Thursday, October 27, 2016

Game Boy Wars: offset grids

I love Advance Wars, even if Kieron always wins.  Since Nintendo seem to have forgotten the series exists, I decided to try out some of the original games from the NES and Game Boy eras.  The fact that they were only released in Japan is a barrier only in terms of language, due to the wonders of emulation - and even that isn't an issue if you find translated ROMs.

I didn't; I like the excitement of not knowing what buttons do what.  Not that there's much to guess here.  The main difficulty was finding which menu item progressed a turn.

Unfortunately the version of Famicom Wars I tried first didn't work, so I progressed on to Game Boy Wars.  The first thing I noted was that the map grid has each row offset - so effectively it's played on a hex grid rather than a square one.  When you select a unit to move, it's not clear initially where it can move to; you have to keep an eye on the "distance remaining" marker.  Some of the squares are different colours and it's not clear why.  The units aren't cute like in later games in the series.

But it's still fun.  The first map was actually relatively difficult, albeit mainly because I forgot to build units for a couple of turns after the first.  I'll come back to this some day.

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