Released on the first of this month, Chucklefish has truly outdone themselves with Wargroove, a combat RPG that combines what fans loved about Advance Wars with amazing pixel art with an unrivaled sense of adventure and heroism.

One for All, and All for Groove!

Wargroove takes on a viking-like mentality when it comes to the basics of gameplay: capture towns for money, use the loot to expand your army and then wage war on all your enemies. Starting out in single player, the first few missions and map locations are geared to teach you the ways of a warrior and provide a bit of lore about characters and enemies. As you progress through the world of Aurania, character’s personalities and war tactics reveal themselves and bring an entertaining and comedic aspect to each battle. The quality of pixel art in Wargroove is pretty fantastic. Battle animations and cut scenes have depth and incredible detail.

Along with strategy and a little luck, the key to victory is all in the way you move. The game gets going with a quirky Commander who calls upon swordsmen and knights alike to fight the evil Felheim army, led by Valder, the game’s main antagonist. Commanders, who can be acquired throughout this game, each have a unique ‘groove’ that is activated upon filling their groove meter in battle. Each groove effects the battlefield differently and presents an advantage if used at the right time. Commanders can also call upon a variety of units each turn using revenue collected from occupied villages. The more villages your army occupies, the more funds you have to spend on grander unit types.

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The map is navigated by traveling to and from towns, which symbolize missions and ultimately levels of gameplay. Each mission gradually gets more difficult and requires more planning and time. Since Wargroove is a turn-based game, players do have a little downtime in between plays to learn more about the map, enemies, and strategize their next move. Through the codex, players can learn about critical moves, which are a big part of this game. Each unit has a critical move ability that can dramatically affect combat, as well as common strengths and weaknesses. The codex can provide this information in addition to general info about each aspect of the battlefield and how the landscape and weather patterns may affect your army.

Although this game is fun and engaging, it does get repetitive, and I wish there was a bit more story to balance out the combat. Besides funny cutscenes, the main chunk of this game is the battlefield, and despite each fight being unique, they do cause the game to drag on a bit. This often resulted in feeling as though I wasn’t progressing fast enough, when in reality combat is the main drive for Wargroove, and all the fun is in battling your friends and foes. This game does provide a “Book of Lore” that players can read during a break from combat. This book provides backstories to each character that can be unlocked as players progress through the game, and can be a good refresher before diving back in.

wargroove

Pick Your Battles…Literally

Up to four players can join the battlefield, either on the same console or (with the exception of Playstation) through cross-play. In multiplayer, you can choose from a series of battlegrounds tailored to a specific kind of fight – whether your strengths lie in ground maneuvers, the sea, or perhaps the sky. With a wide range of cavalry to choose from, you and your friends can test each others skills and practice for upcoming missions.

Let’s Hit the Arcade

Arcade play is also a great way to learn more about Commanders and how their grove affects the battlefield. During campaign play, players have the ability to unlock Commanders during missions, which then become available in the Arcade. With shorter matches, players are able to enjoy a fast-paced fight.

The Power of Imagination

From the main menu’s custom content tab, players have the opportunity to create their own battles. Whether you are wanting to create the ultimate battle arena or edit an entire campaign, the map creator allows your imagination to run wild. There are three map types; Skirmish, for simpler battles, Scenario, which enables cutscenes and more advanced scripting and logic, and lastly Puzzle, for single players in need of a quick battle. From a little toolbar, terrain and structures can be chosen and placed anywhere with the boundaries of the map. The Event Editor really allows players to go crazy, setting ambience, music and a multitude of other properties. If your interested in learning even more about the Event Editor and Map Creator in general, visit this link. Once the map/campaign is completed, players can share (including cross-sharing) and begin battling immediately! This is easily one of the best aspects to Wargroove.
All in all, this is a game that will continue to excite far past its original campaign. Wargroove brings an entertaining and complex title to the world of retro, and leaves fans hungry for what Chucklefish will develop in the future.

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Zoe
An indie game enthusiast, Zoe can be found creating her own video games, writing or perhaps daydreaming about her favorite food; pasta. Follow her on Twitter @zoe_doman.

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