Advance Wars is a video game that was released in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. It is a turn-based tactics game made by first party Nintendo developer Intelligent Systems. It is a turn-based strategy game where you must move each one of your ally units across the battle field and attack the enemy army. There are multiple different types of ally units such as Infantry, Neotanks, and Aircraft.


Advance Wars is part of a long-running Nintendo franchise, beginning with Famicom Wars on the NES and continuing with an installment on most Nintendo consoles, including the Wii (Battalion Wars 2) and the DS (Advance Wars: Dual Strike). Advance Wars continues this tradition, as well as introducing several new elements into the gameplay mix. The game wasn't released in Japan until 2004 with the release of Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2 on the Game Boy Advance which contained this game and its sequel Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising on a single cartridge.


As with all the games in the Nintendo Wars series, players assume command of a group of allied units, which they must move along a grid-like battle map in order to destroy the opposing force of similar units. Players must used military tactics to achieve the mission objective, usually either by destroying all of the opposing units or by capturing the enemy's headquarters. However, there are often other objectives thrown in for variety, including missions where the player must last a certain amount of days under oppressive conditions.


Advance Wars is set in the fictional empire of the Orange Star, where you as the player work as an "advisor" to several Commanding Officers in the Orange Star Army, each having their own advantages and disadvantages.

Commanding Officers (CO's)

Orange Star commanding officers:

Andy is the main character in the game, and is also one of the seven commanding officers on Orange Team. He is also a main character in the sequel of the game. Andy's mentor is Max, who is also a commanding officer. He is very strong, and is good with direct combat. Sami is Orange Star's special forces commander. Nell is responsible for training all of the new commanding officers, including Max. There are other commanding officers in the series, but the ones featured above are the main ones.


There are eighteen different types of army units that are able to go into battle. All of the units are separated in three different categories - Land units, air units, and sea units. Land units include the most of the group, and also include walking units such as infantry and mech.


  • Advance Wars was originally slated to release on its own in Japan soon following its American release. However, the release was cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. It eventually still got re-released along with the sequel in Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2 in November of 2004.


The game received great praise when it was originally released, receiving a 92 on Metacritic and 92.2% on Gamerankings. It also paved the way for future portable strategy games. Edge Magazine retroactively gave it a 10/10 in their October 2013 issue, an honor only given to 23 games in the magazine's history.