Strategy games challenge the mind, providing tactical puzzles and combat conundrums for players to untangle. Whether engaged in far-future combat or immersed in fantasy melees, strategy games let you unleash your inner general. Take command, and try out our picks for the best mobile strategy games. (Photo Credit: Dennizn/Shutterstock)
Klei Entertainment’s Invisible, Inc. is a stylish cyberpunk infiltration game that’s a peculiar mix of turn-based strategy and puzzle gameplay. As leader of a small team of fugitive agents from Invisible, Inc., you must pit yourself against all the technological might of the world’s great megacorps, infiltrating their strongholds to make off with valuable information, tools and resources. Players are almost always the underdog, carefully planning the actions of their agents and calculating risk versus reward, as the clock keeps turning and the alert level gradually increases. Invisible, Inc. features procedurally generated levels as well as campaign and endless game modes. With a roster of unlockable agents, gear and hacking programs, the game offers a lot of replayability.
Stoic Studios' Viking-inspired epic continues in Banner Saga 2 (Android, iOS), which takes the original's turn-based tactical combat and gorgeous art design and dials it up a notch. Players take control of the giant Iver and a caravan of human and Varl survivors fleeing an invading horde of the stony Dredge, along the way becoming a symbol of hope for the broken world. As the characters flee to safety, the game introduces a gritty parallel narrative with the berserker Bolverk and his mercenary Ravens who carve a path of blood and fire in their struggle for survival. The game spices up combat with a variety of new allies and foes, each introducing new mechanics and special abilities to mix up the original's tight, if occasionally repetitive combat.
Demon's Rise 2: Lords of Chaos delivers fantastically crunchy combat encounters as you lead the vanguard of the Demon Prince Morkarn's army to crush the forces of Baron Aedin the Proud. The game's focus is squarely on the combat and hack-and-slash spectrum of RPGs as you build a roster of heroes and lead them through a 30-mission campaign, collecting gear, gold and experience. The battles are fun and well-designed, and a cover and morale system add extra dimensions to gameplay as you move to exploit the battlefield and break the will of your enemies. Multiple difficulty levels, side missions and a wealth of character options add to the replay value of Demon's Rise 2, making it well worth a go for fans of tactical combat and RPGs.
Mika Mobile’s Lost Frontier (Android, iOS) is a turn-based tactics game that draws inspiration from portable classics like Advance Wars, while giving the battles a Wild West theme. Players command gunslingers and riders, as well as Gatling guns and fantastical steampunk inventions. You can choose a “Living Legend” to give your troops across-the-board bonuses, and the game offers a 24-mission campaign, themed challenge missions and a skirmish mode where you can take on the AI or other human players in pass-and-play games.
Boomzap’s Legends of Callasia (Android, iOS) provides a mobile-friendly, quick-playing strategy challenge. The free version of the game has players taking command of the Hundred Kingdoms, Revenant, or the Faeborne in a struggle for power and control of the land. The game centers around managing your heroes, who only have one action each turn; you can allocate that action to constructing or upgrading structures and cities, moving between provinces, or establishing control over neutral or enemy territories. The free version comes with the tutorial, a campaign for each of the three factions, and a selection of skirmish maps, with a $15 in-app purchase unlocking the full spread of heroes for each faction as well as 30 campaigns and all the skirmish maps.
Subterfuge (Android, iOS) is a multiplayer strategy game where diplomatic skills are just as important as strategic genius. Players take command of steampunk nations competing to harvest underwater resources while waging a slow war of attrition and betrayal, building Neptunium mines and sending fleets of driller submarines against their enemies. Games are real-time, but actions such as moving submarines to attack or defend outposts can take hours to resolve, making coordination and inter-player diplomacy a critical element of each match.
Risky Labs' “Warbits” is a love letter to the classic Advance Wars series of light wargames that has players commanding virtual armies to settle differences between galactic empires. Go to war over the great pressing issues that divide your stellar realms, such as whether a tomato is vegetable or a fruit. Warbits' humor and whimsical art style mix well with the game's simple but challenging gameplay that has players commanding a varied mix of units to engage the enemy and capture their HQ. A single-player campaign gives ample challenges, skirmish mode adds replayability, and an online asynchronous multiplayer mode lets you take on players worldwide.