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A retro fan-game and unofficial prequel to Nintendo's Advance Wars series made in the PICO-8 fantasy console. 

Build an army from your bases.

Utilize terrain for tactical advantage.

Capture the enemy's HQ. 

Featuring cameos of Sami and Hachi as playable commanders, as well as many other new commanders in a new story that takes place before the events of Advance Wars.


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Great game, yet needs ability to reset game and play past campaign levels.
Wanted to start over since I lost a match when using the long range Green character
and the game register it as a win instead of lost.

By the way found game bug
happened when I tried to unload a mecha when there was no free space around.

lambdanaut responds:

Thanks for playing! And thanks for the bugfind! Someone else mentioned it as well and I was able to reproduce it yesterday.

That's surprising it registered a win.

If you'd like to play as the long-range character, you can play as him in VS mode. You unlock commanders for it as the game progresses.

As a guy who's played every "Wars" game they ever put out, I think you did pretty good on this one.

-I'm not fond of the 8-bit rendition (the original Famicom Wars was a bit rough on the eyes too) but otherwise I think you really captured the spirit of the series.

-The game is well-enough balanced for the changes you made, and anybody familiar with the series will be able to hop right in.

-I thought the music was good and fit the tone of the game just fine. Comparing it to the OSTs of the original series is pretty unfair, given that originals were composed by people like Hirokazu Tanaka and Yoshito Sekigawa, folks with pretty impressive music chops.

-The difficulty and AI seemed appropriate for the levels I played. The level design is good and doesn't detract from the battles at all.

Overall I think you did really well on this. It was fun to jump back into the universe of Advance Wars for a little while. It's a fine love letter to the series.

The text font is dreadful, I can barely stand to read any of the dialogue. Music loops are too bleep-bloopy for me, but I'm spoiled from Advanced Wars DS. And I get that you can't exactly make a 1:1 remake of AW, but adding Fog of War would have increased my score. The best mechanic I enjoyed out of AW:DS is being able to hide units in trees. Or just sitting on Factories while the enemy has 0 units would end the match because they can no longer produce.

That said, I enjoyed it. There is clear polish over this whole project, whether I like certain aspects or not, and what works really shines. The UI is simple, the controls are tight, and the AI isn't stupid. 4/5

Great game, just had to finish it. I love the original AW and this was the perfect dose.
It really felt like I was playing a rough first iteration. A lot of points for style. I like the decisions on what to cut from the original, except for one thing: the ability to join units together. It feels like it shouldn't mess with the balance too much, and since you can't, you get a lot of wounded units to control which lags gameplay on a large map with many units. They still have their uses, of course, but it would seem like a simple function to implement that wouldn't upset things.

On the minus side:
Didn't like the music too much, which was sad because the soundtrack on the original is great. That's fine though, only, it would have been great to be able to shut music off separately.
Also: I don't mind swearing at all, but it felt off that the characters did when they don't in the original game. If it was a parody then it would've been good, but everything else was such a good effort in keeping with the tone of the original, so it just felt a bit off.

All in all, great game, good difficulty level, at least for a veteran. Hoping for a sequel!

lambdanaut responds:

Thanks for playing, and sharing your experience!

This game interest me but I don't understand the damage system, like which unit inflicts the highest damage to certain units, or is ineffective in dealing damage to specific units. Hope there's a guide on that :D
Also, why does the artillery can't attack (only option is to rest) after moving to a location with enemy within the red target box?

lambdanaut responds:

Hiya! I'm glad you're interested!

The artillery and rockets units can't move and attack in the same turn. They are long-ranged units. Hover over them and press `X` to see their range. They can attack any unit in that range without fear of any attack-back from the enemy, which makes them pretty awesome.

You can read more about the game here: http://lambdanaut.com/posts/2020-06-25-How-To-Play-Picowars.html

The units have almost the same combat mechanics as the original advance wars, so you can figure out what units are good against what from this graph: https://warswiki.org/wiki/File:Aw2_damage_chart.jpg

Ultimately though, infantry suck but can capture. Mechs are good against all vehicles for their cost, but don't move far. Recons kick the asses of infantry, and do good against mechs if they attack first. Tanks kick recon ass and can do good damage to artillery, rocket, and infantry. War Tanks are good against everything.

Credits & Info

3.90 / 5.00

Jun 23, 2020
6:13 PM EDT
  • PICO-8