Released on September 9, 2001, just a few days before the terrorist attack that rocked our country, was a little title for the Gameboy Advance that was both smart and fun. Advance Wars has taken a game genre originally played on a game board using dice and paper, and given to the casual gamer. It has done so in such a fluid way that even the least experienced gamer, or even your 6 year old, can be a cunning strategist.
The game revolves around war, as can be assumed by the title. You control military units, such as tanks, infantry, planes, helicopters, and ships, for a total of 18 usable units. The game is turn based, and has no time limit. This gives players, especially new ones, the freedom to examine every possible move. A gamer new to the turn-based strategy genre will probably have approximately a two-hour learning curve. The learning experience is made easier with several training missions. Another great feature of this game is that experienced players don’t have to play through the entire tutorial, which I was very thankful for.
Enter Andy, of the Orange Star Army, a mechanical genius. He is one of the many Cos (commanding officers) whose persona you can assume in this title. He is the central character to the storyline, however, the storyline isn’t even necessary for the game to be enjoyable. He, like all of the COs, has a special power. He is able to repair his units while they are in the field when his special meter fills up. You can also choose from several other COs throughout the game. Each CO has their own special abilities, and special powers.
The only drawback I see in the game is the dialogue. At times, it can be VERY idiotic. Some of the lines in the game, such as “What’s an airport?” really get annoying. Other than that, it is a very solid title, and once you get used to the dumb lines, they won’t surprise you anymore.
The graphics in the game are both whimsical and fun. The colors are very pronounced, and it has a very cartoon-esque feel. The graphics are definitely not anything exceptional in their detail level, but they fit in with the entire attitude of the game. As for the music, it’s not fantastic, but it won’t drive you crazy either.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent game. In addition, once you finish the story mode, you can either play through the story mode again in an advanced mode, or you cane play through extra challenge levels. There is also a great multiplayer mode, which I highly recommend. This game is a ton of dun, and a great critical thinking experience for young once. As it is a retro title, it can be purchased at a very good price. I would recommend getting a copy today!