Best Android Strategy Games
Rome: Total War
The strategy game makes its long-awaited Android debut in a very satisfying port that has you commanding your troops across a sprawling battlefield. In this turn-based campaign, you play as one of 19 factions trying to seize control of the empire. Touch controls let you marshal your armies and resources in real-time battles that unfold on your smartphone screen. Rome: Total War won't work on every device — Feral lists official support for 28 phones and tablets, including every Google Pixel, the Galaxy S7 or later, and assorted devices from OnePlus, LG, Moto, HTC and more — but if you've got a phone with the horsepower, you should find this a very immersive experience.
The war is over, but now the harder task of rebuilding begins. In Rebel Inc., the spiritual successor to Ndemic Creations' groundbreaking hit Plague Inc., you take on an entrenched insurgency while keeping your troops safe and winning over hearts and minds. Players will have to balance their military and political needs, pitting their troops against nimble insurgents on the map while also making sure that they win over civilians by building infrastructure and ensuring a stable government. Press too fast with the military, and you'll likely catch civilians in the crossfire; flood the country with development money, and you'll need to watch for inflation and corruption. That forces Rebel Inc. players to take a measured pace in this challenging but accessible simulation.
Assassin's Creed Rebellion
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series brings the secret war between the Assassins and Templars to your Android device with Assassin’s Creed Rebellion. This game combines elements from the movie and the fan favorite Ezio trilogy, allowing players to take command of their own fortress and bureau of Assassins. You’ll engage in stealthy missions to undermine Templar control of the Spanish Inquisition, building up your stronghold, recruiting your own cadre of Assassins and training them to full potential. You’ll have to tailor your team to match the stealth, traps, and combat challenges of each mission. You’ll also have to deal with free-to-play gacha mechanics and timers, though Assassin’s Creed Rebellion doesn’t feel particularly egregious in its grind mechanics.
Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout
Break out of the world’s toughest prisons in The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout. As a crafty convict, you’ll need to carefully manage your time, reporting in for headcount, lights out and other prison routines while also exploring your surroundings, stealing useful items and tools, and figuring out escape routes to pull off the ultimate getaway. In addition to the five brand new prisons to explore and escape from, The Escapists 2 includes a reworked combat system including blocks and attack chains to provide a more challenging experience.
Kingdom Rush Vengeance
The classic tower defense series returns with Kingdom Rush Vengeance, flipping the script as you lead the forces Vez’nan against the armies of good. You’ll need to plan carefully, balancing your picks of ranged, magic, troop and artillery towers; you also need to manage powers and upgrades to deal with the enemies over 16 levels. Vengeance is already a $5 download, but more tower variants and premium heroes are available as in-app purchases.
Hereos of Flatlandia
Heroes of Flatlandia is a mobile-friendly Heroes of Might & Magic clone that's actually pretty decent and only costs $1.99 to play. In the game, you lead armies of elves, orcs or undead, exploring a board-game like overworld map. Along the way, you’ll gather troops, treasure, and resources to upgrade your cities and overwhelm your enemies. Each faction comes with a pair of heroes to choose from as well as seven distinct units offering their own unique abilities, all of which you'll need to take advantage of to beat the AI or human players in the game's turn-based battle layer. You can battle it out in skirmishes against AI or play hotseat multiplayer with your friends, but there’s no online multiplayer option at this time.
Battle of Polytopia
Battle of Polytopia takes the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) genre of strategy games and pares it down into a mobile-friendly format. Players take command of one of the game’s many tribes, as they try to rack up the highest score possible in 30 turns by exploring the map, developing their civilization, and dealing with their neighbors. The game’s quick-playing mechanics and short time limit cuts out the fat from the 4X formula to provide a sleek and mobile-friendly strategy title that doesn’t skimp on strategic choices. It’s one of our long-time faves, and the recent addition of asynchronous online multiplayer adds another wonderful layer of replayability to an excellent mobile strategy game.
In Alien: Blackout, you're Amanda Ripley, and you're trapped on a disabled space station. Even worse, you've got company in the form of one of those terrifying xenomorphs made famous by the Alien movies. Your only means of escape comes in the form of a spaceship that's just docked on the space station — help the crew find the supplies they need without getting eaten, and you can make your escape. Of course, all that strategizing ond order-giving needs to happen without the xenomorph figuring out just where you're hiding. Alien: Blackout is a fairly intense strategy game that doesn't skimp on graphics through seven different levels.
Build the skyscraper of your dreams in Project Highrise, a building management sim that's made the jump from PC to mobile devices. Gameplay is exactly what the title suggests: build, manage and develop your own high rise tower. That means hours of gameplay as you add restaurants, stores, apartments, and offices, all while trying to balance the budget and keep your tenants happy. Players can engage in a variety of story scenarios or play the game in sandbox mode. The mobile version of the game also comes with all of the extra content added into the PC version, such as the Tokyo Towers, Miami Malls, and Las Vegas expansion packs.
Kingdom Rush developer Ironhide offers more mobile strategy madness with Iron Marines. The game fuses Starcraft-style realt-time strategy unit and base command with Kingdom Rush’s signature tower defense management, as you lead your troops and heroes through a 14-mission campaign against alien threats. Multiple difficulty modes add to the replayability, while special levels provide an extra challenge. While the game is a premium title, it also includes in-app purchases to unlock heroes or extra credits.
The pint-sized Pocket City captures the magic of a proper urban planning game like SimCity in a mobile-friendly package. As mayor to a fledgling town, it's up to you to see to the needs of your citizens, as you construct roads, zones, and utilities to attract citizens while keeping an eye on your tax income, costs, traffic congestion, and other variables. It may sound like a handful, but a lot of information is accessible in easy-to-read infographics and charts. That lets you get down to fixing any problems as they arise. The game includes a progression system that unlocks new buildings and upgrades as you level up your city, while also adding a light layer of sidequests and objectives to achieve as your city keeps growing.
Supercell's free to play Clash Royale 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 game’s quick play rounds, a single mistake can swing an entire match. That said, Clash Royale 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.
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions brings the classic turn-based fantasy game to iOS devices. Combining RPG and strategy game elements, Tactics brings players to the war-torn land of Ivalice as the young knights Ramza and Delita caught up in a brewing civil war. Featuring a revised English translation and a deep, well-written plot that feels like Game of Thrones (by way of anime) War of the Lions is an engaging and challenging strategy RPG.
Command a strike team of power-armored warriors in the Trese Brothers’ Templar Battleforce. This squad tactics RPG is set in their Star Traders universe and takes its inspiration from the classic Space Hulk games. Players send their Templars out on boarding actions, ground battles and other varied missions on the 55-level campaign. The game really stands out in its rich squad customization system, allowing you to unlock a variety of skills and gear for each Templar warrior so that you’re always ready with the right tools and training for the mission.
A Planet of Mine
A Planet of Mine does the neat trick of taking the notoriously complex 4X genre and trimming it down into a mobile-friendly format, and with a free-to-play monetization scheme that doesn't feel exploitative to boot. Rather than spread itself out, A Planet of Mine focuses on building and developing the planets of your budding space empire, with players assigning workers to harvest resources and build structures on a rotating globe. As your civilization develops, you can colonize other worlds and encounter other species to befriend or wage war upon. The game comes with a number of races to start with and a Discovery game mode, while in-app purchases unlock other races and focused game modes.
Why We Love Strategy Games
More than just crazy twitch-fests, the best strategy games challenge the mind, presenting deep tactical puzzles, strategic dilemmas, and resource management challenges. They’re also pretty darned fun. From turn-based strategy titles to top-down tactical shootouts and more, check out our favorite Android strategy games.