It has been eight years since we saw the last installment of Nintendo’s Advance Wars series. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin was released for the DS in 2008 and was the latest title in a series that dates back to Advance Wars, which came out for the Gameboy Advance in 2001. Though this was the first game to hold the Advance Wars title, Nintendo’s War series stretches back to 1988’s Famicom Wars. The games were well-received for the most part, and fans have been clamoring for a new one for years. One developer decided to take matters into its own hands with the pending Tiny Metal.
Area 34’s Kickstarter page launched on September 19, and with 23 days to go, it is just over $30,000 away from its $50,000 goal. The game is set for release for Windows and Steam, with possible Linux and Mac support, depending on funding. Unlike many other campaigns, the team says that it already has enough funding to finish the game, and that it has “mainly the matter of balancing the game and putting smaller additional content into the existing system.”
The developers cite the Japanese games industry’s lack of interest in strategy games. Rather than wait for a project to come along, they set out to do it themselves. The KS page lists Tiny Metal as a “passion project” — one that comes from “a bunch of grizzled Japanese devs.”
The game appears to follow the same turn-based rock, paper, scissors format found in games like those of the Advance Wars series. The basic units are infantry, followed by scout vehicles, which are fast and lightly armored and have various weapon loadouts. Tanks are of course heavily armored, slow, and expensive and have limited movement range. They make up for this with long-range weaponry. Gunships are fast and heavily armed, but are vulnerable to damage. Due to their flight ability, they are not hindered by terrain, and can see further than other units.
All units are upgradeable and there are more in the works. There are three factions and playable leaders, and each have unique properties, such as greater numbers, speed, or strength.
There is a playable demo that Area 34 says it worked on for six months. The prototype can be downloaded directly from the KS page, though the team warns that it is “not feature complete and is missing several things such as mission deployments and unit upgrades.”
For the full game, there’s an 8-10 hour single player campaign with replayable side missions that reveal unit upgrades.
The lowest amount you can pledge and still get a downloadable copy of Tiny Metal was $15, but as that’s no longer available, you can still pay $20. Beyond that you get access to stretch goals, hard copies of the game, art books, posters, the ability to design your own mission, and more.