Wargroove 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based strategy
Developer: Chucklefish, Robotality
Publisher: Chucklefish
Platforms: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Wargroove 2 – Review

Site Score
Good: A massive amount of content and replay value
Bad: Could have expanded on the original gameplay a bit more
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in 2019, indie studio Chucklefish released Wargroove, a neat little turn-based strategy game that served as a spiritual successor to Intelligent Systems’ Advance Wars series. The main difference was that Wargroove was set in a medieval fantasy world in a similar vein to Fire Emblem, also from Intelligent Systems. Wargroove was released to critical acclaim and found a dedicated fan base as well. The game got another boost in popularity through the free Double Trouble DLC in 2020, but Chucklefish decided that the next step for Wargroove was a full-fledged sequel, the aptly titled Wargroove 2. Given how beloved that first game is, fans’ expectations for this successor are astronomically high, so the obvious question is of course if Wargroove 2 can deliver.


Picking up where the original Wargroove left off, the story stats with a narrative tutorial that sets up the first of Wargroove 2’s three campaigns. Each campaign presents a standalone story, focusing on a different faction. The different campaigns then culminate in a fourth chapter that ties the previous narratives together. While Wargroove 2 doesn’t recap the events of the first game, newcomers won’t be confused, as the context of everything that happens is explained pretty well. The game starts off with the Faahri arriving in Aurania. This faction of anthropomorphic mice, led by the enthusiastic scientist Pistil, are on an archaeological expedition and are looking for relics from an ancient civilization. What they find in Aurania is more than what they bargained for, however. After a tussle with bandits, the Faahri find themselves having to vie with other factions over the ancient treasures, much to the chagrin of commander Rhomb, who’d rather see things end quickly, with as little bloodshed as possible.

We won’t spoil how things unfold, as Wargroove 2’s story is filled with surprises, lovable characters, and fantastic dialogue altogether. If you’re returning from the first game, you might initially be disappointed that the game focuses mainly on new characters, given how strong the writing for the first game was. Rest assured though, that not only will you still see familiar faces in a reduced capacity, you’ll quickly grow to love the new cast. It’s a testament to just how enjoyable Wargroove 2 is from a narrative perspective. Should you need a quick refresher on some of Aurania’s deeper lore, there is also a codex that you can consult, which further helps to flesh out the world.


When we reviewed Advance Wars on the Switch, our main gripe was that the new visuals didn’t quite fit the game’s atmosphere, and that we preferred the pixel art of the original Game Boy Advance releases of those games. Thankfully, Wargroove 2 didn’t follow its spiritual predecessor in this regard, sticking with lovely pixel art visuals instead, and the game looks great as a result. While the cutesy visuals may not carry the grandeur of elaborate cutscenes, there is something nostalgic and comforting about this gameplay style mixed with GBA-era visuals, and it works like a charm.


Accompanying the cutesy visuals is a lovely soundtrack that really adds to the fun atmosphere of the game. The tunes are incredibly catchy and will get stuck in your head, in a good way. Additionally, there is limited voice acting in the game as well, specifically during key story moments. While a fully voiced version would be preferable, given just how good the performances are, we do feel like Chucklefish found a decent middle ground.


Sticking to the principle of ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’, Wargroove 2 sticks very close to the Advance Wars-style gameplay that made the original so great. Turn-based battles are fought over grid-based maps, where you take control of your commander of choice, alongside a small army. Your main objective is typically to defeat the enemy commander, capture the enemy’s base, or defend your own base. To spice things up, each map also offers side objectives that increase your final rating upon map completion. These include attacking specific enemy units with a unit type of your own or capturing an enemy base without attacking enemy units, for example. Normal troops stick to a rock-paper-scissors style of warfare, with spearmen dealing more damage to cavalry, cavalry being more effective against swordsmen, and swordsmen easily chopping through spearmen. Terrain also plays a part, with units gaining defensive benefits from positioning themselves in a forest or mountains, while fighting from within a river penalizes you. Units are recruited from barracks, using gold generated by captured buildings. Wargroove 2’s core gameplay is all pretty standard stuff but it’s satisfyingly streamlined.

Where Wargroove 2 kicks things up a notch is with how Critical Hits and Commanders work. The Critical Hit system in particular is a highlight here, rewarding you for carefully positioning your units. In most games, a critical hit is tied to random chance, but here, Critical Hits (with a capital C) happen when your unit meets certain conditions. Swordsmen will crit when adjacent to their commander, for example, whereas spearmen simply need to stand next to a fellow unit of spearmen, and all archers need to do is stand still on their turn. It’s an interesting system that really influences the flow of battle. Commanders on the other hand add their own little nugget of tactical depth. They are massively powerful units on their own but as they continue to fight, they’ll eventually unlock their Groove ability, a powerful attack that can turn the battle around. In Wargroove 2, the Groove ability is turned up to eleven by adding a supercharged second level, and often you’ll need to carefully think about whether you’ll deploy it early or wait for the more powerful version. Not every Groove ability is equal, making certain commanders more useful depending on the situation, but this makes it all the more satisfying when a niche ability pulls off a game-deciding gambit.

The cutesy, cartoonish visuals may have you believe that Wargroove 2 is a “lighter”, kid-friendly game but nothing could be further from the truth. Wargroove 2 is deviously challenging. The Story Campaign starts on Hard difficulty by default, although inexperienced generals can dial things down if they feel like finding their footing first. Even at lower difficulties, enemies don’t pull their punches and Wargroove 2 never gives the feeling that a victory comes unearned. This rings especially true in Conquest mode, a rogue-lite spin on the game’s core formula, with procedurally generated maps. Success in this mode does not come easy, although the more maps you clear, the more Shards you earn. These can be spent on upgrading your army so that successive runs become easier.

Rounding things out are multiplayer gameplay and community-generated content. Budding generals can take on each other in online matches, and a built-in campaign editor will ensure that you won’t run out of playable maps for a long time, as you can get stuck in fan-made maps. It all adds up to an impressive package, and the best part is that Wargroove 2 comes in at a ridiculously low price point for how good it is. For just under €20, you’ll get a fantastic turn-based strategy title that can easily go toe to toe with much bigger titles in the genre. If there’s one thing we can fault Wargroove 2 for, it’s perhaps that it plays things a bit too safe in terms of expanding on the gameplay foundation laid by the first game, but given how fantastic the first game was, picking up the sequel is a no-brainer if you enjoyed that.


We already were fans of the Switch version of Advance Wars, but Wargroove 2 might just give it a run for its money. Chucklefish cooks up fantastic gameplay, an incredibly charming cast, and a story filled with heart. We would perhaps like to have seen some more evolution in terms of gameplay, but that’s a minor gripe overall. Wargroove 2 is a must-buy for fans of turn-based strategy games and is a contender for our favorite game of the year.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Wargroove 2 - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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