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America is its own worst enemy in new Advance Wars-style tactics game Möbius Front ‘83

This surprising new strategy title from indie studio Zachtronics is relevant to our interests

Amidst a 1980s Cold War America during the Reagan years, come next week players will do battle in Advance Wars-style tactical warfare against a mysterious and deadly enemy: America. Throwing in a spicy sci-fi twist, Möbius Front ‘83 posits that the greatest enemy the US could face during this tense period would actually be itself, but from an alternate universe.

From the studio that brought you Infinifactory and Ironclad Tactics, this is a new tactical wargame that draws inspiration from Advance Wars, Into the Breach… even Steel Division. Zachtronics is a company that specialises in puzzle-based designs, but this is the studio’s most strategy-orientated game yet. Inspired by official U.S. Military manuals from the period, the game forces the players to deal with risk and uncertainty in a way the other more ‘puzzle’ orientated titles don’t, bringing it more in line with classic hex-based strategy games.

The single-player campaign where you’re fighting off the ‘other’ America is the main focus, with the narrative lasting between 15 and 40 hours depending on how many side activities you engage in. There are also unique mini-games related to the main story which you unlock as you play, including a cribbage solitaire game using Cold War-era plane spotters cards, and a puzzle based around signal engineering.

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At the moment there are no plans for multiplayer, but the studio is considering additional single-player/solitaire modes for after release. “It takes too many players to make matchmaking work,” said Zachtronics’ founder Zach Barth.

“With most multiplayer games being free-to-play today I think we’re at a strong disadvantage. A lot of players discover our games years after they’re released, so I try to focus our effort on things they’ll be able to enjoy as well.”

tanks and infantry from two armies square off amidst forests and fields

This is looking like the closest thing we’ve seen to an honest-to-god Advance Wars successor since Wargroove, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the game and finding out more.

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Möbius Front ‘83 is due to release on PC via Steam next week on November 5.