5 mobile strategy games to try when you can't play Civilization VI

Posted by Jessica Famularo on October 21st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Strategy enthusiasts everywhere are celebrating the release of Civilization VI this week, and so far everyone seems pretty satisfied with the first full release in the series since 2010. The series has always been about ultra-addictive gameplay that has you begging for just one more turn.

Sadly, though, real life is bound to interrupt, and we might at some point have to venture away from our computers or, even worse, outside. There's a compromise, though. There are actually a few excellent games quite similar to Civilization in terms of both thematics and gameplay. Here are a few fine examples.

Catan Classic

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Released: 2009-10-25 :: Category: Game


Catan brings the classic board game to iOS. It's a great competitive alternative to the Civilization games, and the two actually have quite a few similarities. If you're not familiar with Settlers of Catan, it's an empire building strategy game where you send out settlers to build cities while you manage resources and devise ways to conquer your opponents. The mobile version even has a few expansions in case you want to try something new.

Starbase Orion

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Game


Starbase Orion takesCivilization-style strategy into the outer reaches of space as you try to dominate the galaxy. Choose from a selection of pre-existing races or create your own before heading out to develop a military, explore, and all of that other delicious resource management goodness.

Civilization Revolution 2

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-07-02 :: Category: Game


Of course, you can't go wrong with an actual Civilization game designed with mobile platforms in mind. Civilization Revolution 2 is standard for the series as far as mechanics go. Choose your leader, build an empire, and conquer the world through military might, economic prowess, cultural influence, or technological innovation.

King of Dragon Pass

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-02-14 :: Category: Game


This fantasy game set in the world of Glorantha is a bit of a departure from your typical grid-based strategy game, although the goals and resource management aspects remain intact. You might call it a choose your own adventure and Civilization hybrid. The game is set in a fantasy land inspired by nothern Europe. You're the leader of a settlement often threatened by weird beasties and other mythical dangers. Rather than moving units across a map though, you spread your influence through text-based scenarios you encounter with other people, answering questions with a number of different options on the moral spectrum. It's actually quite challenging, and you'll need a mind for politics if you want to succeed.

Autumn Dynasty Warlords

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-02-26 :: Category: Game


Autumn Dynasty Warlords plays a lot like Civilization, but is exclusively set in a beautiful East Asian setting. Build up your empire, conquer those infringing on your borders, and develop technology and culture to create a thriving civilization. For the military minded, battles are fought in real time, and you can use special attacks and strategic formations to take out opposing armies.

Civilization has had an undeniable impact on the strategy genre, as evidenced by the wealth of games now on mobile that took some inspiration from the classic series. Any of the games listed above will please dedicated strategy or Civilization fans.

There are many more excellent strategy games on mobile. Share your own top picks in the comments below!

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