Intelligent Systems has been one of Nintendo’s secret weapons when it comes to innovative and underrated franchises. Despite being over 30 years old, the company’s best franchises stayed in Japan until the early 00’s. During this time, Nintendo used the popularity of their Game Boy Advance line as a way of testing out franchises and designs in the US that may not have succeeded on the console. One of those franchises was Fire Emblem, which has become a massive success along with a very popular mobile game.
But for today, I want to talk about their other franchise, and how fans of turn-based strategy might have missed one of the best sleeper hits.
Wargroove from the outside looks like a dream for strategy fans on the PC — a spiritual successor to the underrated Advance Wars franchise by Intelligent Systems — from the UI to the lovingly-crafted pixel graphics. In trying to appeal to that design, Wargroove sadly just misses a few key details that keep it from going over the top.
This week on a Thanksgiving/Black Friday edition of the podcast, Jon Shafer from Conifer Games joined me to talk about turn based strategy design and how it applies to his current project: At the Gates.
The Civilization series from Firaxis and Sid Meier have been one of the long standing foundations of PC and turn based strategy game design. With Civilization Beyond Earth, the series for the first time moves off of planet Earth and explores the world of Science Fiction. But despite the new coat of paint and locale, the game can’t escape the orbit of Civilization 5, for better and for worse.