Advance Wars is turn-based tactical war game developed by Intelligent Systems and was first published in North America on September 10th 2001.
As everyone knows: the following day the world witnessed the horrific attacks on the World Trade Centre, and this tragic event resulted in the delay of Advance Wars being released to the rest of the world.
Advance Wars was eventually released in Europe the following year, but the game didn’t make it out in Japan until 2004, and that was as part of a compilation pack called Game Boy Wars Advance.
Advance Wars is actually part of the “Wars” series, starting with the 1988 Famicom game, Famicom Wars. All previous titles in this series were only released in Japan and Advance Wars was the first to make it overseas.
In spite of the initial bad luck Advance Wars was a big success on the GBA, and that was because the gameplay is both simple and compelling.
Once you’ve played through the entertaining and challenging tutorial missions the main campaign unlocks, as well as a single-player challenge mode called War Room, and a map designer. War Room is particularly good – it’s a race to domination against an AI opponent and each round you are given money to build new units and must try to extend your army to take over new bases. It’s a game mode that really stretches your skills and tests how long you can keep your army going for.
There are two multiplayer modes available too. ‘Vs. Mode’ is for games using the same handheld and ‘Link Mode’ for players who have separate GBAs (and cartridges).
Advance Wars is considered by some to be one of the best video games of all-time, which I think is maybe going a bit too far. There’s no doubting it’s a classic though, and the success of Advance Wars also changed Nintendo‘s attitude to Western tastes, so its influence cannot be understated.