I didn’t get a chance to play Wargroove when it originally released. I always thought that was too bad, since it reminded me of a westernized Fire Emblem and I just love turn-based strategy games in general. Well, after finally getting my hands on it, I was surprised to discover it’s actually more of a westernized Advance Wars in a fantasy setting. If you’re not familiar, Advance Wars, or the Wars series were a series of Japanese turn-based tactics games that were primarily released in the west on handheld consoles. Now, this wasn’t a series of games I was super familiar with, but it made me even more excited to get started on Wargroove, and since its Double Trouble DLC recently released, this seemed like the best time.
Double Trouble is free. That’s probably the biggest, most important thing to mention here. If you somehow got to this article, and you were trying to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing it, you can just go grab it at absolutely no cost. And that’s a great deal, because it comes with a full new campaign, which is playable with one or two players locally, or using Steam’s new Remote Play Together option that lets two people play even if only just the host owns the game. It also features a set of new commanders that add lots of character and charm to the game. There are also two new specialized units—the riflemen and the thieves—as well as changes to multiplayer balance, new arcade missions, additions to the map/campaign editor, and new tracks to the already great soundtrack.
If you’re just getting into Wargroove with the release of Double Trouble like I was, and wanted to jump right into the new campaign, there are some things to know about. There is the option to play with a friend cooperatively in the new campaign, but I feel like I should mention that you can play the entire new campaign solo. I also should mention that the Double Trouble campaign seems to be set up for those who have already completed the original campaign, or are otherwise familiar with the controls. And I don’t mean for story/narrative purposes—I mean for the sheer learning curve involved. Double Trouble assumes you know how to play and throws outlaw commander Wulfar and his two explosion chucking children into the deep end from the start. Once I realized I didn’t know what I was doing, I resolved to go back and play the original campaign to get my bearings—which helped immensely.
The best way I can think of to describe Wargroove to someone who may not be familiar with the Wars series is that it is turn-based squad strategy. It’s similar in ways to games like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War in that you’re commanding a squad or so of units. You don’t build structures, but you can capture structures to gain revenue, and call for reinforcements. It still has its Fire Emblem similarities, in that certain units are stronger against other types or similarly weak against certain types—but it isn’t a rock, paper, scissors system like used in the Fire Emblem series. There are ranged units, cavalry, and even powerful golems and dragons at your disposal. And of course, there are the important and powerful commander units, with unique and powerful “groove” abilities they can unleash once they are charged up.
Double Trouble adds two fun units to your arsenal. The thief is not a combat unit, but it can run around and steal money from structures that you haven’t captured, which is a quick way to get gold flowing for extra powerful units. The rifleman is also a great unit, as it can deal extreme damage at a huge distance; but stuck firing in a straight line, they can’t just destroy any enemy unit on a whim, though it feels like they can at times.
There’s more to Wargroove than just the campaign. There is a versus multiplayer mode that allows you to test your mettle against other players. There is an arcade mode that allows you to play your favorite commander through a mini-story, which reminds me a whole lot of the Classic mode for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. And if you want to try your hand at map making, the editor is great. In fact, the editor is so robust you can create entire campaigns, with custom dialogue and cutscenes.
Wargroove is great. It has great art, storytelling, soundtrack, and many different ways to play and even create. Wargroove: Double Trouble still has all of the great pixel art, good writing, and awesome soundtrack that you would expect from developer Chucklefish, who broke out with their debut Starbound. The original campaign has some great storytelling, and I think that Double Trouble is even better.With the release of Double Trouble now is the best time to get into Wargroove, and if you’re already a fan and haven’t tried out the FREE DLC, what are you waiting for?
Wargoove: Double Trouble is available now on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
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