Chucklefish feels Wargroove is more than just a nostalgic pander- it’s hard not to agree.
An Advance Wars-shaped hole has been in the hearts of millions for years, and the size of that hole has only been growing as time has gone on, especially since Nintendo seems to have lost all interest in ever going back to the beloved strategy series. Chucklefish, however, is coming up with what is more than a suitable replacement- the upcoming turn based tactics Wargroove is a game that fills that void, and then some.
However, according to Finn Brice, Chucklefish founder and lead designer of Wargroove, though it is a game that clearly pays homage to Advance Wars (and other similar turn based tactics game), it’s also a title that does a lot of new things itself, and pushes the genre forward in meaningful ways.
Recently, while speaking with Nintendo Life, Brice spoke about the development of Wargroove, talking about how this is a title that Chucklefish has been wanting to not only make, but also the kind of game they’ve wanted to play themselves for a long time- so they just went ahead and made it. “This is a game we’ve been wanting to play for a long time,” he said. “When we found that a modern turn-based strategy game of this style wasn’t really out there, we had to jump in and make one. It’s important to us that we make games we’re truly passionate about.”
Games like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, according to Brice, have also inspired Chucklefish’s own title. “We’re huge fans of both games,” said Brice. “For many of us, Advance Wars was our introduction to turn-based strategy as a genre and it holds a special place in our hearts. It’s fair to say that a great many other titles have also influenced Wargroove: Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Wesnoth, Disgaea, amongst others.”
That said, according to Brice, Wargroove isn’t just a game that follows in the footsteps of others, but also one that carves out its own identity in the genre. How does it do that? Brice brought up the example of the game’s Commanders system. “We feel we’ve succeeded in moving the genre in a new direction,” he said. “Wargroove introduces hero units to the field in the form of Commanders, incredibly powerful units that build up special moves through combat. However, should your Commander fall, the battle will instantly be lost. This risk-reward mechanic keeps matches from becoming stale or turning into a grind when one player begins to win. It also allows for creative strategies and explosive comebacks.”
While speaking about the development process of the game, Brice also revealed that Wargroove had initially started development as a very small project, but that its scope grew over time. Ultimately, Chucklefish decided to make it as full-featured as possible, and even though that resulted in delays and missed deadlines, Brice feels it was worth it in the end.
“Wargroove started out as a small project but once we actually sat down to play our prototypes we realised just how fun the game was, and it demanded to be fully developed,” he said. “Throughout development, we aimed to provide a massive package that did the genre justice and we didn’t stop until we were satisfied. Sometimes that means going (way) over your deadlines, but in the end, it’s worth it.”
It’s not hard to see what he means- with a pretty long campaign, co-op and online options, two great alternative options in the form of Arcade mode and Puzzle mode, and potentially endless content in the future thanks to its extensive, surprisingly robust, and addictive creation and sharing tools, Wargroove is a game that is overflowing with content. Talk about bang for your buck.
Wargroove launches tomorrow for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. It will support cross-platform play across all three systems. The game is also due out on PS4, but doesn’t currently have a release date on the platform. Make sure you read our review to see just why Wargroove is so darn good.