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Fans of strategy classics Advance Wars and Fire Emblem will find their groove with this one.

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I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at strategy titles, namely those Nintendo classics like Advance Wars and the Fire Emblem series. Despite this, I simply love the simple, cartoon-like graphics and animations of those legendary titles, making them as much fun to watch as to play. I’m not alone, as developer Chucklefish (love the name and their logo) have released their take on these strategy classics with Wargroove. Why wait for Nintendo to make sequels when you’ve got a whole new groove to get into?

As far as story goes, Wargroove keeps things simple as you start off taking control of a princess commanding her armies following the assassination of her father. From here you’ll fight to find out who was behind it and why, all while learning how to control your units, set up special attacks, and of course use your awesome “groove” ability to power up your troops and more depending on what commander you’ve taken hold of as you control various ones as the campaign goes on.

Thankfully, Wargroove is one of those “easy to learn, but hard to master” titles, where you’ll learn the ropes as you go, and will be setting up critical strikes with your pikemen and swordsmen before you know it. As mentioned before, commanders out on the field of battle have the ability to use their super ability, i.e. their “groove”, that can help turn the tide of battle in your favor should things start looking bad for your troops. Not only that, but they also tend to have higher stats than normal units, so that’s another plus for having them on the front lines. Of course this also means you’ll want to be extra careful with them as well, as it’s an instant defeat should your commander fall in battle.

Once you’ve pressed on enough in the main campaign, you’ll be able to unlock other modes to play in, such as Puzzle Mode. This reminds me a lot of the ones from games such as Tetris and Lumines where you’re thrown into a hot mess that looks to be unbeatable, and you’ll have to work your way out of said mess. Then there’s Arcade Mode where you’ll get to play through some missions for those who just want the strategy action without all of the baggage from the campaign. For those who are feeling really ambitious, there’s also a map editor for players to build their own custom maps to share with friends and others online.

Speaking of which, what would a turn-based strategy game be without local and online versus mode. That’s right, you and your friends can go head to head anytime, anywhere to see who has the better tactics. To make things even better, you can also play on custom maps you’ve made or grabbed from other players online to make sure the fun never ends. As with the games that inspired it, the graphics are simple and cartoonish, and the animations for the units are very well done in the up-close battle scenes when they engage. The sounds are just as impressive, as they fit the action perfectly and even has a few voice clips during the dialogue thrown in for good measure.

Advance Wars and Fire Emblem fans will want to pick up Wargroove as soon as possible, as it contains everything they love about those strategy classics and then some. Simple but cool looking graphics, fun sounds, and irresistibly addictive gameplay – with or without friends – should have everyone playing into its groove.

About the Author: Chris Mitchell