This Means WAR! Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp Review
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This Means WAR! Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp Review

I recently played “Into the Breach” on mobile (check out our review right here), which was an incredible experience and available to anyone who has a Netflix subscription.

I poured so many hours into it that the only thing that won over more of my time was the 200 hours I put into my Elden Ring (check out a feature from a seasoned veteran or the complete opposite, a newcomer to Souls games) play through.

Playing Into the Breach reminded me of Advance Wars and how much I loved playing it back in the day. I’m not the biggest fan of turn-based strategy games, but every now and then games like Advance Wars, Into the Breach and XCOM 2 (Review here) come along to remind me that… well, maybe I am a bit of fan of turn-based strategy games after all. I loved the Advance Wars game back when I first played them in the GBA days, and always hoped that they’d make another one.

Watch the video review instead!

Well, they didn’t… but they did do a full remaster of the first two and bundle them up in a shiny new package for Switch.

So naturally, I couldn’t wait to find out if they’re as good as I remember, of even better.

War. What is it good for?

There’s a lot I loved in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, but there are a few things I didn’t love quite as much.

Advance Wars is a turn-based strategy game that requires you to command various units, including tanks, artillery, aircraft, naval ships, and infantry, across a grid-based map. Your goal is to win by capturing the enemy’s base or defeating all their units. Strategy plays a vital role, as you need to consider the terrain, supply lines, and the unique characteristics of each unit. Both the first and second games come with campaigns and multiplayer options, offering an engaging experience for both solo and group play.

There are two key aspects that make Advance Wars truly special. First, the excellent strategy gameplay feels like a modern take on chess, with each unit type offering its own strategic advantages and disadvantages. Second, the unique commander characters, each with their own traits and abilities, bring the campaigns to life. Instead of just a series of missions, the game offers an ongoing narrative where your commanders work together and form friendships as they face quirky and interesting enemies, complete with their own internal politics. This combination of strategic gameplay and character-driven storytelling is what sets Advance Wars apart.

Well, there was a third thing that made it special.

Apocalypse Wow!

From the first time I saw the trailer to my first time playing the game, it became clear that the updated 3D board game-like graphics that replaced the charming pixel style of the original games did absolutely nothing for me. While I understand the desire to modernize the visuals, I would’ve appreciated an approach that stayed truer to the original, like the beautiful art style in Octopath Traveler.

That being said, the anime-styled characters rendered in 3D with a 2D cel-shaded look do have their own appeal. While the new 3D graphics aren’t bad, they lack the charm and nostalgia of the originals.This is particularly noticeable during the split-screen combat cutscenes, which make up a significant part of the experience.

Additionally, I would’ve appreciated some modern improvements to the gameplay, like the ability to undo a mistake during a turn, similar to what’s available in ‘Into the Breach. In terms of settings, the game’s options feel a bit limited, with only a handful of video settings that skip specific battle animations. What’s a bit more annoying is that there’s no audio volume control.

Flight of the Valkyries

This can be frustrating because the music, while kinda cool, becomes overpowering and a bit much during lengthy battles, forcing you to either endure the blaring sound or turn the music off completely. I want the music, I just don’t want it that loud.

There are some neat new additions too, like a map builder for creating custom battle scenarios as well as a shop that allows you to unlock extra maps, music tracks, and other goodies.


Despite some shortcomings, Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp had me hooked, and managed to keep me in its trance for hours on end, especially when I only planned to play for 10 minutes. Advance Wars remains a fantastic turn-based strategy game that’s worth checking out for both its engaging gameplay and fun characters. Newcomers to the series who enjoy strategy games will likely find a lot to love, but returning players might not feel as fulfilled, despite the new features.