Review: Advance Wars 1 + 2 Reboot Camp explained to parents

Advance Wars Re Boot Camp Featured Ecran Partage

What parents need to know

Advance Wars 1+2 Reboot Camp is a turn-based strategy game. It takes the two games released on the Game Boy Advance console in 2001 and 2003 respectively, and puts them back to the taste of the day for the Nintendo Switch. This is a compilation of two excellent games where the goal is to defeat enemy armies by waging war.

You play as a warlord with specific powers and abilities and give orders to tanks, soldiers, land, sea and air vehicles to move and attack.

To win a mission, there are two solutions:

  • Capture the headquarters of the enemy army
  • Or defeat all enemy units on the map

The best way to imagine this is to imagine a chess game with mountains, rivers, plains on the chessboard and units with many possibilities for movement and attacks.

When you launch the game for the first time, you will be asked if you have already played the game, however the answer does not change anything, and you will be forced to go through the long tutorial composed of many missions to discover the units, terrains and specifics of the games.

Some dialogue or first paragraph sentences are dubbed in the language you choose on your console.

The game was provided by the publisher for review. It does not influence our opinion.


Release date: 21 April 2023
Developer: Intelligent Systems / WayForward
Publisher: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Available format: Physical and digital
Version tested: Nintendo Switch

Game genre: Turn-based strategy game.
Themes covered: Cartoon, War
Duration of a game: 30 minutes
Duration of the main game/story: 40 hours
Total time to complete everything: Plus de 100 heures

Text languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian,
Voice languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian,

Number of local players: 4
Number of online players: 2

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+

It’s war, so soldiers, tanks, bazookas, planes shoot at each other. But we don’t see any drop of blood, no dead characters. The tanks explode, and the soldiers fly away and leave the screen when they are eliminated, dead. It’s in the cartoon style.

Requires to know how to read for years to understand the multiple instructions.

Language of war but sanitized. Provocations between the different protoganists of “You’re going to lose!” “Oh no, I have to retreat.” But nothing terrible.

Encourages taking your time and focusing on strategizing. The different multiplayer modes can be used to cooperate or compete. It’s still the theme of war, even if it’s in cartoon format.

The difficulty progresses as the missions progress. Some missions will be very elaborate and will require a lot of time. Nevertheless, there are many parameters to take into account and rules of the game that are explained as you go. The game is complex enough to satisfy strategy fans.

No reflex necessary! Nothing is done in limited time. Everything is in turn. Players make decisions by giving orders to units.

Juste besoin d'acheter le jeu.


Local game modes

Campaign: Includes Advance Wars 1 and 2 Story Mode. For one player.

Battle mode to play with friends on a single Nintendo Switch console, or via wireless communication, on maps and with unlocked generals. From 1 to 4 players.

Headquarters: to play on missions against the computer on maps and with unlocked generals.

Map Maker: A level editor

Hachi Store: to buy cards and bonuses with money accumulated in missions.

Gallery: to consult the music, and drawings unlocked.

Online Game Modes

Playable only with friends owning a Nintendo Switch console, the game, and the Nintendo Switch Online membership.

In 1 vs 1 only. No 3 or 4 player game mode.

Our opinion

Advance Wars 1 and 2 were great games for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, 2003 and for Nintendo Switch it still is! If you are hooked on strategy games where reflection is required, you will love it. It’s great to be able to play these games again on a current console.

The music tracks have naturally been remixed and arranged and it is a pleasure to find them again.

We appreciate the introduction of animated scenes punctuating the story, new animations of the commanders and the dubbing of certain sentences.

On the other hand, it is at the level of the artistic direction of the cards and units that I am not totally convinced. It was perfect in 2D on GBA, it switched to 3D on Nintendo Switch for reasons of cost and efficiency. But the passage changed the appearance of the units. This makes soldiers look less sympathetic, and most importantly, on the map, the 3D models of the tanks are not as easily distinguishable as before. This can lead to confusion and mistakes especially for franchise regulars in the early days.

An online mode has also been added, and this is an addition that was necessary to the series, unfortunately it is just possible to play with friends. There is indeed no way to play against strangers. It makes online gaming particularly difficult, you have to synchronize with friends who have the console, the game, the online subscription and the same time availability as us.

After a few hours in the campaign mode there are some small frictions during the games:

  • The animations of soldiers and tanks quickly become redundant, especially when viewed 100 times per mission. Fortunately, it is always possible to disable them in the options.
  • The new animations of the generals’ powers are also repetitive and redundant, and they arrive every 4-5 turns. Their frequency could have been reduced. The power of generals is intended to cause scripted reversals, but the fact that they happen so often, take away their impact. It gives an impression of injustice when the opponent suddenly has additional abilities like the ability to attack 2 times.
  • The fog of war is present on some maps. This is a feature that hides part of the map. It is then necessary to advance its units carefully in reefs and forests in order to remain hidden. Even so, it’s really hard to get away with the computer-controlled player in many cases. Similarly, the computer gives the impression of having more information than us and the power of the general controlled by the computer gives a feeling of injustice.

Advance Wars 1 & 2 Reboot Camp is a single-player game first and foremost. This is where the interest of the game is, its duration, and it will be your way to unlock the multiple maps and generals for multiplayer games with friends. It is an excellent opportunity to discover or rediscover these fabulous games that will require patience and perseverance from their players. It’s also an opportunity for Nintendo to test interest in the franchise after so many years.

It’s just a shame that this update lacks ambition, a regret for the fan of the franchise for me to be.

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About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

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