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Lightweight arcade games played casually are all very well, but what if you want your mobile gaming experience to be more rewarding and worthwhile?

Strategy games have found a home on smartphones and Windows Phone 8.1 is no exception, with titles as diverse as Radiant Defense and Civilization Revolution available for you to install and enjoy today.

The diversity in the strategy games for Windows Phone 8.1 is clearly illustrated here, as we bring you eight titles that you simply have to try.*

*MakeUseOf cannot be held responsible for any loss of productivity experienced while playing these games.

Armed!

Armed! is a real-time strategy game which is described as “Part RTS, part tabletop strategy”. It puts you in control of a base, some weapons and powerful robot drones while offering online turn-based multiplayer. We reviewed Armed! in 2012 Armed! Futuristic Real Time Strategy for Windows Phone 7 Armed! Futuristic Real Time Strategy for Windows Phone 7 Gaming for Windows Phone is an interesting experience. While there are a whole host of great independent titles that don’t have Xbox Live integration, those that do are the ones that tend to be the... Read More and considered it “easily one of the best games available on Windows Phone,” and this opinion hasn’t changed.

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The aim is to generate power to build your base and defenses and take the opponent’s base, destroying their offensive and defensive capabilities along the way. With a massive 50 upgrades and attack types that can be used to customize your 12 unit types over 5 maps and a custom level creator for multiplayer challenges, you’ll be playing Armed! for a long time, and you’ll love every minute of it!

Armed! can be purchased for $2.49 or £1.69 in the UK.

Galactic Overlord Free

The simplicity of this game should not be overlooked – while the simple planets and day-glow colours might make it seem like a trivial waste of time, there is a definite strategic challenge in Galactic Overlord Free (ad supported).

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Getting started is easy: just tap the home planet (designated by your colour, green) and tap the planet you wish to take over, taking care to observe the numbers. You’ll need a higher number on your home planet than on the target planet for a successful attack.

As you control more planets so your numbers increase, and the same is true of the enemy. Victory can only be achieved once the enemy’s planets are wiped out, newly painted green. Also featuring a local network multiplayer feature, Galactic Overlord Free also offers a choice of difficulty levels and gameplay options.

Radiant Defense

You may have played the popular shooter Radiant, with its distinctive 16-bit style graphics available for Windows Phone, Android and iOS Awesome Space Invaders-Style Action On Your Smartphone With Radiant Awesome Space Invaders-Style Action On Your Smartphone With Radiant Looking for a decent Space Invaders clone for your smartphone? Radiant is a great choice that successfully evokes the pioneering spirit of classic gaming while updating the genre. Available for Windows Phone, iOS and Android. Read More . Radiant Defense is a tower defense version of the game, challenging you to defeat the alien hordes with a series of weapons placed in strategic locations around each level map.

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The idea may sound simple, but the execution is superb with great graphics and sound FX. Meanwhile, the challenge of succeeding against the enemy keeps you coming back again and again.

We enjoyed Radiant Defense so much that we included it in our list of the top Windows Phone games. It is available as a free download with in-app purchases for upgrades or as a complete paid release for $2.99 (£1.99 UK).

Skulls Of The Shogun

Featuring the briefly victorious Lord Akomoto, Skulls of the Shogun is perhaps the funniest game on Windows Phone 8. With its quirky visual design and amusing dialogue (displayed on screen in speech bubbles like an interactive comic) this strategy game is about zombie warriors from medieval Japan.

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On offer are different units, each with their own movement and attack methods. Increased defensive strength can be enjoyed by eating the skulls of downed opponents (yes, really!) while the main aim is to keep Lord Akomoto defended at all times. This is a fun, amusing game with Pythonesque humour and a comic book approach that makes it particularly memorable.

You can get Skulls of the Shogun for $4.99 (£3.49 in the UK), and this includes Xbox Live integration with 20 achievements to unlock and 400 points for your Gamerscore.

Civilization Revolution

They say you should always leave the best until last, and that’s certainly true here. Despite the strength of the competition, Civilization Revolution offers the ultimate 4X strategy game 4 All-Time Classic 4X Games To Lose Yourself In 4 All-Time Classic 4X Games To Lose Yourself In If you are looking for a little more than just pointing and shooting or mindlessly blowing through hordes of enemies, strategy games, and specifically those of the 4X variety, are perfect for you. Read More for Windows Phone, and is a clever reproduction of the classic Civilization series for smaller devices.

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If you’re new to the Civ series, Civilization Revolution is quite possibly the best doorway into it. We’ve already reviewed it here on MakeUseOf Civilization Revolution For Windows Phone: Conquer The World Civilization Revolution For Windows Phone: Conquer The World Thanks to the release of successive versions that take advantage of improvements in computing technology, Civilization has been a part of my life for years, so to finally get the chance to play it wherever... Read More back in 2012 when I declared it “remarkably easy to play (much more so than the PC version) yet tough to win,” and this is a summary that still stands up. One of the highest rated apps in the Windows Phone Store, you really shouldn’t miss it.

Civilization Revolution is available for just $2.99 (£1.99 in the UK).

Strategy Fan? These Games Are For You!

You only need to spend a few minutes with a good strategy game to know whether or not it will be a game you go back to again and again. So as you can imagine, this list has taken a while to compile!

Most importantly, however, these are what we think are the best strategy titles for Windows Phone – and there are quite a few of them, too. Alongside puzzlers and endless runners Windows Phone seems to be awash with strategy games – but there’s every chance that we’ve missed your favourite.

Think a different game should have been in the list, or have a full eight alternatives? Share them below!

Image Credits: tanks toy Via Shutterstock

  1. John
    August 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    A lot of games are being ported over to Windows Phone. Take Shwap for example.
    http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=f693e552-de7d-4bee-b654-3bf68bf3657b

    Just a matter of time before people see the benefit of developing for Windows Phone.

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