Sometimes you don't want a game that's going to be over in a few seconds. Sometimes you want something thicker, deeper, and designed to make you forget about the world for a few days. In other words, you want a big ol' strategy game.
But there are so many of them on the App Store that sometimes it's difficult to decide which one to buy or download. Which is where this list comes in. We've picked the very best strategy games that you can get for your iPhone and iPad. Agree? Disagree? Make sure you let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article.
Xcom: Enemy Within - download for iOS
Xcom on mobile shouldn't work, right? It's a huge game, the sort of thing that only works on consoles or PC. But this mobile version is proof that this sort of game works brilliantly on touchscreen. It's just as deep, just as engaging, and while it might lack some of the polish that the original has, it's still a spectacular achievement that you need to play.
Templar Battleforce - download for iOS
There are a lot of skirmish games on the App Store, but Templar Battleforce is definitely one of the finest. It's challenging, it's clever, and it gives you a glimpse into a dark future where slaughter is pretty much all that matters. You're a giant warrior, cutting down aliens, and the tightness of the action makes it incredibly compulsive.
Frozen Synapse - download for iOS
What happens when you mix an real-time strategy game with a turn-based strategy game? What happens is Frozen Synapse, one of the best games of the past few years. You're trying to work your way through a series of levels, killing everything in your way. The twist is you choose your moves, then they play out at the same time as your foe's. It's tough, tight, and it makes you think in new and exciting ways.
Banner Saga 2 - download for iOS
A dark, often bleak tactical RPG that mixes together Norse mythology, character building, and the sort of battles where the consequences of your actions actually matter. Characters die, people hate you, and all around you the world is basically coming apart at the seams. Oh, and it's absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous.
Iron Marines - download for iOS
This is the RTS perfected for mobile. Where other games have tried to lever the systems of the genre onto touchscreen, this one takes the opposite direction. It finds ways to make the genre work within the limitations of mobile, and it's all the better for it. There's a great wodge of challenge here, and some brilliant ideas too.
FTL: Faster Than Light - download for iOS
Space. Space is massive. It's massive and it's full of awful things, and FTL captures all of them with a twist of wit, whimsy, and trying to make sure that your enormous spaceship doesn't collapse in on itself and kill everyone in it. There have been a lot of imitators since the game first came out, but this original is definitely the most intriguing, and the most compelling.
Heavenstrike Rivals - download for iOS
A free to play mashing together of a card game and a tight, tactical fighter. It's all about building up a team of fighters, toughening up your deck, and taking on all-comers. This is exactly the kind of game that slides into your brain and tangles its way through your synapses. You're going to be thinking about this one even when you're not playing it.