Remake and remaster wizards Wayforward have crafted a fantastic experience that captures the feeling of playing the original games.
It's more than twenty years since the launch of the first ADVANCE WARS title, a game that captured my imagination when huddled next to a friend who owned a copy squinting at the tiny unlit Gameboy Advance screen.
These original games still hold up incredibly well today, that is if you are lucky enough to still own a cartridge or have picked them up on eShop for your WiiU, but if you're a brand new player getting access to those games isn't easy (or cheap).
ADVANCE WARS 1+2: RE:BOOT CAMP does an incredible job modernising the beloved handheld games and now you can give your friend those tactical tips from the comfort of your couch, an experience that feels so integral to this pocket war game.
Each level of the campaign is a puzzle to be solved, moving units towards your objectives while balancing your deployments feels really satisfying when you can manage the correct move order.
While there is a lot of options with how you move your troops, it did feel satisfying when I managed to pull off what felt like the ideal maneouvres being rewarded with a shiny S rank for my efforts.
Time is your friend as you plot out where each of your pieces will land at the end of your turn, but even still if I ordered my troops to their demise, I felt it was sometimes better to just give up and try from the very beginning, as it's easy to fall into an unwinnable position.
Outside of the campaign mode in the multiplayer and computer skirmish maps is where the real strategic options open up, and the map maker is a real joy.
I spent ages just crafting a little boardgame map for armies to battle it out across.
Sometimes I even played those maps as intended, but it was just as fun to build little digital dioramas.
There is a strategic depth for players keen enough to weigh each matchup carefully, but unlike other tactics games like XCOM, I always felt like that luck was on my side and that's a magic feeling.
It's also perfect handheld title with really enjoyable and challenging little moments you can dip in and out of.
What really struck me is actually how much I felt transported back to playing the original pixel art originals, I actually fired up the games again for perspective.
And it's clear that they aren't the originals.
These games do improve on just about every aspect of the gameplay and presentation, but they are different.
There has been some tuning and tweaking of the gameplay to account for modern tastes and this game is far more accessible than the games that inspired it.
Ultimately I kept thinking of how we preserve these older games, when it comes to RE:BOOT CAMP the ship feels the same, but all the pieces have changed, and with the closure of the eShop earlier this year it actually becomes pretty tricky to play the originals.
Given the alternative of no one being able to experience this game at all, or this modern reimaging this is a really fantastic compromise.
A copy of ADVANCE WARS 1+2: RE:BOOT CAMP on Nintendo Switch was provided to SIFTER for the purpose of this review.