The best strategy games for the iPad include traditional turn-based strategy games, real-time strategy games and classic tower defense. The iPad's intuitive touch-screen controls make strategy games a natural fit, and developers have provided would-be gamers with a great selection that range from games high on tactics to tactical games with a sense of humor.
The Best iPad Strategy Games
While this list isn't in any particular order, it is only befitting to begin with Civilization Revolution. Sid Meier too strategy games to a new level when Civilization debuted for the PC in 1991, and the series has gone on to have five sequels.
Civilization Revolution is an attempt to bring the game back to its root, simplifying certain aspects of the game to create a game that appeals to both the casual gamer and the hardcore strategy nut. And it succeeded. Civilization Revolution has the same epic feel as the PC line of games and contains hours of fun for anyone who loves strategy games.
Perhaps the best tower defense game on the iPad, TowerMadness challenges you with humanity's most important task during the alien invasion: to save the sheep. It's a little known fact that aliens really love sheep, so in order to save your flock, you'll need to pull out all the stops, including a tower that electrocutes aliens to make them run slower, an artillery tower, and an amplification tower that improves surrounding towers.
TowerMadness features freeform tower defense game play and an excellent tutorial that will quickly get you into the game without completely boring longtime tower defense nuts.
One of the best strategy games of 2012, The Walking Dead: Assault brings the AMC series to the touch screen in all of its glorious horror. Assault is a squad-based strategy game set in the zombie apocalypse that begins with Rick waking in the hospital and follows him through the story. For fans of the show, it's fun to play through some of the situations we watched, and for those who haven't watched The Walking Dead, the game does a great job of getting you into the story and into the action.
"Shop smart. Shop S-mart." If you loved Bruce Campbell in Sam Raimi's classic Army of Darkness, you'll love this game. Army of Darkness Defense takes place after Ash "sort of" says all of the words over the Necronomicon and unleashes an army of undead soldiers that lay siege to the castle. And, befittingly, it contains ample quotes from the movie.
The game play consists of your standard castle defense with some RPG elements in the form of upgraded units and special abilities gained by the main character, Ash. The abilities include using your Boom stick and tricking the enemy with a false version of the Book of the Dead.
The combination of setting, character, quotes and strategic game play make this one a real winner.
The Sentinel series of tower defense games keeps getting better, with Sentinel 3: Homeworld adding a commander mech to an already great series. The commander mech levels up between stages, allowing you to customize your mech by choosing different attributes to improve.
The game also adds a new level of strategy to the series by limiting the number of units you can bring into the action. Now, you'll need to plan your tactics in advance based on the map and your enemy.
Hero Academy is the turn-based strategy game for those who don't have time for turn-based strategy. Divided into easily digestible chunks, Hero Academy bares a striking resemblance to a fantasy version of chess. With rocket launchers. The game includes multiple factions from which you draw your team, and part of the skill involves knowing watch each character can do and how they can be put to best use on the battlefield.
The real-time strategy genre has a difficult time making the jump from the PC to gaming consoles and tablets. There's just something about a mouse and keyboard that makes flying around a map selecting groups of units and ordering them into battle an intuitive exercise rather than a competition of manual dexterity. Modern Conflict gets around this with a one touch control scheme that will let you send battalions of tanks and helicopters against enemy bases without working up a sweat.
If you like your strategy at a frantic pace, you'll definitely want to check out Modern Conflict. Check out the free "lite" version of the game.
Do you want to execute your tower defense strategies on both land and sea? iBomber Defense uses the backdrop of World War II as the setting for 22 different levels that will have you fighting for both the Allied forces and the Axis powers. With maps that take you from land defense to guarding against an attack from the sea, you'll have to device different strategies based on the type of attack.
iBomber Defense has a lite version of the game, so you can check it out and decide if it is worth the money for the full download.
Com2uS Inc took some flack from developers after trademarking the tower defense name, but one thing few people argue with is the execution of that trademark in Tower Defense: Lost Earth. Easily one of the top tower defense games on the app store, Lost Earth doesn't break much new ground in the genre, but it does do a great job at almost every aspect of classic tower defense games.
Some gamers may want to shy away from the title simply from Com2uS's move to trademark a genre name -- though the real guilty party there might be the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for allowing such an injustice. But if you have no qualms about it, Tower Defense: Lost Earth is a great strategy game.
For those that love mixing up some role-playing in their strategy games, Battleheart starts you out as a single knight, but you'll soon be able to recruit more mercenaries to your side. The intuitive swipe controls allow you to control the action on the screen, which is a hybrid between action RPGs and real-time strategy. Played out as a series of battles, the missions are highlighted with intense boss battles like the one depicted in this video.