Advance Wars: Dual Strike

The Advance Wars series is a franchise with a pretty long pedigree, all the way back to Famicom Wars on the original Nintendo system in Japan. I believe at last count there were about 20 Advance Wars games for Game Boy Advance, so why buy the DS version? Well, it's certainly snazzy in terms of appearance - flashy animations and the like. The gameplay? More of the same. The graphics and sound? Nice.. nobody can fault the presentation or production values of this game.

Not familiar with the series? It's a turn based strategic wargame. You've got different teams with different COs (Commanding Officer), and each of these COs has a particular skill which can be used to your betterment (for example, a CO has the ability to increase the amount of revenue you get from captured cities). The single player game is split into various missions with specific objectives (for example, capture the enemy's HQ) and you may either start with specific units, or have the ability to build your own by capturing factories.

An innovation of note for the DS version would be missions where you fight on two fronts - you control the lower screen, and the second front (top screen), you can send units to, and make suggestions to the AI as to how to fight for you.. or just let it go. It's a neat gimmick, but isn't particularly revelatory.

If you have to have tanks, planes and guys with guns, get yourself an Advance Wars Dual Strike - otherwise, I'd have to recommend Age of Empires over this.

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