Famicom Wars (ファミコンウォーズ Famicom Wars?) is a series of turn-based and real-time military strategy games, developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. The series debuted in Japan on August 12, 1988, two years prior to another Intelligent Systems series, Fire Emblem (released on April 20, 1990), and this interval is true for both Japan and the U.S. (2001 and 2003, respectively). Like Fire Emblem, most games in the series were released only in Japan; Advance Wars (2001) was the first to reach the North American and European markets. Advance Wars was released in the USA on September 9, 2001, but put on hold in Japan and Europe due to the subsequent terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Although released in Europe in January 2002, neither GBA game was released in Japan until the Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2 compilation on November 25, 2004.
In 2005, Advance Wars: Dual Strike was released for the Nintendo DS, following the basic form of its predecessors. That same year Battalion Wars, a spin-off from the main series, was released on the Nintendo GameCube. Battalion Wars is a 3D real-time strategy, as opposed to the turn-based strategy of the main series.
The player takes the role of Shogun (Commanding Officer (CO) in Western releases) in an army, usually of a country called Red Star (Orange Star in Western releases). In the single-player campaign of the Advance Wars games, each level consists of a new map and opposing CO to defeat. Victory is achieved when all of the opponent's units have been destroyed, their headquarters (HQ) is captured, or another (usually mentioned) victory condition has been applied.
Players take turns to use their army units, each of which may be used once per turn. Resources available include infantry, tanks, artillery, rockets, and many other military units. At the beginning of each turn, players receive an amount of money based on how many cities or bases they currently hold, which can be spent in factories to build new units. However, each factory can be used for deployment only once per turn, since the newly deployed unit cannot be moved and would block the factory's exit. However, in all installments of the series before Advance Wars, the factories had to be near the HQ to be used for deployment.
Multi-player mode is an important part of the Famicom Wars series. This allows players to compete against friends, each choosing a Commanding Officer to play and country to represent. The Advance Wars series, as well as Game Boy Wars 3, include map editors, giving them infinite replayability.