If you are a fan of strategy games, you will enjoy these top-notch mobile titles. These include classics, new IPs, and some that blend genres.
Clash Royale is a top-ranked strategy game that features fast-paced battles and tower defense. It also offers players a chance to win in global tournaments.
1. Xenowerk Tactics
If you love turn-based squad-level strategy games, Xenowerk Tactics is an excellent choice. Swedish developers Pixelbite have a long and enviable history of producing high-quality premium games, and this one is no exception to the rule.
In Xenowerk, you play as the commander of a unit sent to the Arctic to investigate reports of mutated lifeforms infiltrating the planet after mysterious experiments. You’ll need to clear the labs of infected bodies and weed out the bad guys before they can spread their deadly virus.
The game is a little rough around the edges, but it’s also very much a fun experience. The top-down perspective works well and the gameplay is fast, satisfying, and incredibly addictive.
It might not be as complex or as deep as Firaxis’ XCOM, but it’s an excellent tactical squad-based strategy game that makes use of more modern design tools. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two with your tablet, and a nice way to break up the monotony of your daily grind.
You can choose from a variety of units and abilities, so there’s plenty to keep you interested and motivated. Moreover, you can unlock new heroes and build your own formations in the Sharing Cardpool to come up with your own unique strategies.
You can choose from several countries and watch your empire grow into one of the world’s most powerful civilizations. It also has a great control system that allows you to command multiple troops and heroes with each swipe of your finger.
2. Six Ages
The spiritual successor to 1999 indie cult classic King of Dragon Pass, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind is a story-driven strategy game that immerses players in a world of ancient gods and magic. Hundreds of small encounters build into an epic, multi-generational tale of survival and inter-clan alliances.
In Six Ages, you lead a clan of horse riders in Glorantha, a fantasy world where gods are real. As chief of your clan, you have a variety of responsibilities, from trading to herd management to building relationships with other clans.
You make decisions about your clan’s life, and have to decide how you’ll respond to random events that appear in the Gloranthan year (five seasons). These range from mundane law disputes to spiritual or demonic incursions. You can make two macro-level decisions per season, and your clan’s ring of seven nobles will enact those decisions as best they can, and will also give you advice on how to handle the events that arise.
One of the big things that makes the game play so well is the way your clan members interact with each other, both when they are in their individual roles and when they are collectively leading the clan. Depending on the situation, they may enact certain decisions for you or not, and they can even retaliate if you act out of line.
This is a great way to create tension within your clan, as they may react differently to certain events than you might, and it adds to the overall sense of realism in the game. It’s also a good example of how Stafford’s Glorantha setting, which includes over 400 pages of lore, can have a profound effect on the game.
3. Euclidean Skies
If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you mix Hitman GO’s clockwork turn-based puzzles, Monument Valley’s aesthetics and a Rubik’s Cube suspended in space, then Euclidean Skies is the game for you. It answers that question – and more – with a delicious jambalaya of mind-bending puzzles, isometric perspective and, best of all, AR.
Using augmented reality, you’ll see fantastic castles floating in your living room, and you’ll be able to use them as a guide to find the exits. Shifting and rotating is the focus here, so you’ll need to think about the architecture from multiple viewpoints at once, aiming to outmaneuver your enemies.
The game’s 40 levels are split into four chapters, each with different mechanics requiring a certain strategy. You’ll need to use all the available power-ups, as well as orienting your character correctly on each level before you can beat the enemies lurking on its surface.
It’s a little fiddly at times, especially if you play on a smaller screen, but it’s an impressive demonstration of the potential for mobile gaming to produce AAA experiences. And despite its few issues, it’s an absolute must-buy for fans of mind-bending puzzle games.
Taking its inspiration from the wildly successful Euclidean Lands, this sequel is a more ambitious and visually richer game. Its art style stretches from the minimal minimalism of its predecessor to a surreal, textured world, where towers loom over hulking monsters and a sword-wielding protagonist swings his blade.
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of the best strategy games ever made. Taking on the role of the commander of an elite paramilitary force, you lead your troops into battle against a mysterious alien invasion. It’s not just about combat: you’ll need to build and expand your XCOM base of operations, recruit and develop unique operatives, manage your money, and negotiate with governments around the world.
The iPad version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown brings the tense atmosphere and heart-pounding challenges of the PC and console versions to your mobile device. Despite its iPad interface, the game’s classic turn-based strategy remains intact.
In addition to the traditional turn-based strategy, XCOM: Enemy Unknown adds the concept of permadeath to the mix, which can make for some interesting decisions when you’re trying to level up your squad to perfection. If your character dies on the battlefield, you’ll lose them forever.
Aside from this, XCOM: Enemy Unknown also includes a number of unique missions that will push your squad’s abilities to the limit. For example, you’ll find terror missions that require you to rescue civilians and even setpiece missions where you’re forced to use your psionic powers on the aliens themselves.
While these challenges aren’t necessarily perfect, they do a great job of keeping the gameplay fresh and exciting. The game’s difficulty ramps up as you advance and more aliens appear.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be released this summer for iOS and will feature cloud saving, which will allow you to play the game on multiple devices without having to worry about resetting missions. It will also include a free multiplayer update after launch.
5. Plague Inc.
Plague Inc is a unique mix of high strategy and terrifyingly realistic simulation. Your pathogen has infected ‘Patient Zero’ and now you must evolve a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself.
This mobile/tabletop game combines area control, hand management and player interaction to create a challenging yet fun and light game that will entertain players of all skill levels. Designed with multiple pathogens and strategies for infecting the world, Plague Inc will keep you coming back for more every time you play.
Start your pathogen with zero patients and select from a range of transmissions, symptoms and abilities to enhance infection, counter attempts to develop a cure and become deadly to those infected. Balancing these elements with your current infected locations and plague type is key to winning the race for dominance over the planet and claiming the prize as the ultimate disease of all time!
Using powerful Event cards, you can manipulate the balance of power to your advantage. Allocate resources to boost testing capacity, make facemasks compulsory or lock down countries. Or, use powerful ‘Olympics’ cards to send huge numbers of infected people to a healthy continent.
Each of the 23 unique Scenarios challenges players to adapt their strategy and infect the world in a new way. From infecting a world in Ice Age to handling a new strain of Swine Flu, each scenario will add further challenge to the already intense game of disease evolution and infectious outbreak management.