Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wargroove: Fun Based Strategy Game, a Quick Review

Wargroove is a stylish turn-based strategy game with gorgeous pixel art visuals from developer Chucklefish.

Upon loading into Wargroove you are greeted with an anime cut scene that teases the rise to power of a young queen and her dog companion. Shortly thereafter we learn that Queen Mercia is forced to flee her home in the Cherrystone Lands and go on a pilgrimage to save her people and to reestablish her kingdom.

While the game is visually stunning it isn't all flash and no substance. There is a compelling campaign with well-written characters that range from humorous to sullen, and righteous to shifty. There are also a number of optional side missions which progress individual character narratives outside the main story. These side missions once completed unlock options for you to play as different characters in the arcade mode.

Besides the main campaign, Wargroove has a number of ancillary systems as well. There is a map editor and campaign editor. As well as the ability to upload your maps and have other players take part in your content. This user-generated content could lead to Wargroove having a long tail for die-hard and casual fans alike. Online coop play will also be cross-platform between the PC, Xbox, and Switch.

Wargroove has everything you would expect from a strategy game. A large number of different units to select from each with there own strengths and weaknesses. Command units that have special abilities known as grooves that make them more than just another unit with higher than average defense and damage output. Wargroove by default can be a challenging game. Fortunately, Chucklefish built in a number of options to allow you to tune the difficulty of the game. From hardcore down to baby mode. I had to turn down the enemies' damage output on a few missions in order to complete them. 

My only real complaint about the game has to deal with the UI. When inspecting a unit it can be hard to tell what other units they are strong or weak against. This is the only time the game's art really works against it. The game also doesn't have any character development elements through experience gains or a skill improvement system. The only character progression is narrative. 

Due out February 1st for the XBox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. A PS4 port is set to follow sometime in the near future. This is one game I can say with certainty that if you are a fan of turn-based strategy or fantastic pixel art Wargroove is well worth your $20. If you are a fan of either Advanced Wars for the Gameboy Advanced of the Fire Emblem series you'll enjoy Wargoorve.

Score: 8 out of 10

A review key for the Nintendo Switch was provided by the Wargroove PR team.