The mobile gaming revolution has brought just about every gaming genre — from first person shooters to war games and empire builders — to our smartphones and tablets, as you'll see if you peruse our top-rated games for Android and iOS. But not all games are about battle and conflict. Some tap into the constructive side of your inner gamer. Business simulations, city builders and other management games let you unleash your inner mogul. Found your own mega-corporation, build a town from the ground up, or sail the starry dark of space in search of fortune with these 20 business and management games for your mobile device.
A pint-sized city builder without the pitfalls of free-to-play monetization, Pocket City (Android, iOS) captures the magic of a proper urban planning game like SimCity, but in a mobile-friendly package. As mayor of a fledgling town, it's up to you to see to the needs of your citizens, laying down roads, zones, and utilities to attract new residents while keeping an eye on your tax income, spending, 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. With a quick look at your city's needs and problems, you can get waste no time addressing issues that pop up. Pocket City includes a progression system that unlocks new buildings and upgrades as you level up your city; there's also a light layer of sidequests and objectives to satisfy as your city keeps growing.
Construct the skyscraper of your dreams in Project Highrise (Android, iOS), a building management sim that's made the jump from PC to mobile devices. You build, manage and develop your own high rise tower over hours of gameplay that includes adding 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, and the mobile version of the game comes with all of the extra content added into the PC version, such as the Tokyo Towers, Miami Malls, and Las Vegas expansion packs.
Test your green thumb with the mobile port of Farming Simulator 18 (Android, iOS), a hardcore farming sim that's all about delivering a crunchy but playable mobile farming simulator. Players plant and harvest different varieties of crops, manage livestock, and go behind the wheel of a fleet of high end agricultural vehicles from a variety of real-world tractor makers. You can play through the game solo with AI assistants providing backup, but the game also supports local multiplayer through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Design, build and manage your own high-security lockup in the mobile version of Prison Architect (Android, iOS). Players take charge of everything from laying down the cell blocks to managing the staff and keeping the place from rioting. You'll need to balance the happiness and needs of the staff and your prisoners, while at the same time keeping an eye out for security risks — all while trying to keep your fledgling operation within the budget. The game takes the freemium approach on mobile, with players given the basics of the campaign; more story chapters and game features become available through in-app purchases.
Can't make it to your favorite theme park for the spring break? No vacation leave banked up for the near future? Well, you can still have a bit of vicarious theme park fun with Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, an iOS game that has you in charge of a theme park, managing its attractions, designing rides and keeping your visitors happy. You can even take a virtual ride on your roller coasters and rides. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 is a full premium game, which means no pesky timers and in-app purchases to get between you and the fun.
For a slightly more abstract take, check out Concrete Jungle (Android, iOS), which uses tile-laying and deckbuilding mechanics to simulate the challenges of urban planning. Players must balance housing, economy, and expenditures to develop their city. Houses and apartments score points, while factories and economic buildings can affect the score of adjacent tiles. As your economy grows, you can unlock advanced cards with powerful abilities, but as you use more and more expensive tiles, the minimum score requirement for each row of buildings increases. The game comes with a fully-voiced singleplayer mode, custom games and even a competitive mode where opposing planners try to score points while interfering with the other player's plans.
Another excellent boardgame port that's also evocative of the business management theme, Steam: Rails to Riches (Android, iOS) challenges players to become the richest railroad baron ever by connecting routes and moving goods while at the same time edging out your competitors. Each turn, players take out loans to fund their operations, bid for turn order, and build tracks, develop towns, and set up shipments, while carefully dividing income between investing for future improvements and collecting victory points for the endgame. The app features different levels of AI difficulty, as well as support for pass-and-play local multiplayer gaming.