Nintendo Switch Review: Advance Wars 1 & 2: Re-Boot Camp

Can you advance your way to victory?

Command an army in strategic, turn-based combat as a tactical adviser for the Orange Star Army. Your expertise is needed as you move land, air, and naval units across the battlefield. Take down enemy squads and capture towns and bases to secure victory and keep the peace. Keep an eye on the game-changing terrain and weather as you lead a variety of units across multiple maps. This remake features two campaigns that cover the events of Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising! Fight alongside capable Commanding Officers. Defend your land with the help of Andy, Max, Sami, and other Commanding Officers, each with their own specialties and CO Powers. Andy can repair units, while Sami can boost the abilities of troops. Your opponents can use CO abilities of their own too! Throughout both campaigns, the COs you meet play a critical role both on the battlefield and in the story.

The Advance Wars series has laid dormant for a long, long time. I honestly never thought we’d get any new entry in the series at this point, but finally we do…sort of. This is a remake of both GBA games with new features like being able to build your own battlefields and play online against friends and rivals alike. The game was initially meant to launch last year but due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nintendo decided to hold the game back until they deemed it the “right time” but finally, it’s here and it’s never been better.

If you’ve never played Advance Wars in the past, then you are in for a treat. It’s a turn-based tactical game with superb campaigns that will test your strategic prowess to the max. Some missions will have you simply taking over a set amount of buildings before your opponent, or some will only give you set amount of units to take over the enemy HQ. Others will give you resources to build units such as air, land and sea units to overcome tough odds.

A lot of missions will have “Fog of War” active, so you can’t see where your enemies are and if you cross their path while moving your unit, then they will be stopped in their tracks and be vulnerable unless you can get another unit over and take it out before the next turn. This remake does give you a bit of a helping hand compared to the original such as a Casual mode, which is still tough, but it also allows you to restart your turn before handing back control to the enemy. So if you do get caught in the fog of war by an enemy, you can reset your turn and remember to avoid that area.

Finding the right balance is key to victory, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for the right terrain that might give you an advantage defensively or offensively and make sure to use the right units against your foes. There’s no point making your basic soldiers fight a tank for example, it just won’t work well for you.

The new visuals are a nice improvement over the original GBA sprites, but it still retains the same sort of charm too. I was impressed with the CO Powers animations that felt right from an anime. Voice-acting also comes into play and isn’t too bad either, while the music is pretty good too.

The Verdict

Advance Wars 1 & 2: Re-Boot Camp delivers what we expected from a remake of the first two GBA titles. It updates the visuals, gives new content in the form of competitive online multiplayer and also adds quality of life improvements, as well as making the game more accessible to newcomers. Let’s hope this results in either a remake of the DS title or failing that, a brand-new entry.

Score: 8.5