The best Android strategy games

by Simon Sage

We're rounding up some of our favorite strategy games on Android for the deep thinkers out there. These are more than just simple puzzles games - these require careful planning and forethought to emerge victorious. You’ll find some great replay value in games like these too, since the same strategy won’t always work twice.

Strategy gamers, pop on your thinking caps and get downloading these outstanding Android games.


Anomaly 2

Anomaly 2 brings the same reverse-tower-defense mechanics as the original, but the updated graphics, new transforming tanks, and multiplayer mode make this sequel more than adequate. In the multiplayer mode, one player gets to be in charge of the alien defense, complete with consumable special abilities.

If you're looking for loads of tactical depth and eye candy to boot, Anomaly 2 delivers.

Autumn Dynasty

Autumn Dynasty is a finger-friendly real-time strategy game set in feudal China. Players direct a varied force to victory across a wide range of terrain types in a single-player campaign or or skirmish mode. There’s a full tech tree to research and buildings to construct. Commands are made with a variety of gestures, each leaving a stylish calligraphic trail (though standard button input is included for those who want more traditional controls as well).

Autumn Dyansty is the best traditional real-time strategy game you’ll find on mobile.

Breach & Clear

Breach & Clear is a SWAT-style tactical combat game. Players recruit and arm elite military forces based on real-world teams. Using cover, intelligently breaching doorways, picking deployment positions, and using nonlethal deterrents are all a part of the game. Positioning is a pretty big deal, since one misstep can allow an angry terrorist to get the jump on you. As you get through missions, your team members earn experience and perks to take on bigger threats.

Breach & Clear offers deep strategic gameplay perfect for fans of fast and furious shooters.

Devil’s Attorney

Devil's Attorney is a strategic law game that revolves around a skeezy lawyer in the 70s called Max McMann. With logic twists and befuddling charisma, he dismantles lawsuits against shady characters, earns a profit, and decks out his apartment in the gaudiest things you could imagine. The game has a cartoony, colorful art style, and excellent voice acting that fully conveys McMann's sleaze and depravity. The game mechanics are also solid. Every round in the courtroom, action points are spent on abilities like "Reverse Psychology" to reduce the credibility of evidence, lawyers, and witnesses. Home decor enhances materialism, decadence and vanity scores to unlock new abilities.

Devil's Attorney is a ton of fun, and you'll get at least a few chuckles out of the dialogue.

Frozen Synapse

Frozen Synapse is an abstract strategic shooter with lots of possibilities. Players determine every minute action of their squad members, including how long they take to get from point A to point B, when to pause and check certain angles, ducking beneath cover, and setting a variety waypoints along the way. This is very much a thinking man’s action game, and the abstract art style keeps things visually interesting.

Frozen Synapse is a cool, calculated take on combat.

Kingdom Rush Frontiers

Kingdom Rush Frontiers brings the acclaimed tower defense game to the next level. In addition to the same goofy, frantic fantasy tower defense that you remember from the first Kingdom Rush, there are a whole slew of new heroes to pick from, each with their own special abilities that you can upgrade as you progress through the single-player campaign. Of course, there are also a ton of new towers, enemies, and bosses to explore across a wide range of difficulty ratings.

Though Kingdom Rush Frontiers can be extremely challenging, its lighthearted take on tower defense keeps you coming back for more.

Plague Inc.

Plague Inc. is a rather dark global virus simulation game. Players gently guide a disease from a modest cough to a deadly worldwide pandemic by evolving it with new symptoms, means of transmission, and resistances. Over time, players unlock new disease types with their own unique traits. World events also randomly pop up every game, forcing you to change your evolution path. With an in-app purchase, you can get rid of ads and add a fast-forward option, or shortcut to new virus types.

As morbid as it may be, the Plague Inc.’s gameplay is truly infectious.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Plants vs. Zombies is a venerable mobile franchise for a good reason. The bizarre premise of protecting your back lawn from hordes of undead with sunflowers and pea shooters (literally pea plants turned weapons) is certainly part of that, but there’s a lot of tactical thinking in terms of plant choices before the attack begins, and placement. In Plants vs. Zombies 2, you’re taken back in time to defend against zombies dressed in era garb, and try out all sorts of new mechanics. The zombies are getting smarter, and challenge your reaction speed in a number of ways, though you also have a whole new complement of plants to use. Stages also have new terrain features to keep every round fresh. Plant food can be collected to super-charge any plant when things get especially hairy.

All in all, Plants vs. Zombies 2 presents deep strategic gameplay in a fun, colorful package.

Rymdkapsel

Rymdkapsel combines Tetris-style base building and real-time strategy resource management in a minimalist and finger-friendly package. Players have to build residences, feed the populace, and expand towards objectives, all while fending off wave after wave of progressively more difficult enemy air strikes. Rymdkapsel is decidedly unique in both its art and play style.

Rymkapsel prunes away all of the extras in real-time strategy games and leaves players with a clean, pure experience.

Star Command

Star Command is a sci-fi strategy game with a retro pixel art style. Players take command of a spaceship that vaguely looks like it could have been pulled out of a Star Trek movie, and recruit a crew, upgrade facilities, and embark on intergalactic adventures that usually end in a firefights with grotesque aliens. Battles take place between ships with different mini-games for each weapon system, or against boarding parties, where you need to move crew members into position, put out fires, and make sure your people don’t get sucked out into the cold void of space when there’s a hull breach. Over time, your crew increases in skills, enabling them to man the ship’s various stations with increasing effectiveness.

If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted single-player experience with great writing and a lot of long-term progression, Star Command is where it’s at.

Honorable Mentions

Eufloria

An abstract strategy game about planting trees on asteroids.

Hero Academy

Medieval turn-based combat.

Ravenmark: Mercenaries

Fantasy warfare with a tabletop feel.

Total War Battles

Pit samurai against ninjas on a hex grid.

Worms 2: Armageddon

Carefully use ridiculous weapons.

That should be enough for you to chew on for now, but what are your favorite games right now, Android fans? We’re looking to keep this list updated regularly, so keep the suggestions coming!

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