Strategy games are perfectly suited for tablets. Thanks to the touchscreen and large screen real estate, the gameplay flows smoothly, and the leisurely pace of most strategy games is ideal for a quick break during work or to turn boring waiting times into enjoyable moments.
If you’ve ever had the desire to rule as a megalomaniac dictator over an island nation, eliminate aliens or zombies, meddle in ancient Rome, or command military units in World War II, then you should definitely check out our favorite and the best strategy games for iPad.
We only recommend games that we have extensively played ourselves and share what we like about them and what we don’t like.
Civilization VI – Build an Empire
Strategy game enthusiasts should definitely take a closer look at Civilization VI. The game invites you to shape the history of a civilization from its beginnings to the modern era. While building your empire, managing resources, and maintaining diplomatic relations, you’ll face numerous tactical challenges. While the graphics may not match the PC version, the iPad version is equal in terms of gameplay and tactical depth.
Civilization VI offers gameplay depth like few other mobile games. It is a turn-based strategy game where you have the destiny of a civilization of your choice in your hands, attempting to build an empire that endures through the ages. You must wisely manage resources and units, research technologies, build cities, and devise military and diplomatic solutions, rewarding your tactical thinking and allowing you to write your own story as you challenge numerous historical figures from the past. Civilization VI spans from the dawn of humanity to the Information Age.
Good Presentation with Room for Improvement in Technology
Overall, the game is well-designed and lovingly crafted. However, the graphics may appear somewhat outdated, and the game is plagued by some bugs. The detailed maps, on the other hand, immerse you in the game world. This makes building your civilization an enjoyable experience.
The user interface is also well-designed and optimized for the iPad.
Weak AI at Times and Lengthy Loading Times
The artificial intelligence of your opponents is sometimes not the best. Your adversaries often make illogical or foolish decisions. Furthermore, older iPad models may experience longer loading times.
The game is currently available for €9.99 on the Apple App Store. We consider the price to be fair. Additionally, there is optional DLC content. It’s commendable that the developer has refrained from any “pay to win” mechanics.
Civilization VI is a fantastic strategy game with profound gameplay that provides hours of fun. With its well-thought-out game mechanics, nice presentation, and the freedom to write your own story, it offers top-notch entertainment. It’s a shame that the game suffers from a few bugs and the graphics may seem somewhat outdated. Also, the AI of the opponents could be better. However, Civilization VI remains one of our favorite strategy games on the iPad, inviting us to play “just one more round” time and time again.
Apple App Store: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
XCOM: Enemy Within – It’s Time to Strategically Beat Aliens
XCOM: Enemy Within is undoubtedly one of the best strategy games on the iPad. In this turn-based tactical game, you fight against an alien invasion.
With tactical skill and clever decisions, you must train your special unit, improve equipment, and save humanity from extinction.
Tactical Depth and Exciting Battles
XCOM: Enemy Within offers great gameplay that requires a lot of tactics and gradually draws you in. You control an elite unit and must navigate them through strategic battles against alien invaders. Each move requires careful consideration, as you must manage positioning and resource management. Thanks to the diverse abilities of your soldiers, the research and development system, and customization options, XCOM: Enemy Within offers high replay value.
Engaging Story and Great Atmosphere
In addition to its deep gameplay, XCOM: Enemy Within features an exciting story that immerses you in a dark and threatening world. You must not only fight the alien invasion but also deal with political decisions, resource shortages, and moral dilemmas. The immersive atmosphere of the game is enhanced by its excellent graphics and top-notch sound, drawing you even deeper into the action.
Occasional hiccups and longer loading times may occur on older iPad models. However, on current iPads, XCOM: Enemy Within runs smoothly and looks excellent.
Is the Gameplay Too Complex?
The game has a learning curve because its tactical complexity can be overwhelming for newcomers at first. Give the game a chance, and you’ll soon grasp the tactical possibilities and intricacies of the gameplay.
Another criticism concerns the control on the iPad. While the developers have made efforts to adapt the game to the touchscreen interface, it doesn’t control as smoothly as with a mouse and keyboard. However, this is a minor issue.
XCOM: Enemy Within is available for a one-time payment of €5.99 on the Apple App Store. A very fair deal!
XCOM: Enemy Within is a fantastic strategy game that excels with its tactical, profound gameplay, captivating story, and polished graphics. The engaging story, the immersive atmosphere, and the challenging game mechanics make it a must-have for strategy fans on the iPad. It’s high time to beat some aliens in a strategically correct way.
Apple App Store: XCOM: Enemy Within
Also Read: Best Free iPad Games
Rome: Total War – All Roads Lead to This Strategy Game
If you’ve ever dreamed of bringing ancient Rome to life on your iPad, you should take a look at Rome: Total War. In this game, you assume the role of a leader of an ancient civilization, leading your armies, engaging in battles, and expanding your empire.
Tactical Gameplay, Historical Setting
Rome: Total War offers motivating, tactical gameplay, immersing you in ancient Rome. You must plan your military and political strategies, build cities, engage in trade, and maintain diplomatic relations. The detailed map, historically accurate units, and challenging battles create a fantastic atmosphere and provide hours of entertainment. Thanks to the various factions and tactical options, Rome: Total War quickly becomes addictive.
Rome: Total War looks impressive. The detailed environments, realistic units, and epic battles immerse you in ancient Rome. The game’s sound design enhances the historical ambiance. The iPad’s controls have been well adapted, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.
On older iPads, longer loading times and occasional stutters may occur, but on current devices, the game runs smoothly. Overall, Rome: Total War is a technical success and particularly atmospheric.
The game is available for a one-time payment of €9.99. Additionally, you have the option to purchase downloadable content. Given the game’s extensive content and the absence of “pay to win” mechanics, the pricing is fair.
Rome: Total War is a clear recommendation for strategy game fans interested in the history of ancient Rome. With its tactical gameplay, lovingly crafted visuals, and great atmosphere, Rome: Total War keeps you in front of the screen for hours. Let your campaigns begin!
Apple App Store: Rome: Total War
Company of Heroes for iPad – Tactical Battles in World War II
The real-time strategy game Company of Heroes plunges you into the chaos of World War II and challenges your tactical skills in dynamic battles. You command two companies of U.S. soldiers and fight your way through an exciting campaign on the European front. It all begins with D-Day in Normandy.
Realistic Gameplay and Great Atmosphere
Company of Heroes offers a realistically immersive gameplay that lets you dive into the events of World War II. You take control of a unit from the Allies or the Axis powers and must adapt your strategies on the battlefield, manage resources, and make tactical decisions. The game emphasizes cover, terrain advantages, and the interaction of various unit types, leading to thrilling and challenging battles.
Sleek Graphics and Detailed Battlefields
Company of Heroes excels in its visually detailed battlefields, realistic units, and impressive explosions. The graphics are well-crafted, allowing you to truly feel the chaos of war. The game runs smoothly even on older devices.
Control Requires Practice
The controls can be a bit finicky at times, leading to unintended inputs. Sometimes, even after extended playtime, you may still find yourself sending the wrong units, for example. However, the control issues are not a deal-breaker and generally work okay.
The game is available for a one-time payment of 14.99 euros. There’s no “pay to win” or any other gimmicks. That’s how we like it!
Company of Heroes offers intense, tactical battles in World War II. With its realistic gameplay, impressive graphics, and detailed battlefields, the game provides motivation for countless hours. If you’re interested in the World War II scenario and enjoy real-time strategy games, you can hardly pass up Company of Heroes. The game is one of the best genre representatives on the iPad.
Apple App Store: Company of Heroes
Tropico: Rule Over Your Own Caribbean Island
In the unlikely event that you’ve always dreamed of governing your own Caribbean island and being a mighty dictator, we have a hot tip for you: Play Tropico on the iPad!
In this strategy game, you take on the role of a dictator and must lead your island nation to success.
Tropico offers captivating gameplay where you rule over your own Caribbean island as a dictator. You must build your economy, manage resources, make political decisions, and meet the needs of your population. The game provides numerous options and possibilities to shape your island according to your preferences. Whether you want to establish a flourishing tourism industry, focus on the production of specific goods, or create a socialist utopia, it’s entirely up to you.
Caribbean Flair and Charming Presentation
Tropico perfectly captures the Caribbean atmosphere and offers a charming, humorous presentation. The graphics are colorful and detailed, and the music immerses you in a tropical mood. The characters and dialogues in the game are funny and contribute to Tropico securing a special place in our gamer hearts.
Initially, it can be tricky to grasp the many options and mechanics of the game. It takes a while to become familiar with the various aspects of island management.
Monotonous Island Life?
As much as we love Tropico, the game can become somewhat repetitive after a while. While there are different scenarios and challenges, we still longed for more variety after some time. However, this is a minor complaint.
The game costs a one-time fee of 12.99 euros. This includes the complete game without “pay to win” or any annoying extras. We can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate this!
Tropico is entertaining, humorous, and right up our alley. It’s enjoyable to shape your own island realm according to your preferences and play the role of a power-hungry dictator. With its extensive gameplay, Caribbean ambiance, and numerous options, the game offers hours of enjoyment. The only drawback is that the game may feel somewhat repetitive after a while. Nevertheless, Tropico is definitely one of our favorite games for the iPad.
Apple App Store: Tropico
Plants vs. Zombies 2 – Addictive Tower Defense Game with Humor
Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a lovingly designed action-strategy game that quickly becomes addictive. With its combination of a humorous comic style, challenging gameplay, and a variety of plants and zombies, the game feels refreshingly different from other tower defense games.
Gameplay and Challenges
Your task is to protect your garden from zombies. With special fertilizer, you raise a powerful plant army to pulverize legions of the undead. It might sound odd, but it’s tremendously fun!
The tower defense concept is taken to the next level with creative plants like the Lava Guava and the Laser Bean, as well as humorous zombies like the Rocket Backpack Zombie. The challenging levels require intricate strategies to defeat the zombies and defend your garden.
Diverse Plants and Power-ups
Plants vs. Zombies 2 offers hundreds of creatively designed plants and zombies. From Sunflower and Peashooter to other funny garden warriors like the Mermaid Imp, there’s a lot of variety. By earning seed packets, you can make your plants stronger and enhance their abilities. This diversity of plants and power-ups provides numerous tactical options to defeat the zombies.
Arena Mode and PvP Battles
In Plants vs. Zombies 2, you can also engage in short, entertaining arena duels with other players. Success in PvP battles earns you coins, pinatas, and more. The arena mode is a great way to test your strategy and climb the leaderboards.
Extensive Game Content
With 11 different worlds, including Ancient Egypt and the Distant Future, Plants vs. Zombies 2 offers a wide range of environments and challenges. Over 300 levels, tricky endless zones, fun minigames, and daily pinata party events ensure long-lasting gaming enjoyment. At the end of each world, you face the sinister Dr. Zomboss, who can only be defeated with clever planning and the right defensive plants.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 includes in-app purchases. While the game can be downloaded for free, it offers in-game currency and power-ups for purchase to accelerate progress. As you play more, this can be somewhat frustrating, as you’ll need gold for new plants, which can only be obtained through luck or extended gaming sessions or real money. However, with some patience, you can still make progress, so it’s not a major concern. The frequent in-game ads can be a bit annoying as well.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a fun and challenging action-strategy game for the iPad. With its humorous presentation, variety of plants and zombies, arena mode, and extensive content, it has rightfully found a place in the hearts of strategy game fans. The slow progress in the later stages of the game, especially if you don’t want to spend real money, and the frequent in-game ads can be a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a clear recommendation for strategy game enthusiasts and perfect for a quick game session.
Apple App Store: Plants vs. Zombies 2
Clash of Clans – A Classic Strategy Game on the iPad
In Clash of Clans, your task is to build your own village, assemble a powerful army, create your clan, and engage in battles against other players.
Clash of Clans offers a highly addictive experience and can keep you glued to the screen for hours. Building your own village, collecting resources, and fortifying your defenses against attacks take time. Additionally, you can create your army from different unit types and launch attacks on other players. The combination of base building, resource management, and real-time battles ensures long-lasting enjoyment.
The Community Aspect
In Clash of Clans, you can collaborate with other players in clans. You can plan strategic attacks together, share resources and troops, and participate in clan wars. This social interaction creates a pleasant sense of community in a short time.
Solid Graphics and Intuitive Controls
Clash of Clans offers colorful, solid graphics. The characters, buildings, and animations are nicely designed, giving the game a vibrant atmosphere. The controls are intuitive and well-suited to the iPad.
The game can be downloaded for free but offers plenty of opportunities to spend money through in-app purchases. Clash of Clans allows you to spend real money to accelerate your progress or acquire special items. We prefer a one-time purchase, but that’s a matter of the developer’s or publisher’s philosophy.
Clash of Clans is an entertaining strategy game that keeps you motivated thanks to its community aspect and enjoyable gameplay. It’s unfortunate that you’re compelled to spend money to speed up your progress. Nonetheless, Clash of Clans is undoubtedly a very good strategy game for the iPad.
Apple App Store: Clash of Clans
FTL: Faster Than Light – High-Stakes Space Strategy
If you’re in search of a challenging and tactical space strategy game for your iPad, we highly recommend FTL: Faster Than Light. You take control of a spaceship and must guide your crew through dangerous galaxies.
Complex Challenges and Decisions
FTL: Faster Than Light offers intense and tactical gameplay. You must manage your spaceship, gather resources, combat enemies, and make challenging decisions that influence the outcome of your space journey. Each jump into hyperspace can bring new dangers or opportunities, and it’s up to you to make the right decisions to safely guide your crew through the galaxy.
FTL: Faster Than Light offers a variety of spaceships to choose from, ranging from swift fighters to powerful battleships. Each spaceship has individual characteristics and weapons that enable different playstyles and strategies. You can upgrade your ships, research new technologies, and enhance your crew with special abilities. The multitude of options allows you to develop your own gameplay and tailor your spaceship fleet to your preferences.
FTL: Faster Than Light also excels in creating a fantastic atmosphere with its minimalist graphics and sound design. The electronic music that accompanies the gameplay adds to the intensity and enhances the feeling of loneliness and survival in space. The game’s high difficulty level may be a turn-off for newcomers, so you’ll need some patience to truly enjoy this space adventure.
The random factor in the game can sometimes be frustrating. Events and encounters occur randomly, and you might run into overpowering opponents at times.
FTL: Faster Than Light is available for a one-time fee of 9.99 euros. There are no in-app purchases or “pay to win” elements to worry about.
FTL: Faster Than Light is a well-executed space strategy game with a great atmosphere, diverse tactical options, and a high level of difficulty. If you don’t mind the occasional setback and are willing to adapt your strategy after a defeat, then FTL: Faster Than Light is definitely worth a try.
Apple App Store: FTL Faster Than Light
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