Sometimes you simply don’t want to spend three hours guiding a troop of fragile units past an enemy horde. It can be frustrating to lose hours of progress because of a single misstep, and nothing’s worse than having to restart a battle because you forgot to save.
However, there’s no sense in completely forgoing your strategy fix - and to help you out, we’ve chosen six titles that don’t require eons per session.
1. 868-HACK - it’s hard to think of a more mechanically complex iOS title than this one - and unfortunately, that’s probably a turn-off for many mobile gamers. But unlike other titles of similar depth, 868-HACK features concise 5 - 10 minute play sessions, meaning that those averse to lengthy battles will relish this challenging gem.
2. Out There - limited resources, mechanical woes, and potentially deadly interactions with inscrutable alien species make Out There more about staving off death rather than preventing it altogether. Thankfully, you won’t have to contend with unruly controls in this title, as the tap-based gameplay is streamlined in the best way.
3. Pathogen - a portable strategy game best enjoyed with friends, the real draw of Pathogen is in the rapid fluctuation of its varied bouts. You may have control of much of the board, but with a single well-chosen move, your opponent can completely consume your pieces - leading to matches that excite until the very finish.
4. The Nightmare Cooperative - although it might look like a traditional roguelike, one key feature sets this one apart from the rest: your dungeon-crawling party members are incapable of moving separately, and instead advance simultaneously. This makes The Nightmare Cooperative a game of careful planning and tactical positioning.
5. Battleheart - attention, please! This is your weekly re-download reminder. For those who may have forgotten, Battleheart is an old standby of the App Store, delighting with brilliant controls and charming visuals. The sequel is enjoyable as well, but lacks the same graphical appeal as its still sublime predecessor.
6. Auro - don’t be dissuaded by the admittedly hideous icon of this comparatively new release. Beyond its unassuming exterior, Auro achieves strategic bliss by limiting you to pushing monsters in order to vanquish them. This conceit makes you think outside the box and find new ways to deposit demons in the drink.
Did we miss any off the list? Let us know in the comments.