Retronauts Episode 444: Advance Wars

Pink Hearts, Orange Stars, Blue Moons, and Green Clovers!

"Military simulation" is one of those genres that predates the existence of video games; I remember my father was a fan of hexagon-based strategy games that he could play for hours at a time, even though all the pieces were simply cardboard squares and the only way to win was to roll dice. Meanwhile, I was playing Combat on the Atari 2600 and marveling at its blocky tanks and planes.

Nintendo's Advance Wars series is thus not unique in its subject material, although it does have an unfortunate history of release dates bumping into real-world conflicts: The original GBA game—the first in the franchise to be localized for other regionsdebuted in the United States on September 10, 2001. What happened the following day postponed its European launch and canceled its Japanese launch altogether. Jump ahead to 2022 and a remake of the first two Advance Wars games was scheduled to come out next month, but with the unpleasantness in the Ukraine right now, Nintendo feels it's not a good time to release it yet.

Delayed or not, host Bob Mackey, regular guest Henry Gilbert, and infrequent visitor Chris Daniel tackle this volatile topic on the podcast this week, running down the entire Wars series from its start on the Famicom through to the last "new" release for the Nintendo DS.

Description: Unfortunately, Nintendo just delayed Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp indefinitely due to real-life circumstances. But this week, in the spirit of American sticktoitiveness (and because we didn't want to change the schedule), we're looking back at Intelligent Systems' surprisingly long-lived turn-based war strategy series. Over the course of 20 years, Advance Wars boiled down the incredibly complex design of PC war strategy games into a colorful, console-friendly experience that could still be surprisingly difficult. So join Bob Mackey, Henry Gilbert, and Chris Daniel as the crew looks back at the lighter side of inhumanity.

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

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As with all of the episodes Bob produces, this week’s cover art is by Nick Daniel. Check out his Twitter, or patronize his Patreon!