20 Most Challenging Strategy Games on Android

Date Created: Feb 11
Written by Jerico

Playing games has been known to improve one’s brain and how it functions. Video and mobile games, in particular, have been observed to help improve cognitive function. These are even seen as a possible tool to help improve memory and brain performance of people who need it.

Strategy games, it seems, have a rather unique and useful effect on the brain. When a person plays a strategy game, it seems that white matter connectivity in the brain that has something to do with memory and the processing speed of the brain itself improved. In short, memory and performance as well as comprehension speed improves in a person who plays strategy games.

With some testing, it has been learned that people who have memory related disorders and those with brain processing speed issues can benefit from learning how to play strategy games. Learning to play and enjoying strategy games can help with therapies aimed at improving cognitive brain function and engaging the memory. With that said, here are some strategy games on Android that can help to that end.

Age of Civilizations

1. Age of Civilizations – if conquering other nations and obtaining territories from others is something you think you will enjoy, then this game is a great fit for you. if you’ve played Risk, then this game should be an easy one for you to learn how to play. It is a relatively simple strategy game where the player with the most nations and civilizations conquers is top dog.

Final Fantasy Tactics

2. Final Fantasy Tactics – one of the strategy RPG games that gamers are sure to easily recognize is this game from the PS1 which has been converted for use on Android devices. This game, which was developed by Square Enix, is one of the all-time favorites of console gamers who enjoy RPG and strategy gaming. It is a turn-based, battle simulation game that follows a storyline you will enjoy as you play.

Bloons Tower Defense 6

3. Bloons Tower Defense 6 – people who have played tower defense games know what this game is all about. You protect your village (or town) from invaders with the help of towers that try to take down invaders that are trying to enter your territory. The defense of your territory can be done with the help of 19 different towers, numerous upgrades, and strategic placement of these towers for maximum effect.

Heroes of Steel

4. Heroes of Steel – another tactical strategy RPG game that you are sure to love playing is this fantasy RPG. With an estimated 120 hours of gameplay, you try to finish four stories while following the story of the characters battling their way through. The retro-style graphics and the options you have for customizing your characters adds a lot of nostalgia and depth to your game.

Card Thief

5. Card Thief – people who love card games and strategy games will definitely enjoy this title since it combines both in one unique strategy game. This unlikely marriage between these two game types follows your exploits as you work your way from stage to stage, trying to get through without being detected. With short bursts of gameplay, you will be able to enjoy quick rounds as you go about your day.

Command and Conquer Rivals

6. Command and Conquer Rivals – this war and strategy game carries one of the most well-known titles of all time, which is Command and Conquer. This game follows the usual real-time strategy gameplay of the original where your main goal is to wipeout your opponent’s base and troops to win the game. Some wrong moves and the wrong strategy can make you end up the loser in this game, which is why it is still one of the most challenging titles to play.

Chess by AI Factory

7. Chess by AI Factory – one of the simplest yet most difficult to master strategy games around is still chess. This one by AI Factory Limited pits your wits against 12 challenging levels which you can choose from on two different game modes. Not sure how to play chess or you’ve forgotten how it is done? There is a tutorial mode that you can use to learn or relearn how to play this game.


8. Holedown – for those who love puzzle games and strategy games, this one by Martin Jonasson is worth looking into. Your main goal in this game is to get to the sun from one planet to the next using bouncing bullets to destroy obstacles as you work your way forward. The numbers on these obstacles indicate the number of bounces you need to remove these from the board.

The Battle of Polytopia

9. The Battle of Polytopia – similar in gameplay as Civilization, this game takes you through realms where you try to conquer other polygonal civilizations as you develop your own. There are upgrades, troop building, town building, map clearing, and other similar tasks that can keep you preoccupied for hours. Conquer the map to become the most powerful civilization of them all in Polytopia.

Mushroom Wars 2

10. Mushroom Wars 2 – this is a war strategy game that has you battling others for dominance with the use of a mushroom army that is cute but ruthless. You can play this game offline for practice in the campaign mode then conquer the world with the online mode as you battle for supremacy against other mushroom armies around the world. It takes a lot of strategy to conquer the maps in this cutesy game and an added dose of daring to dominate others in the online multiplayer mode.

Machines at War 3

11. Machines at War 3 – when it comes to strategy, nothing beats war games, and Machines at War 3 is one title that you should look into if you are looking to sharpen your strategic brain. This real-time strategy game places you in the position of a commander that controls up to 130 different kinds of units as you strive to save the world from the bad guys, develop new tech, build new units, and save scientists in the process. Don’t have much time for a campaign? You can go into skirmish mode for a few minutes of gameplay to sharpen your mind.

Motorsport Manager Mobile 3

12. Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 - combine racing, management skills, and gaming and you get this unique strategy game where you are tasked to create an amazing motorsport team from the ground up. The game is simple enough to understand but that does not mean that it is easy to come up on top. You will need to do a lot of the work that comes with managing a racing team, and that includes hiring drivers, building vehicles, balancing your budget, managing your personnel, and all of these while trying to win the races that your team joins. This is a great mobile game for those who are trying to hone their management and budgeting skills.

Clash Royale

13. Clash Royale – card based battle games that pit you against other card-playing opponents like Class Royale is a good way for you to learn how to strategize and plan your moves. Sometimes, in these games, patience and careful observation of your opponent’s moves can help you win the game. Collect trophies, collect rare and strong cards, outsmart and outplay others, and you will find yourself on the top of the heap in this online, real-time, strategy card games.

Plague Inc.

14. Plague Inc. – this single player game may seem easy to some, but in reality, it actually presents you with a challenge that can sometimes be difficult to surpass. The game’s theme is rather dark but the gameplay is very challenging as you try to eradicate the human race with a disease of your own making. Mutate, spread, and evolve your disease to a point where even the best scientists can’t develop a cure fast enough to cover all the symptoms you add to your creation. You win this game when you have totally killed of the entire human race from the planet.


15. Pandemic – this game is the opposite of the game that was just mentioned above. While Plague puts you in the bad guy’s seat, this game puts you in the hero’s seat as you try to save the world from dying of mysterious and deadly diseases. You can play in a team or alone as you work to declaw and defang deadly diseases that are spreading and trying to take over the world. Play with friends as you strategize how to save the world or work together with the game’s AI to do the job on your own.

Pocket City

16. Pocket City – if you are a huge fan of Sim City and other similar simulation and building games, then this strategy city building game is the perfect fit for you. This pocket version of the popular city building game lets you control the budget, how your city grows, traffic, your citizens’ satisfaction and happiness, and many more. You can play this game both online and offline, and is addictive and challenging at the same time.

This is the Police

17. This is the Police – if you want to try how life is at the top of the law enforcement ladder, then this game is a good fit for you. This strategy game puts you in the seat of the police chief who has to battle not only the crimes of the city but also corruption, incompetence, and other similar real-world elements as you try to save your city from being eaten alive by crime. This game gives you an extra dose of strategy challenge by giving you a limited time to do this as you clean up your beloved city before your retirement.

Lost Frontier

18. Lost Frontier – combining the Wild West and steampunk elements with a turn-based strategy and tactics game is what Lost Frontier is all about. Enter the battle with riders, gunslingers, and other members of your team as you work your way across the board to conquer the game. Win against AI or real players in skirmish mode and challenge your analytic and planning skills as you try to finish the 24-mission campaign that the game has for you.


19. Hearthstone – another card-based game that you can enjoy playing as you sharpen your mind at the same time is this game from the Warcraft franchise. This mobile version of the popular PC card game that you can play alone or with others lets you summon monsters, cast spells, and defeat opponents in the fantasy world that is patterned after the popular Warcraft game series. You can collect and you can craft cards to make your character stronger, with ranked matches, tavern brawls every week, and casual online matches making it one of the more engaging but challenging strategy card games around.

XCom Enemy Within

20. XCom Enemy Within – this turn-based strategy game is just one in a long line of games that belong to this franchise which takes you alien hunting and defending the planet from invasion. You can see the allure of this game when you find that not only do you defend the planet from being overrun by aliens, but you also develop technology of your own using the weapons and equipment you sequester from these extra-terrestrial attackers. Addictive, challenging, and engaging are just some of the words you can use to describe this strategy game.

These are just a few of the hundreds of strategy games that you can choose to play on your android device or smartphone. Find the ones that best fit your persona and play to your heart’s content as you develop your memory and information processing capabilities with fun yet challenging games on mobile.

The trick to winning when it comes to these strategy games is to practice patience, engage your analytic brain, and find a way to beat your opponent without using brawn all the time. Being able to analyze the situation, knowing how to tackle certain obstacles, and being patient enough to wait for that perfect moment to strike, can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Some of these games can be downloaded for free on the Play Store but others come with a minimal purchase fee that you won’t regret paying when you start enjoying your game. Others can be downloaded for free but come chockfull of advertisements which can throw you off your game and your focus. You can remove these ads with a simple upgrade so you can continue sharpening your memory and cognitive skills without breaks and pauses.