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5 strategy mobile games for iOS that play as good as they look

By , on September 17, 2018
Last modified 1 month ago

You might not want to think too hard on a Monday, and that's totally fine. But sometimes you'll be face-to-face with excellent mobile strategy games like these and it's silly not to give them a play.

We've covered some of the best strategy games on the market before and we'll definitely stand by it. Of course, you can't and shouldn't judge a book by its cover – or, in this case, a game by its visuals – but it's nice to dig into a title that has style and substance, right?

What I do know is that these mobile strategy games tick all of the boxes: content, audio, artwork, you name it. If we've missed out on your favourite, let us know in those comments below.

The Banner Sagadownload on iOS

I know, how could I not include The Banner Saga in a list about fantastic strategy games? Not only is it gorgeous in every way, it's truly an epic RPG worthy of the time and attention it demands.

The choices you make, as well as the outcome of the battles you fight, will affect your narrative and the direction of the story. There are 25 available characters to play as across two races and seven different classes, so you've got plenty of opportunity to adjust things to your personal play style.

Everything is hand-drawn and will no doubt immerse you into a fantastical world inspired by Norse mythology. It may not be game over when a character is defeated in battle, but it will affect your experience (and might make you a bit emotional).

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Kingdom New Landsdownload on iOS

Though some might say Kingdom: New Lands is a rather simple concept, it's rather wonderful in the same sense. You play as an overseeing monarch, tasked with ruling and building up their kingdom.

What starts off as a handful of tents and twigs grows into castles, barracks, farms, and more. The controls are simple, yes, but effective. You ride left or right on your mount, hire needy subjects, and use gold to fix up the land before moving on to the next territory.

Oh, and you need to protect your flourishing empire from demon invasions by building walls, hiring archers, and sending noble knights off on likely suicidal quests to take down the threat. Rebuild, recover, and rejoice.

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SteamWorld Heistdownload on iOS

This turn-based tactical strategy game is chocked full of robo-fighting, neon colours and awesome shoot-outs that'll make you feel like you're a total badass.

You're commanding a crew of scurvy, steam-driven pirates on a quest of epic proportions. As you fight through ships of enemies, you'll get to physically aim your guns to make the very best shots and upgrade your whole team to immense levels.

Easily one of the nicest looking strategy games on the market, if you fail your missions you've got no one to blame but yourself. There's no luck or chance involved here. Plus, it's an accessible game for all skill levels, even if you suck at aiming.

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FTL: Faster Than Lightdownload on iPad

FTL might not be appealing to everyone, but it's definitely one of the finest strategy games on the market. If its top-down and rather classic-looking art-style isn't enough to grip you at first, you'll have a blast with its complex gameplay.

It's a lot to get your head around at first, but since you can pause combat and evaluate your options you should never feel overwhelmed. You can upgrade and unlock new ships to play around with and work through the story based on your choices in the narrative.

You've got to really think it through, though. One rough round and you'll be gone for good. Dying in-game means you'll have to start all over again from scratch. Talk about tension.

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Ticket to Earthdownload on iOS

Ticket to Earth was an unexpected treasure when it first came out. As an odd mixture of match-something and strategic gameplay.

You play as a young orphan girl, Rose, in a sci-fi setting, as she finds herself as a rather unwilling heroine of the story. Mining robots start turning on their operators, but it's only the beginning of a sudden wave of violence, and Rose has no other choice but to sign up with the Peace Keepers.

So far there are two episodes out with two more to come in the not-so-distant future. If you've not yet watched any videos or player it yourself, it's a big recommendation from me.

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