There have been quite a few games that have tried to recapture the Famicom/Advance Wars magic formula. None of them have really succeeded. Wargroove just came out, and after an hour or so I can say it has a lot of potential. Here is what is different from Advance Wars.
It has a fantasy theme instead of modern warfare.
You have a commander unit that is actually on the field.
When the commander does stuff it builds up its super power.
The commander unit actually “casts” the super power on the field as part of its turn. Commander’s location matters for both powers I have seen so far.
No unit can ever stand on top of a city or barracks or any other building.
When a barracks builds a unit, it selects an adjacent spot to place it in. Still can only build one per turn.
All buildings have health, max 10.
To capture an enemy building, you first have to fight it. It can’t attack, but it will damage you when you attack it.
After you “kill” a building it becomes neutral. Any unit that has the ability to capture (commander, infantry) can capture it instantly from an adjacent spot.
To repair a unit you get reinforcements. The unit must be adjacent to a friendly building, spend money proportional to its cost/health and health is subtracted from the building and moved to the damaged unit.
All buildings/cities repair a little bit each turn automatically.
By far the biggest thing is the introduction of critical attacks. Most units have them. They aren’t like critical hits in other games at all.
For example, if a pikeman attacks while it is adjacent to another friendly pikeman, it does way more damage. Rangers (artillery) can attack on the turn they move, but they do critical damage if they fire standing still. Swordsman crit if they are adjacent to the commander. Knights crit if they have moved 6+ spaces this turn (charrrrge!). etc. etc.
Best of all, this has 4 player local, and ? player online multiplayer. I thought it was Switch only, but it’s on Steam, so I got it on Steam.
Crossplay, same price, so it doesn’t matter too much. The reason I choose Steam is because, as you can see, the Wii shop has closed. If you buy the Switch version, you may have to eventually buy the Steam version some years down the line if you want to play again.
Into the Breach is a series of small turn based strategy puzzles in a confined space and is roguelike. Advance Wars/Wargroove has those same turn based puzzle elements on the micro level, but overall is more like a traditional RTS. Starcraft, but you have to take turns. Also you don’t get resources by farming, you get them by capturing cities on the map.
I’m digging Wargroove so far, the presentation is top tier and the story is enough to keep me playing the campaign. The only complaint I have so far is that there’s not a change to the transport unit sprites to remind me that I’ve got a unit in it. Also the game won’t start out highlighting a unit that can be attacked. It’s an odd complaint, but Advance Wars had so much polish thrown into it it’s easy to point out where imitators lack that polish. I’m enjoying it a lot more than Tiny Metal at least.
I don’t remember where I read it but I remember reading somewhere that some people will adjust difficulty settings higher sometimes if they find the game too easy, but most people’s threshold to lower the difficulty is simply higher than their threshold to stop playing all together.
In Advance Wars let’s say you have an Infantry that moves 3. It wants to get into an APC. That APC must be three (or fewer) spaces away. The infantry ends its movement on top of the APC in order to perform the load action and get inside.
In Wargroove the Wagon(APC) can be 4 spaces away. The swordsman(infantry) can end its movement orthogonally adjacent to the wagon and the load action lets it move one more space for free as it loads itself into the wagon.