North American boxart
Advance Wars, released in Japan as Game Boy Wars Advance (ゲームボーイウォーズアドバンス Gēmu Bōi Wōzu Adobansu) is a
Advance Wars is the first game in the Advance Wars series of video games, followed by
The game was originally intended to remain exclusive to Japan, like the previous entries in the series, which were kept in Japan due to Nintendo feeling that consumers would not be interested in turn-based games, or in such complicated games. In order to alleviate this, the developers made the
The story involves Orange Star Army's efforts in battling the other countries' armies, where Orange Star
The objective is to defeat the enemy army. There are two ways to defeat an opponent: destroy every one of the opponent's units on the map or capture the opponent's headquarters. However, some maps have specific objectives, such as capturing a certain number of cities to claim victory. The available modes of play include "Field Training" which is a tutorial mode, a campaign mode which carries the game's storyline, the "War Room" which is a collection of maps on which the player strives for high scores, as well as multiplayer modes and a map design mode. The "Campaign" and "War Room" modes both help to rank the player up (from Rank #100 to Rank #1) and to earn coins to unlock COs and maps in the "Battle Maps" shop. The modes also gives the player a rank for effort after winning a battle on that map, which assesses by the speed, power and technique in that battle, speed being the number of days spent trying to win the battle, power being how many enemy units you defeated, and technique is the number of your units that survived (in percentage).
The battles of Advance Wars are
All units are limited in the types of units they can attack. What dictates a unit’s ability to attack different targets are its primary and secondary weapons. For example, the
Units that can attack, do so either directly (can attack adjacent to another unit where standing or moved, but be counter-attacked by the enemy unit), or in-directly (must remain still to attack, and have an enemy in firing range). The amount of damage done by a unit to an enemy unit in combat, comes down to a number of factors: the number of
The terrain on a map affects unit movement, vision, and the defense attribute of units stationed in the terrain. The different types of terrain include: roads, plains, woods, bases, HQs (Headquarters), ports, cities, airports, the sea, reefs, shoals, rivers and mountains. All units are affected by terrain, except air units, which gain neither an advantage or disadvantage as a result.
There are 18 different types of military units in Advance Wars. Each unit has a set amount of attack power, vision range in Fog of war, movement range and type, and fuel supply, and some units have two weapons which can be used against different types of enemy units. There are both direct and indirect attack units, as well as transport units. All the units are either infantry, vehicles, ships or air units. Units have specific strengths and weaknesses. One rule of thumb that units have to adhere to, is their fuel supply; ground units who run out, cannot move, while air and naval units who run out, are destroyed as a result, as they consume fuel, even when stationary, with submarines consuming more when they dive.
In Multiplayer mode, players can compete against the AI or against other human players. Multiplayer matches feature a variety of settings that can be changed pre-battle. Multiplayer comes in two forms: Versus mode and Link mode. In Versus mode, only one GBA system is used, which every participant in the game uses. One person will take their turn, then pass the system to the next person. Link mode is the same game as Versus mode gameplay-wise, but multiple consoles are used, one for each person. It can be played with just one game pak or with one game pak per player.
Armies are led by Commanding Officers who control units. All COs except Andy provide units with special advantages and disadvantages, such as extra firepower, greater strength, or a shorter firing range, with some COs being better with some units than others (i.e. being better with air units, than naval units). COs also have a Power Meter which fills up by defeating enemy units or when on the receiving end of a brutal offensive attack. When the meter is full, a CO can unleash their CO Power, which gives a temporary positive effect to friendly units and/or a negative effect to enemy units. For example, Nell gives a Critical Strike bonus and Olaf makes it snow, disadvantaging his opponent.