with items that they can equip to boost their stats or consumable items that grant an immediate bonus, such as healing their wounds. Terrain can offer defense bonuses, or it can increase a unit’s vulnerability. You can see this with the skull icon. Each skull will
Indicate that a unit will take an extra 10% damage, up to an extra 40%. Keep all of this in mind when taking the deadly Fog of War. This will cloak units within, so you won’t be able to see them until it’s too late. At least structures won’t be hidden by Fog of War!

Structures are very important and must be captured and defended at all costs. Neutral structures can be captured by any unit that has the capture attribute. If a structure has been occupied by an opponent, then it must be defeated and returned to a neutral status before it can be captured. Structures health will regenerate at a rate of 10% per turn. There’s a good variety of structures for you to capture, and knowing what each can do is very important.

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The most important one is the Stronghold. This one must be protected at all times since losing your Stronghold will usually instantly signal your defeat. A Village will provide 100 gold to the cause every turn it’s under your control. A Fortified Village is stronger and harder to conquer, but it will provide you with 200 gold per turn. The Lumber Mill will harvest surrounding forest tiles for extra gold. Every forest is worth 100 gold, and cutting down multiple forests in a single turn will add a bonus on top. Capturing the Watchtower will allow you to reveal five tiles of Fog of War around it. You can also spend gold to rest at the Watchtower to recover a unit’s lost health. The Exchange Depot will allow you to exchange a ground unit for a naval unit and vice versa… as long as you can pay the difference in cost between them.

The Portal will allow you to instantly transport your unit to another portal that is currently under your control. If you find a Treasure Chest, be sure to open it so that you can make the most of its contents! And then we have one of the most important sets of structures: Barracks, Towers, Ports, and Hideouts. These will be used to recruit new units for your cause. And no, controlling them will not also yield some extra gold since that would be overkill. Barracks offer land units for you to recruit. Towers will allow you to recruit air units. As expected, Ports will let you recruit naval units. Hideouts will let you recruit rabble-rousers – those would be Thieves and Riflemen.


Once you complete the game’s prologue, you’ll get to unlock the Conquest Mode. Conquest Mode is a tricky one, and there’s a reason why you need to finish the prologue before you go all-in for this one. When you get going, you’ll be sent into a series of random battles. Your units, health, gold, and items will persist as you progress from map to map, and if any of your units die, that will be permanent. This is why you’ll have to pay attention to every single action that you take so that you can have a shot at beating the boss to win.

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And now, let’s talk about Grooves! A Groove is the special ability that each Commander can use to turn the tide of battle. Your Commander’s Groove will charge as your units attack, counterattack, defeat enemies, neutralize a structure, and capture a structure. Your Commander can also perform the aforementioned actions and will thus gain a boost to its Groove as well. Your Groove can be used when it reaches 100%, but you can also continue to store energy to go up to 200% for a more powerful ability. Some examples include Pistil’s Chain Reaction, a powerful ability that will deal electrical damage that spreads to all units connected to Pistil. And no, this cannot be used to deal a killing blow to an opponent. You could also use Zawan’s Wild Growth, which will make vines grow over a 5 or 8-tile radius depending on if it’s used at 100% or 200%. These will block enemy movement. Another one is Caesar’s Inspire, which can make it possible for certain units to take an additional action after they’ve previously finished their action.

Wargroove 2 offers a Custom Content section to fuel your creative juices. Once you dive in there, you’ll be able to start working on creating your own maps and campaigns for the game so that you can apply what you’ve learned from playing this and the many other turn-based strategy games you might have taken on over the years. There’s also the option of sharing your creations with the world, as well as for going online to download the content created by other gamers from around the world. Just agree to the terms, browse the available content, and download what you want to play!

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The game offers an extensive Codex under the Extras section. By reviewing the Codex, you’ll be able to learn how to play the game, as well as better understand each of the different Commanders available for you. You can check out the stats for each of the units you’ll command, including their cost and if they can be used to capture structures or transport other units as needed. You can take a look at the terrain you’ll be traversing through, from roads to plains to mountains to the deep sea to the abyss. There’s also a Lote tab for you to check out, another one for Structures, and one called Catalog, which includes miscellaneous information about a variety of topics that don’t fall under the other sections.


Sometimes, when games make the jump from PC to console, devs forget to consider that you won’t be sitting right up on top of a TV. Or that, on Nintendo Switch, the console’s resolution when in Portable or Tabletop Mode – or when playing on a Nintendo Switch Lite – might make it harder to read text and understand the user interface. That’s not the case for Wargroove 2! Robotality thought of this and included a zoom option for playing that way, which is labeled as Near. On top of that, there’s also a Color Blind Mode for red-green and blue-yellow, as well as a Photosensitive Mode that will make it so that weather effects don’t flash and the camera doesn’t shake.

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Wargroove 2 is exactly what I wanted in a sequel to Wargroove. It offers a new faction, new story campaigns, and the return of the map editor so that you can create your own maps or play those created by gamers from around the world, all coming together to give us a bigger and better game that will make fans of its prequel right at home while offering something to set it apart from the previous game. It’s a must-play for fans of Wargroove or those who might have skipped it but are fans of the Advance Wars series – or both! Wargroove 2 is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag.

Disclaimer
This Wargroove 2 review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Chucklefish.

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