The King is dead, killed by a vampire. His daughter is nothing but a rookie, hellbent on revenge and saving the world from an invading army of undead. Welcome to the world of Wargroove, a new turn-based tactics game from the publishers of Stardew Valley. Warning, this game is addictive by nature.
Taking a 2D pixelated approach, Wargroove offers a charming take on turn-based combat. Not only does it look good, but it also packs in an incredible amount of content, from single player and multiplayer to a level editor and more.
The action on the battlefield centres around your commanders, all-powerful characters who can take down enemy units with ease. You can win the level should you complete the objective, although if your commander is killed you will lose the round. To help you defeat enemy forces you can summon army units throughout the game. You can do this by occupying villages, which will then earn you the cash you need each round to buy new units.
Obviously, there is a big emphasis on tactics in Wargroove and in this respect, each unit has their strengths and weaknesses. Rangers, for instance, are deadly from long range and if you choose not to move them during a turn their damage will increase. Pikeman meanwhile are better in pairs, causing more damage should you keep these units within close proximity of each other. There are around ten units in all, such as the basic Swordsmen or you can step things up and summon a Knight, who can travel longer distances on his horse.
You’ll always need to try and stay one step ahead of the enemy. You don’t want your Cavalry units taken down easily with enemy Pikemen or your air units destroyed by Ballistas. It’s also wise not to let units wander off into the heat of the battle their own, leaving them to fend for themselves while your others sit back.
Wargroove is both a learning curve and an adventure and the longer you play, the more it surprises you.
There’s no levelling up or progression within Wargroove, instead, it’s all about winning each round in order to unlock new missions, while also aiming for the highest rank you can gain, depending on how well you completed the level. This makes the campaign feel slightly light on the ground, although it doesn’t stop the game being a lot of fun, especially when you take into account the enemy AI is rock hard, and therefore you won’t be short of a challenge.
Missions can last anything up to an hour in the campaign or sometimes even longer. While this is fun and challenging, playing for that long and then losing your commander and therefore the match, is a very frustrating experience, seeing you have to start the mission from the start. What is great is that Maps are varied and there are lots of fun units and commanders to unlock, so while you may not grow your characters, you will broaden your army, which makes any mission you do win all the more rewarding.
Outside of the campaign you also have an Arcade mode, allowing you to pick any of the unlockable Commanders and play through five scenarios with them. This is in contrast to the campaign where you can’t choose your commander but are instead assigned one based on the mission. Maps in the Arcade mode are smaller and therefore the battles aren’t quite a lengthy, meaning if you lose a 30-minute mission in the last minute, you won’t feel quite as frustrated.
Also included is a Puzzle mode, dropping you into in-game scenarios and having you complete an objective within just one turn. This offers you a different type of challenge and is also pretty good for learning the ropes for the multiplayer, where the real challenge begins.
Multiplayer offers local play for up to four players, while Wargroove has cross-play for PC, Switch, and Xbox One, although at this time the PS4 is not included within this list, hopefully, this will change by the time it comes out on Sony’s console.
Finally, Multiplayer is asynchronous, meaning you only need to be around to take your turn, which is nice if your the type who likes to pop off for a cuppa every two seconds.
Wargroove is an excellent game. It is packed full of features, is very challenging and looks great too. It can be frustrating losing a match at the last minute when you’ve put so much effort into it, but winning is very rewarding and even better, a lot of fun.
There’s so much to love about Wargroove. It’s yet another Chucklefish game which will keep you hooked and although I tested the Xbox version, I’m already casting an eye towards the Nintendo Switch as I can imagine the game is even more addictive when on the go.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*