Over the years, strategy games for iPhone and iPad have evolved significantly. Apple’s ecosystem may not have been known for its gaming capabilities, but these strategy games have an entirely different story to tell.
From conquering virtual kingdoms to commanding armies, you have hundreds of exceptional strategy games just a tap away from you. Some of the most popular genres you will find on your devices are turn-based strategy, real-time showdowns, and tower defense.
➡️ The Complexity of Strategy Games on iPhone and iPad
These games are more than just fun; they have mind-bending adventures that demand your wit, cunning, and adaptability. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the genre, you will be hooked to your screen for hours.
However, these aren’t casual games; instead, they have deep and intricate layers of gameplay that demand you to think critically, strategize meticulously, and adapt on the fly to secure victory. Some of the aspects that you need to acquire include thoughtful planning, tactical knowledge, resource management, multiplayer brilliance, and more.
Now that we have spoken about the complexity and the adrenaline rush these strategy games have to offer, let’s look at my favorite list of games.
Bloons TD 6
Bloons TD 6 is a masterpiece in the world of strategy mobile gaming. It’s not just another tower defense game; it’s a balloon-popping extravaganza that will have you hooked from the very first round.
The concept of the game is simple: colorful balloons follow a predetermined path, and your job is to strategically place an arsenal of monkey towers to pop them before they escape. But hold on! This might feel like a piece of cake, but you need to think strategically and build your tower each time. This game has endless opportunities and experimentation you can go for.
Bloons TD 6 has a plethora of content to keep you engaged. You have 23 powerful Monkey Towers with 3 upgrade paths. Other than this, it brings in 14 diverse Heroes with multiple upgrades. Above all, you can battle through a series of maps that have multiple themes, rules, and quests to conquer.
If you love multiplayer co-op gaming, this is perfect for you. You can either add 3 more players to play the game with or enjoy the single-player offline gaming even if the Wi-Fi does not work. Furthermore, the visuals are equally stunning.
The colorful, cartoony graphics create an inviting and enjoyable atmosphere. Towers have distinct and delightful animations, and watching balloons pop in a colorful burst is oddly satisfying.
➡️ Download: iOS
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans is very popular and amongst my favorite games of all time. There hasn’t been any game that comes close for a decade now. After spending hours raiding, building, and strategizing in this virtual kingdom, I can truly say the hype is worth it.
In the real-time strategy genre, Clash of Clans invites you to build and fortify your village, train troops, and raid other players’ bases for resources. This game is highly addictive, and you cannot get enough of it. You have to keep upgrading your defenses, expand your village, and even join forces with other players.
Each aspect of this game requires strategy. From managing all your resources to troop deployment, everything requires careful planning. The gameplay revolves around your village, which you must develop and protect. For this, you have to build your base and train your troops.
One of the core components of Clash of Clans is raiding other players’ villages to steal their resources. Successful raids yield resources that you can use to further upgrade your village. But this isn’t everything. There is so much more to this game once you get your hands on it.
Furthermore, the graphics are stunning. The character and building designs are visually delightful, and the animations add personality to the game. Despite its simplicity, the art style draws you into the world and keeps you invested.
➡️ Download: iOS
Let’s talk about a legend in the turn-based strategy genre. Invisible, Inc is a perfect blend of strategy and stealth. You can start off the game by selecting the 10 unlockable agents along with 6 agent variants and 6 starting programs.
The agents then navigate through different levels, infiltrate high-security facilities, and complete various objectives on the way. Each move you take is a part of the turn-based mechanics that gives you a new thrill each time.
You can observe enemy patrol patterns, hack security systems, and utilize your agents’ abilities strategically to stay one step ahead of your adversaries. The game offers you a limited set of powers and credits, which you can use for multiple objectives and getting equipment. Each agent has a unique set of abilities that helps you through missions and levels.
There are 5 game modes and difficult levels to cater to different player preferences. Furthermore, each mode has different narratives that unfold as you move forward with the campaign. Above all, the graphics look unique and is visually engaging. Although it looks minimalistic, overall, it blends in perfectly.
➡️ Download: iPad
Do you love dark humor and realistic stimulation that is also terrifying? Well, Plague Inc. takes you on a captivating and thought-provoking journey where it’s You vs. the World, and the strongest can survive.
The game was released more than a decade ago, in 2012, and still continues to be on our top 10 list of the best strategy games. As for the gameplay, your objective is to design and create the most lethal plague ever that will wipe off humans from the planet. Pretty dark, right?
It’s crazy to even think that killing billions of people can be so fun. Now, you aren’t only limited to creating the plague but constantly evolving it over time to get the maximum results, i.e., killing humans. This may sound gory, but at the same time, it is something out of the box and unique.
Apart from the dark humor and insanity, this game also gives an educational angle to it where you will learn more about how diseases spread and mutate and much more about the healthcare system.
The major aspect of the game that is sure addictive is to keep yourself engaged. The question is how this strategy is based. Well, keeping up with the plague and using different methods to spread it across the maximum is what matters the most. If you make it too lethal, then it will kill the people even before the virus could spread.
Oh, and did you know that you could play it offline? This makes it one of the best offline games for iPhone and iPad that you can play today!
➡️ Download: iOS
Pocket Tanks is a simple yet addictive game that will make you nostalgic all the way. The game was released back in 2001, and you can now play it on your iPad and iPhone, too. Not only does the game bring back fond memories, but the exceptional soundtrack will bring your childhood back.
Speaking of the gameplay, it is pretty simple: players take turns aiming and firing at each other using a wide variety of weapons, each with unique properties and effects. The game starts off with selecting whether you are looking to play alone or with 2 players. Then, you can select the color of your tank and add your name.
Moving ahead, you can choose a series of weapons from the list that you will be using on your opponent. The weapons are the standout feature of the game, ranging from classic artillery like the “Nuke” to more imaginative fare like the “Funky Bomb”.
You get a limited number of moves that allow your tank to move back and forth. Also, you can select the angle, weapon, and power to shoot before making the move. Each time you shoot, and if it hits the other player, you get points.
Each move is crucial, and you need to strategically fire, or else it can go in vain. The game is free to play for everyone. You can opt for the deluxe version as well, which comes with more features and weapons.
➡️ Download: iPad
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
If you have been a massive fan of the Civilization series like me, then you cannot miss out on its latest installment. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is known for its exceptional depth, grandeur, and strategy right from the beginning.
As a player, you are given the task of establishing and nurturing a civilization from its earliest days to the heights of modernity. You have carefully crafted every move to build an empire, wage war, conduct diplomacy, and everything else for the growth of the civilization you have started.
This isn’t only about exceptional strategic advances, but it is highly immersive. You’ll make choices about your government, select technological advancements, and shape the culture of your people.
As a beginner who has never played this game, it might feel a bit overwhelming while making critical decisions. However, there are tutorials to help you throughout and learn more. The game has a vast scope and limitless replayability. There are random maps, different leaders, and other conditions that will always give you a new sense of the game every time.
If you love 4X games, then Sid Meier’s Civilization VI ticks all the right boxes. In fact, it’s one of the best 4X games around!
➡️ Download: iOS
XCOM: Enemy Within
Another game from a decade ago has now been expanded and made compatible with iOS devices. XCOM: Enemy Within is here to stay and deliver an intense and captivating strategy gaming experience.
This is a turn-based strategy game that takes you on an adventure to repel the extraterrestrial species. As the leader of an elite squad of soldiers, you have to make critical decisions and go on missions against the alien invasion. Each soldier has a unique ability that can be put to the right use.
You have the role of managing the resources and global operations, balancing the budget, allocating tasks, and much more to keep defending the planet. Moreover, the game offers a series of customizations where you can change your appearance, level up your abilities, etc.
The game can be a bit challenging at times, considering there are multiple missions with different objectives to conquer. You need to be witty, strategic, and, above all, have the willingness to learn from failure.
This game version features new soldier abilities, new enemy threats, resources, story elements, maps, and so much more to keep you stuck with your smartphones for hours.
➡️ Download: iOS
FINAL FANTASY TACTICS: WotL
This game is my personal favorite because of its rich storytelling and narrative that keeps you engaged, apart from the usual strategic gameplay. All the other games we have spoken about are undoubtedly the best ever, but none has the immersive storytelling experience that FINAL FANTASY TACTICS offers.
The perfect blend of turn-based gameplay with tactical RPG makes this game an epic package. This game has everything you can look forward to, such as class warfare, politics, murder, manipulation, and more. It has plots and subplots that might seem confusing and complicated at times.
One of the major hallmarks of this game is the job system that brings in extensive customization and character growth, making every playthrough unique. As mentioned, storytelling in this game is at its peak that almost feels like reading a novel. The graphics here are revamped for the iOS series and look decent.
Moving on, the touch controls are smooth and overall good to play on. However, if you are someone who prefers button controls as this game was first released, it might feel difficult to deal with. Don’t worry though; we’ve got you covered with our selection of the best iPhone game controllers!
➡️ Download: iOS
Here we are with an exclusive list of all the strategy games for iPhone and iPad users. Whether you are a fan of tactical depth or immersive storytelling, there is something for every gamer. As someone who might be new to this genre, it can be difficult to tackle the challenges, but over time, you will be able to learn your way through it, make strategic decisions, and design plans accordingly.
Among all, I have spent most of my time playing Clash of Clans not only on my iOS devices but also on my Androids. Hence, there is no other game that can beat this. However, when it comes to storytelling, I have to go with FINAL FANTASY TACTICS.
And, if you’re really looking to dive into the depth of games that the Apple ecosystem has to offer, check out our list of the best iPhone games that you can play right now!
Kanika is a freelance writer that is looking to add meaning to what you read and consume in the digital World for 7 years now. She loves writing about Gaming related content for both pro and casual Gamers. You can find hundreds of reviews, guides,… read more