The game itself is a turn-based strategy game where you take control of the standard range of military units like submarines, bombers, choppers, infantry, tanks, artillery etc. Where competing C.O.'s battle for territory, i.e. cities, factories and airbases which they capture using infantry. There are neat little battle sequences and a lot of different terrain types each with their own defense, movement and visibility factors. There are even weather effects and ammo/fuel supplies which you need to take advantage of if you want to win.
Also, there are four graphical variations of each units; these are merely eye candy, but each unit is different in the battle animation for each of the 4 nations.There are also several unique C.O.'s, which have their own disadvantages and advantages, and even a C.O. power they can use to repair their units, make them more powerful, move faster etc, depending on which C.O. they're using. Some C.O.s have a better artillery range, while some excel in air combat, which adds a layer to the strategy you must use against them.
Overall, a very good have with almost infinite replayability thanks to its map editor and varied units, terrain and C.O.'s.Read more ›
There are three player characters to choose from, each with their own unique special ability. These abilities can only be used by charging up your power. This is done by causing the enemy enough damage.
Depending on how well you perform in each mission, you are awarded a varying amount of money. This money can be used to buy additional game maps for both single player and multiplayer. There are also other surprises to unlock.
Multiplayer adds an entirely different experience to the game. Firstly, there are three different multiplayer methods. The game can be played using multi game packs, one game pack or taking turns on one GBA. The thing that makes multiplayer so different to single player is fog of war. You can only see what is within the sight range of each of your units. This is also affected by the terrain. There are several types of terrain; grass, road, forest, mountain and water. Each has different strategic advantages and disadvantages, and not all units can go on all types of terrain.
To top it all off, there is also a map editor, which allows you to create custom maps. You can save these maps, and trade them via gamelink with your friends.
This is easily the best GBA game I've played so far. It's easy to get into, and highly addictive. Great replayability. I highly recommend it.
If that has not convinced you otherwise, the unanimous reviews on the web should,
CVG:9/10, Gamespot:9.1/10, IGNpocket:9.9/10, AdvanceGB:10/10, GBadventure:10/10, GamecubeAdvanced:9/10, GBAcentral:10/10, N-Sider:29/30
Advance Wars is turn-based and the maps are relatively small, but given the size of the GBA's screen and the length of time usually spent in any one go playing on it, these are actually good things. You can also save game at any point, which is very handy.
There is a pretty broad range of combat units with some cool little animations showing shots fired, etc. Various Commanding Officers assist you in the game, each with their own 'special power' (increased range, etc.) which comes in at certain points according to points accrued etc. Here lies Advance Wars biggest problem, in my view, and that is the opposing CO's power often arrives at a very opportune moment, allowing them to undo all your clever tactics by using their power for a turn and decimating some of your forces!
But you also have these powers and must use them carefully. And sound tactics win over luck every time. A quality game, nice graphics and sound, and will keep you glued to the GBA for hours!