Advance Wars

Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp collection is finally available on Nintendo Switch after many delays. While the delay of this release was understandable and justified, it ultimately left people in two camps. There were those who tired of waiting and became disinterested, and those who may have given this game more hype than it deserves.

With the finished product in my hands, is Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp an experience you need to play in 2023? Let’s dive in and see what has changed in the past few decades!

Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp Details

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): WayForward
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Genre: Strategy
Mode(s): Single-player, Local multiplayer (2-4 players), Online multiplayer (1-2 players)
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)

A story long forgotten

When old games with fantastic stories get remade for modern consoles, people flock to those releases. They want to relive a fantastic story that once made them tense on the edge of their seats. They want to relive those moments of pure excitement and anguish. And, they want to grab a sliver of their past lives and look back fondly on the experience they had. Good stories do that.

In a lesser sense, good gameplay is likely only to get a game so far when it is remade. Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp was never a page turner in the story department, with a passable-at-best narrative experience. Thankfully, though, one doesn’t play Advance Wars for the story, but for the pure, strategic gameplay that is so nearly perfect, I’m going to have to really nit-pick to find issues worth discussing.

The story, in a sense, could be one of those issues. The story in Advance Wars 1 is far and away better than Advance Wars 2. This is in part to some really interesting characters. Unfortunately, not enough was done when the game first launched to use these characters to the max, so understandably, a remake isn’t going to change that.

Epic tactical gameplay

Where Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp shines is in the tactical combat you will get to explore for dozens of hours. There is a great system here that isn’t overly complicated. One thing I love about old games being remade, is that many of them were made in a simpler time. While tactical strategy games today offer so many different variables and opportunities, this one is pretty streamlined. And that is for the better, in my opinion.

You look at Advanced Wars art and assume it’s a kiddy sort of game. While the artwork definitely gives off that vibe, there is a deep strategic game here that will keep you busy for hours. How do you want to best move your troops? Should you use that unit against that enemy unit? Is it better to do an all-out assault, or sneak troops around to capture the enemy headquarters. The limited number of available units means there isn’t a ton to learn and memorize. But using all of those units to the best of your ability will take some time. 

As with any tactical strategy game, things can feel a bit slow. If you are looking for an action packed experience in the gameplay department, this probably isn’t it. This is very thought driven, and you’ll spend a lot of time just looking at the screen trying to determine which turn to take. I love that type of experience, but it is definitely not for everyone.

Gorgeous decades later

One thing that is consistent throughout the experience is how good the game looks. A fresh coat of paint has been slapped on this release to make it relevant in 2023. I’ve seen comments from many who actually wish Nintendo and Way Forward kept the look more true to the original.

I’m going out on a limb and saying this is probably the minority of folks with this opinion. While I do have a nostalgia for those old GameBoy Advance graphics, this relaunch looks phenomenal. The audio is great as well, although I wish more of the game was voice acted. It’s odd to see some lines of dialogue completely voiced, others half voiced, and some not voiced at all.

It is a big jarring and can detach you from the experience pretty quickly. At one moment you are having the story read to you and you are immersed in what is going on. Next, you are reading the dialogue yourself. It’s not terrible, and definitely a nit-picky kind of issue. But it is something that bothered me none-the-less.

Is Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp worth picking up?

Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp has minimal multiplayer experiences available – seems to be locked to your friends – it does seem that at some point, the desire to play this title may diminish quite a bit. But there is still tons of content here to explore. Even when you finish the main stories, if you love being creative, you can dive into the map maker and create great scenarios of your own.

Even if you’ve placed Advance Wars 1 and Advance Wars 2, there is a lot of content here, and playing it a second time has been great. Brand new players are really going to love this experience as well. Nintendo picked the perfect time to launch this title, and I think it’s going to do very well. It has all the makings of being one of 2023’s top titles.


Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5

Overall Rating 4.25/5 (85%)

Purchase Advance Wars 1 + 2 Re-Boot Camp on Nintendo Switch

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Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.