Wargroove 2 may have just been announced, but that didn't stop developers Chucklefish and Robotality from bringing a playable build to PAX East 2023, and we didn't pass up on the chance to try the turn-based combat for ourselves. Wargroove 2 iterates and builds upon the original in a way that is satisfying, surprising, and most importantly, fun.
New commanders give players unique abilities when engaging in close-quarters combat, and you can build up your units to better tackle the challenges ahead. Like any strategy game there's a bit of a learning curve, but once I got a few rounds in, I was maneuvering units around the map and taking down enemies with ease. Up until a boss battle, that is -- I still got crushed when taking on the more formidable enemies.
Strategically Move Units Across Colorful Battlefields
The Wargroove 2 story offers different campaigns that players can progress through. What I got the opportunity to play at PAX East was Conquest Mode: a roguelike mode that offers different paths of progression to ultimately reach the end. Admittedly the end is not something I saw -- I would make it most of the way and then get crushed by the ensuring enemy troops.
The good news is that as bad as I was on my first attempt, I was about a hundred times better on my second. Learning the mechanics and basic strategy is fairly intuitive, and then it's just a matter of learning how to best position your troops on the ever-changing battlefields.
The art style of Wargroove 2 is something to be commended -- it combines cute sprite-like art with colorful backdrops that are a joy to explore. The maps themselves stay zoomed out, but you get up-close scenes during attacks that show your characters in better detail. This is especially satisfying when your Commander is engaging the enemy and you can see their skills up close.
There are multiple Commanders to choose from, and in our Wargroove 2 preview, I got to play as a pirate leader who wields a flamethrower. Each commander has a special Groove -- a skill that builds up over time and can be unleashed to change the tide of battle. These grooves can be supercharged, making them even more effective and potentially helping players out of a tight spot if they find they've been backed into a corner.
Wargroove 2 plays like an interactive board game brought to life where every move matters and the gameplay progresses fairly quickly. For a turn-based combat game, there's very little delay between turns and the ability to move multiple units at once keeps things fresh and fun.
There's a Wargroove 2 demo available on Steam right now, and though no release date is currently available I'm impressed with how far along the team is in development. Wargroove 2 is definitely a strategy game worth keeping an eye on.
Wargroove 2 was previewed on a demo build available at PAX East.