Kaiju Wars Review: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Tank

Ever thought you could do better fending off an attack from a giant monster? Kaiju Wars lets you put your money where your mouth is in this 50s retro movie-inspired game.

If you love turn-based tactics games, then you’ve probably played a few games like Kaiju Wars. Similar in energy to games like Advance Wars and Into the Breach, Kaiju Wars differentiates itself by bringing its own flavor and mechanics to the tactical table. 

Much like the Japanese Kaiju monster movies of the mid-1950s and beyond, you find yourself fighting an unwinnable battle against an invincible monster. Well, a number of them, actually. With a cast of borderline campy advisors, it’s up to you, the leader of your cities, to direct the efforts to keep the Kaiju at bay and from totally demolishing everything in sight. 

Kaiju Wars Review: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Tank

Kaiju Wars has a very basic tutorial with a few fun twists. You meet Major Danger, the leader of your Armed Forces. Short on smarts but big on guns, he walks you through the initial Kaiju incursions. Then you meet Dr. Wagner, the leading mind of all things Kaiju, and eventually, Commander X, who is kind of like a living infomercial. 

Kaiju Wars' pacing is pretty forgiving. With that in mind, you should take your time assessing its maps and thinking about how best to use resources like troops and ability cards. The margin of error is slim, and restarting can become commonplace if too many buildings get destroyed or you don’t have the needed resources to continue fighting.

The need to manage your resources and troops is part of the allure of games like Kaiju Wars. Since everything is important, it forces you to slow down and think your actions through, something especially true since Kaiju can't be killed. At best you can cause them to retreat only to have them come back stronger than before.

Add to this the additional layer of upgradeable troops and the missions where you’re in charge of building your event deck – prompts that can be played to help you survive the onslaught – and there’s a bit of something for everyone in Kaiju Wars five acts. 

Kaiju Wars' art style is a nostalgic love letter to vintage Super Nintendo games. The buildings, units, tiles, and the kaiju themselves all look crisp and retro, further driven home by the audio and sound effects. 

The main menu has so many interactable objects to explore, including video links to a number of old Kaiju films to watch for free online, as well as links to other games on Steam in the same vein. Once you’ve progressed further into the game, you can unlock faithfully-recreated levels from Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters, which was originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1992.

Outside of the main campaign, Kaiju Wars has more to offer with access to a map editor, as well as the option for PvP, with one player taking on the role of the Kaiju.

The map editor suite is extensive, allowing you to very finely tune scenarios down to the precise hitpoints of the Kaiju. Player-created content can be uploaded for others to try out, too, which greatly extends the life of play outside of the 50+ (literally) handcrafted maps in the base game.

Another fun little feature is that Kaiju Wars supports streaming integration with Twitch.tv, allowing players to let their community feed text into the game for the various NPCs in buildings. Nothing like a bit of ribbing from your community as the Kaiju destroy your last army base or to cheer you on when you make it slink back off to its lair to lick its wounds. 

Kaiju Wars Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Excellent audio and visuals.
  • Challenging design.
  • Community content.
  • Good pacing.

Cons

  • Slight learning curve.
  • A few slight graphical glitches.

While Kaiju Wars carries a feeling of familiarity, there’s enough here for it to stand apart from others in the genre. With good pacing, tactical play, and pop-culture moments, there’s plenty of fun to be had with the main campaign. The first act is roughly six hours long, and there are five acts total.

Add to that the near limitless amount of player-generated content, and Kaiju Wars is a game that emulates its namesake — it's something you can keep coming back to again and again. 

[Note: Foolish Mortal Games provided the copy of Kaiju Wars used for this review.]

Our Rating
8
Ever thought you could do better fending off an attack from a giant monster? Kaiju Wars lets you put your money where your mouth is in this 50s retro movie-inspired game.
Reviewed On: PC

Columnist

From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.

Games Kaiju Wars Genres Strategy Platforms PC Tags strategyturn-based strategy
Published May. 2nd 2022

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