Wargroove—the turn-based tactical game from 2019 whose most important gift to the world was its adorable dog units—is getting a sequel. Announced by publisher Chucklefish, Wargroove 2 will see the colourful Advance Wars-like return at some point this year, and it's picked up a new developer, too.
Where the first game was made and published by Chucklefish, Wargroove 2 is being developed by Robotality, maker of the strategy games Halfway and Pathway. PCG's Evan Lahti found the former of those two games a little shallow compared to competing strategy games like Xenonauts in his Halfway review back in 2014, but hopefully Robotality has picked up a few things in the last (oh god) nine years.
Wargroove 2 looks as pretty and pixelated as its predecessor in the clips and screenshots we've seen thus far, and seems to have traded out the knights-and-armour aesthetic of the first game for something a bit more piratical and fantastical. It's set three years after the events of Wargroove 1, and features all sorts of colourful new units and enemies, including giant squids and pyromaniac pirates (pyrates?). Don't worry, the dogs are still in there.
Chucklefish has a whole list of additions and changes to the sequel that I'll list below, but the one that leaps out to me is its new single-player roguelike "Conquest" mode. "In these quick-paced, bite-sized battles every choice is permanent," reads the mode's description, meaning that "Gold and health carry from skirmish to skirmish, and no unit is dispensable."
There's plenty of other new stuff, naturally, including a roster of new player commanders who each have their own unique, tide-turning "Groove" abilities that you can supercharge during the course of battle. Here's Chucklefish's list of features it's announced so far:
- Return to the frontline with new Commanders, as mysterious new factions join the fight
- Commanders are more powerful than ever, with an all-new tiered Groove system
- Follow 3 new Campaign arcs, interwoven in a fierce conclusion
- Battle with or against your friends in Co-Op & Multiplayer mode, locally or online for up to 4 players
- Put your strategic abilities to the test with a new roguelike mode - Conquest!
- Develop new tactics with 5 new unit types to master
- Level-up ordinary units by picking up special items
- Get more creative than ever with new & improved map, campaign & cutscene editors
- Captivating soundtrack written by composer Dale North (Nintendo eShop, Disney Wish park and cruise experience, River City Girls 1 & 2, RWBY Arrowfell)
We certainly aren't getting Advance Wars on PC any time soon, Nintendo being Nintendo, so hopefully Wargroove 2 does a good job plugging the hole in our heart. We rather liked the first game, after all: Malindy Hetfield scored it 78% in her Wargroove review, praising it for its "creative, demanding challenges." If Wargroove 2 can refine and improve that formula, I'm all for it. You can find the game's page over on Steam.