Wargroove 2 mixes the perfect blend needed for a brilliant sequel

Sequels are the hardest thing to get just right.

On the one hand, you want to try and rekindle the magic that got you there in the first place, that built demand, expectation and interest.

On the other, you need to do something fresh, different, new and exciting to not only get existing fans happy but maybe bring some new ones along for the ride.

I’m delighted to say Wargroove 2 does exactly that.

It’s almost exactly the same game as you’ve played before. Turn-based action akin to the brilliant Fire Emblem and Advance Wars. A lovely animated style with a developing story through cutscenes. The use of terrain to gain advantages and produce sneak attacks, and a variety of characters to choose from, each doing their own thing.

But now it has a Conquest Mode which is like a roguelike version of the above, taking you from one mission to the next, slowly building up a party by recruiting new members inbetween, and trying to keep everyone alive for as long as possible. It’s genius and it works so well in this format. But more on that in a bit.

There’s also a tiered Groove system for your commanders now, which basically lets you build up multiple phases of powerups. It still works the same way where individual victories for your units add to your Commander’s groove, but you can either cash out as soon as you supercharge, or wait for a more powerful tier 2 charge. This is a great way to test your mettle but also patience and timing.

This, of course, means there’s new commanders to take on the field of battle, all part of a brand new faction which weaves together as part of a wider campaign. The commanders all have their own unique abilities, and with new commanders comes some extremely powerful offerings.

Like Rhomb, for instance, who turns into a crystalised version of themself and attacks a bit like Wolverine, with much more power and finnesse. Tier 2, though, being much stronger than Tier 1. Or Nadia, who has a flamethrower that can burn an enemy or two, but at Tier 2 leaves scorch marks on the ground.

It’s a great way for you to learn what each faction can do, what your units are capable of and act accordingly, especially when things get testy on the field of battle. Units even have their own critical hit condition, so the need for flexibility, adaptability, but also sometimes just keeping yourself aware for the conditions of each victory can make all the difference.

And don’t forget, as with the previous Wargroove, if your commander is defeated in battle, it’s an immediate game over. So be careful.

As you’d expect, difficulty ramps up between campaigns. The incline in difficulty might catch a few people off guard, but to be honest, I found it relatively well balance and fair. Plus it really helps each campaigns blend together seamlessly.

The tutorial, for instance, is really brilliantly designed. It carries through into later missions as well teaches you more advanced techniques, but the opening few missions really help you get a good, solid grasp of what you can do. And even teach you things you could and should be doing, all while presenting you with choice to make your own decisions.

Personally, the Wargroove 2 campaign was the real highlight for me in this package. I was surprisingly swept up in the story, really started to enjoy the characters and actually got to grips with a premise that offered some fun twists and turns. The fact that all campaigns feed each other, even though they’re seperate and can be played out of order, is also the inspiration you need to really fight through them in the way the game intends.

Some of the scenarios are brilliant, the enemy types stay interesting and different, presenting new challenges all the time so you don’t have time to be complacent. But you even have a good variety of units so the action doesn’t stagnate. And sometimes certain enemies are stronger against some unit types than others, so watching out for that is going to be your smartest approach.

There’s even items your standard units can pick up to make them even more powerful in battle like swords, which can give the added boost needed to get you over the line.

But it’s not the only thing you have to do in Wargroove 2 as the newly added Conquest mode is a highly addictive, brilliant additional feature that you’ll wonder why it wasn’t here before.

Basically, it’s progression-based warfare where you’re in charge of the risk vs the reward. You start out very small with a Commander and a very small base of units and your goal is to work through initially very short grids of battle.

However, as you become more successful, so your options open to up to you. So you can recruit more units and obviously if your units survived from the battle prior, your army starts to stack. But their health carries over too and there are only limited times – and options available – to heal them.

You need to walk the line of risk and reward to decide how you want to proceed. Do you decide to heal your units or take on the mystery encounter which could be absolutely anything. What units are you selecting at each turn and are you ready for the boss battle? How closely are you monitoring your Commander’s health?

It’s brilliant. It adds a whole other layer of strategy on top of the excellent campaign and it just fits Wargroove like a glove. It’s the mode I’m going to be playing primarily and will be the key reason I keep going back to Wargroove 2. It’s wonderfully presented, adds the right stress levels, but also makes you think about balance vs execution. If the campaign isn’t for you, Wargroove 2 can definitely hold your attention with this mode alone.

However, that’s still not all because Wargroove 2 also offers an elaborate multiplayer mode so you can dive in and play others from around the world. I didn’t get to experience this much sadly as it’s pre-launch but will definitely take some time to check this out as well to see how the game fares with other players.

Locally, however, you can have up to 4p on a variety of maps – of which there are many – and you can choose your conditions, whether it’s sunny or snowy. You can put on Fog of War, determine your income levels, what biome you’re playing in. You can even decide to turn off Commanders if you want to.

The other big feature in Wargroove 2, though, is the custom map and campaign editing. You can even make your own cutscenes, so you can develop a proper ongoing story and thread it together with battles of your own making. As a result, the possibilities are exciting and endless.

Map creation tools seem fairly intuitive with drag and drop, though it’s not always clear what the functions are in the toolbar above and there’s no tutorial to help you along the way. Also, the use of Touch on Switch would have been really beneficial here as maneuverability isn’t the best on Switch without the use of a mouse. I did also get a few random hard crashes when trying to access the campaign editor, but I’m sure that will be ironed out for launch.

The fact it’s in here at all, though, and the level of customisation available to you is hugely impressive and will certainly ensure the game has a long, healthy, enduring lifespan. I cannot wait to see what people put together with these tools.

Wargroove 2 is just a wonderful package. There’s variety, substance, quality, and the option to keep expanding things with the correct tools in place to do that. Not to mention the beautiful pixel art style that offers a suitably retro, equally modern experience, and the memorable, chirpy, relaxing musical score from Dale North.

Whether you played the first or not, Wargroove 2 is an excellent strategy purists dream and another brilliant indie release in a year that just keeps delivering one quality game after another.


Wargroove 2 is the perfect example of how to do a sequel. Stick with what worked the first time, logically add in new mechanics and ideas that add to the experience, offer a whole new mode that will keep you playing past the campaign, all while offering robust tools to expand your own experience and share with the world. There’s a few teething issues here and there, but nothing to detract from one of the better turn-based strategy games in recent memory. 


+ A really enjoyable, ever-flowing campaign that balances everything just right
+ Conquest mode is an excellent, engaging addition
+ Brilliant map making, campaign and cutscene tools set this one up for years to come.
+ Beautiful pixel art style and wonderful score
+ Newly added mechanics enhance the Wargroove experience rather than detract from it.


– Some hiccups and hard crashes using certain functionality on Switch
– Lack of tutorialisation and touch on editing can make certain features difficult to engage with

Wargroove 2 releases on PC and Switch on October 5th. 

Code Kindly Provided by Chucklefish for review purposes

Tested on Nintendo Switch

About the author

Sam Diglett

Sam grew up with a PS2, spending hours howling at the moon in Okami and giving students wedgies in Bully. Fortunately, she also likes Pokemon because otherwise life could have been quite annoying for her.
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