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)
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.
Supercell's free to play Clash Royale (Android, iOS) may be a surprising addition to a list of old-school wargames, but Clash Royale features a cool mix of tower defense and lane pushing gameplay, all within tight 3-minute rounds. Players must carefully balance offense and defense, and with the quick play rounds, a single mistake can swing an entire match. That said, it is free to play, so expect some grindyness as you slog through matches to earn reward chests (which you must also wait to unlock), unless you shell out cash for premium currency.
GMT Games' Twilight Struggle is a modern boardgaming classic that has players leading the USA and USSR through the tumultuous years of the Cold War. Each player plays cards representing key events and personalities of the Cold War, jockeying for influence or waging war across countries worldwide, while carefully making sure that they don't raise the DEFCON level to 1, which will trigger thermonuclear armageddon. Playdek's mobile port of this strategy boardgame classic keeps a clean and readable interface that looks great on an iPad screan, while providing a decent tutorial, an AI to play against, and support for asynchronous online multiplayer games.
Take command of the Imperial Navy and fight off alien invaders in Battlefleet Gothic: Leviathan (Android, iOS), a mobile adaptation of Games Workshops' turn-based fleet battles game. Set in the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, players must carefully plot out their ships' movements in order to bring their arsenal of cannons and torpedoes to bear, while denying good firing angles to the enemy. A single-player campaign pits the Imperial Navy against the aliens of Hivefleet Leviathan, while local and online multiplayer modes let you pit your wits against other human-controlled fleets.
A fast-paced tactical wargame, Heroes of Normandie puts players in the boots of Axis and Allied soldiers fighting their way through the fields and hedgerows of France in the days after D-Day. Players must carefully manage their forces as you skirmish across the battlefield, keeping in mind each trooper's abilities as well as randomly drawn combat cards that can provide special modifiers to the game. Campaign play provides a good difficulty slope, multiplayer lets you duel against other generals, while a skirmish generator lets you customize battles. A "Rogue" mode has players trying to last as long as they can against the enemy in successive missions.
Travel back to the days of Pike and Shot in Slitherine's mobile war-game, which takes the Battle Academy Engine back to the era of Tercios, Musketeers, Roundheads and Royalists. Pike and Shot features campaigns from the great conflicts of the era, such as the Italian Wars, the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War. The game features a powerful custom and skirmish battle generator, which offers unlimited replayability. Multiplayer support allows you to play out historical battles and skirmishes online through Slitherine's own play-by-email system.