Anurag loves playing video games. His guides and listicles revolve around popular iOS, Android, PC, and console games.
Turn-based strategy (TBS) games are something like chess—they include built-in pauses, in which you can consider your tactics and plan the defeat your opponent. A TBS title allows you to build a formidable army and use the skills and abilities of each unit to inflict maximum damage on enemy units. Moves made by your opponent may force you to change your strategy, and this aspect makes battle more engaging.
For Android, there are a few satisfying turn-based strategy games, covering a range of genres like wargame, fantasy, and squad-based combat. Here are six titles available on the Google Play Store.
- Hunters: Episode One
- Great Big War Game
- Battle for Mars
- Greed Corp.
- King's Bounty: Legions
Hoplite is a turn-based strategy game with a hexagonal play area. Inspired by dungeon-crawling games, this TBS title puts you into the boots of a warrior. Armed with a spear and shield, your 8-bit hero must find a way to recover the “Fleece of Yendor.” You guide him through the underworld, avoiding or killing demolitionists, demon archers, and footmen.
Each level has a uniquely hexagonal game board where enemies are randomly placed on stone tiles. You will need to move your character tile-to-tile to the end point to reach the next level. And because moves are turn-based, you have plenty of time to think about your next move. A proper tactical approach would be to move away and hit enemies using your spear, a long-range weapon. Getting past those quick-footed enemies is tough, so you must get your tactics right. Fortunately, there are plenty of new tactics to discover every time you jump into a new hexagonal game board.
Hoplite’s first 16 levels are free to play, but you will need to spend cash to download additional levels. The premium version also unlocks achievements and new power-up choices at the temple.
2. Hunters: Episode One
Hunters: Episode One is a tactical turn-based title with a focus on team-based tactics and combat. Played from a top-down perspective, this squad-level combat game lets you command a ragged team of heavily armed, ruthless mercenaries as they storm into enemy territory blasting anything that comes in their way. But don’t expect it to be a fast-paced action game. It’s a rather slow, tactical game that gives you ample time to plan your tactics and use your small team to inflict maximum damage on enemy territory.
Missions are generally focused on tactical kills and fetching objects of interest. Maps are varied, and the game gets regular mission updates. However, one needs to be online to get new missions and maps. Completing missions lets you earn in-game cash, which can be used to upgrade mercenary armor, weapons, and other equipment.
Movement and attack rely on action points. One must use these precious points strategically to ensure maximum kills. Visuals are slick and quite polished. Maps are designed to ensure a challenging gameplay. One can easily zoom in to get a closer look at combat or zoom out to get a “bird’s eye” view of the battlefield. Play Hunters on your Android tablet PC to witness superb graphics and excellent character models.
Hunters has plenty of surprises in store for strategy gamers. The $5 price tag may irk many players, but they won’t be disappointed with the gameplay.
3. Great Big War Game
A large-scale turn-based strategy title, Great Big War Game adds a cartoon-like flavor to the war game genre. The game focuses on land, air, and sea skirmishes fought between the Red and the Blue army. Its large 50-mission single-player campaign presents various objectives, such as rescuing and escorting personnel to a safe zone, assassinating enemy generals, and building a strong defense against the Red army. The game’s riotous one-liners and funny moments are a comical take on intense military battles.
In Great Big War Game’s turn-based combat, Red and Blue teams take turns moving and attacking each other on a hex grid, using a variety of units, including snipers, bazookas, and rocket launchers, as well as an assortment of air and naval units. There’s also some resource-digging, which involves collecting money from captured oil fields. The money can later be used to buy advanced units. Upgrades can be made using battle points, which are earned throughout the campaign mission.
Multiplayer skirmishes against human opponents are far more engaging than battling AI enemies. But both players must be online to ensure combat takes place quickly.
Visually, Great Big War Game is way ahead of its competitors. The 3D graphics are top-notch, and the cartoonish characters and units are adorable. If you love strategy games, then you should not miss this epic war game.
4. Battle for Mars
If you have played games like Advance Wars, then you might be familiar with Battle for Mars’s turn-based mechanics. Instead of fighting enemies on terrestrial territories, you will be taking on evil Martians on the Red Planet. The futuristic Android turn-based strategy game allows players to recruit units of different abilities, not just soldiers but mechanical combatants like Bomb Bots, Sniper Bots, Rocket Robots, and Transport Bots.
Deploying these units takes thought. The map layout forces players to adopt different tactics for the varied terrains. There are more than 15 large-scale mission maps, each more complicated and challenging than the other.
The game’s 2D visuals are adorable, with units of futuristic design. Battle for Mars's artwork and design seem to have come right out of alien B movies. The game is available in two versions: free (one map) and paid (which contains all 16 maps). The paid version also has a multiplayer mode to battle online players.
5. Greed Corp.
Greed Corp., an excellent fun game, stands out from the crowd with its destruction-centric gameplay and endearing visuals. Set in a steampunk universe, this game lets you control adorable mechanical beasts that destroy rival beasts and grab territory, all in a hexagonal grid where you and your enemies try out every means of destroying each other.
Besides battles, the game also focuses on resource-harvesting and unit-building. The game’s uniqueness lies in its destructible terrain. Building anything will blow up a chunk of the hexagonal grid. The crumbling hex columns are a treat to watch. Destroying enemy units and buildings help eliminate factions. The last one to survive is the winner.
There are some really fun units to build, including cannons to destroy enemy hex columns, cutesy walkers to grab land, and transport units to carry walkers to another location. The game has a multiplayer mode where you can topple rival online players off of hex columns. But the single-player campaign mode is plenty large, and each mission offers plenty of fun moments.
Greed Corp. has a single-player mode with over 20 unique destructible maps and a multiplayer mode that lets you play against online and local players via Wi-Fi. It looks more like a board game than a TBS title, but it is extremely addicting.
6. King's Bounty: Legions
A fantasy turn-based strategy game for Android, Legions pits you against an army of monsters and warlords in a hexagonal battleground filled with secrets and treasure chests. This Android spinoff of the popular King's Bounty series keeps the intense turn-based combat intact and offers a variety of quests.
Quest-based combat is fun and allows you to battle deadly opponents with a host of units: knights, pirates, dragons, and anthropomorphic characters, armed with their own weapons and skills. Units can be upgraded to improve their attack and defense skills.
Turn-based battles are more like a game of chess, where you and your opponent take turns tapping on a hexagon to move units and tapping on enemies to launch attacks. There will be ranged attacks in the form of deadly spells, which can be launched from a distance. Offensive and defensive spells play an important part of your strategy. Once the battle is over, you can gather loot from the eliminated armies. The loot can later be used to craft new items, weapons, and equipment.
You will need to be online to play this game, which may be frustrating for some but necessary because many elements require an Internet connection to load. The game graphics are bright, colorful, and gorgeous. You will just adore those lovely visual effects when you cast a spell on your opponents.
The environment is quite lively, and the animation is top-notch. The game is optimized for Android tablet PCs powered by NVIdia Tegra3, and may require a faster processor to ensure smoother gameplay. A must-download game if you love lengthy strategic campaigns and intense turn-based combat.
Matt on October 16, 2015:
It's not quite turn based, but it is a relaxed pace - Star Dancer is a good game I've played with my dad...very pretty.
Samuel Franklin on January 03, 2015:
Battle for Mars looks great, I've been enjoy Great Big War Game lately.