3DS’s Side-Scroller Teases With A Pseudo-Submarine Advance Wars

The 3DS launch game Steel Diver was first shown last June, back when it seemed like a simple, solid submarine side-scroller that might satisfy someone who wants a more traditional video game from their next Nintendo handheld.

Then, late last year, we discovered that an alternate mode in Steel Diver lets us turn the 3DS into a periscope.

I liked all of that.

The spoiled game reporter wants more, and so I got greedy when I found, in my finished, boxed copy of Steel Diver, a mode called Steel Commander. This mode is turn-based sub vs. ship warfare. It involves moving units across a grid-lined map. Could it be that were we not without an Advance Wars or Fire Emblem-style game from Nintendo for launch? Could this be it? Would those of us who devoted cumulative weeks of our lives to the great turn-based strategy games on prior Nintendo handhelds find new turn-based nirvana in Steel Diver?


Steel Diver’s Steel Commander mode is indeed turn-based. But it’s more of a riff on Battleship, mixed with the game’s periscope mode. You and your opponent guess the locations of each other’s fleet and fire away. It appears like it’d be better for two players than me vs the 3DS.

I got ahead of myself, but I still wanted you to see it. Check out the video, decide if Steel Diver could be for you. Then join me in wondering if or when Nintendo is going to tell us we’re getting an Advance Wars 3DS or Fire Emblem 3DS.

The 3DS and Steel Diver will be released in North America on March 27.

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