Published on March 17th, 2023 | by Gareth Newnham

Kaiju Wars Review

Kaiju Wars Review Gareth Newnham

Summary: Kaiju Wars is a slick satirical strategy game that fans of a good monster movie marathon are bound to enjoy


Let Them Fight

Kaiju Wars is the perfect game for anyone that watched Godzilla and thought they could do a better job than Monarch did.

The premise of Foolish Mortals’ Kaiju Wars is a simple one: tasked with preventing five rampaging monsters from destroying your city, it’s up to you to rally the resources of a small industrial nation to keep the gang of legally distinct creatures from flattening every office building, warehouse, and hospital in their way, while your boffins have time to create a scientific solution to the Kaiju problem. Seems easy, right?   

Like the films that inspired it, Kaiju Wars is a satire that treads that fine line between goofy and serious which makes the genre so compelling complete with plenty of witty banter from our heroes, but the threat of the Kaihu is never underplayed. At the same time, its neon colour palette and NES-style pixels belie a deep and varied strategy game that feels like the result of a transporter accident involving Advance Wars and Into The Breach.


You’ll quickly realise that despite the best efforts of any military muscle you put in their way, there is no way to stop the Kaiju. All you can do is use your assembled tanks, planes and cannon fodder, to slow them down, direct them away from major population centres, and if you’re really lucky put them n a collision course with another beastie so you can ‘let them fight!’

So like a very violent shepherd, your time is mostly spent herding the figurative sheep ( why isn’t there a giant sheep, there should be a giant sheep) around the map so your scientists have enough tie to get into position to finally push the kaiju back into the sea.     

Each of the game’s maps has a different layout with different choke points and routes the monsters are likely to take, as well as ones you should probably nudge them towards. In an excellent twist resources are generated by what types of buildings are left standing during a rampage from Notzilla civilian structures provide you with cash while labs produce science. Cash is used to build more labs, as well as military created at army bases and airfields to corral and slow down the beasts.   

Inevitably though the kaiju will set their sights on the lab containing your chief scientist Dr Wagner, stomp the lab into shingle and push you back to square one. The main gameplay loop is surprisingly deep and does a marvellous job of capturing the desperation and hopelessness that would come with trying to save a city from a Lovecraftian nightmare.

Resources are always scarce and swiftly diminishing as the Kaiju trashes the place, your defences never quite feel up to the task, at least not until you’ve managed to create yourself a laser cannon or a mech suit. You are constantly walking on a tightrope between keeping enough units in play to slow the kaiju while having enough resources left to hopefully crowd-source the development of an anti-kaiju serum. It’s this balancing act that makes Kaiju Wars so thrilling and tense to play.        

That is until the shady organisation controlling the Kaiju throw a spanner in the works by playing a Dark Project card that completely unravels all your best-laid plans.

Dark Project cards represent the unexpected plot twists that befall any team dealing with a Kaiju from forest fires, and the unstoppable beasts mutating, to your computer infrastructure being hacked, which inevitably leads to the shadowy cabal figuring out where Wagner is hiding, and the buggers setting King Dong on it.  

Thankfully you can counter these embuggerances with your own Project cards. Handed out in groups of three each turn, these range from simple things like boosts to your security or coffers, and constructing more labs and military buildings to tide-turning tech like Kaiju busting mechs, and upgrades to your whole military. It’s a simple system, but one that injects just enough randomness into proceedings to elevate Kaiju Wars from what could have become a fairly predictable asymmetrical strategy game into something that feels a lot more vibrant, varied and puzzly at times.     

The neon pixel art of the Kaiju Wars is a clever nostalgic nod to the period when monster movies reigned supreme in the VHS collections of movie nerds all over the world and the chiptune soundtrack is really catchy to boot. 

The only issue is one that often plagues strategy games on the switch, and that’s that the text on screen is tiny, especially in handheld mode, while trying to select units can also be fiddly, even when you use touch screen controls ( although they are welcome). 

Final Verdict

Kaiju Wars is a slick well-presented strategy game, that captures the spirit of the monster movies that inspired it perfectly. It manages to balance challenge with chuckles throughout its 10-15 hour campaign. Although not exactly short, it doesn’t wear out its welcome either.    


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