Forge of Empires
Starting in the Stone Age, the goal of Forge of Empires is to build your civilization from a primitive tribe into a bustling modern society. Key aspects of the game include researching technologies and spreading your city out over the continental map. You can trade with other players, offer support to their cities or challenge them in combat.
Unlike Tribal Wars 2, Forge of Empires is centred much more around the management of your city and its gradual improvement. Buildings are improved through the use of coins and supplies which can be produced with your city. That’s not to say peace is the only option – army vs army battles are an alternative way to expand your borders and capture provinces.
Tribal Wars 2
This free to play medieval strategy game puts you in charge of a castle in a massively multiplayer landscape. The goal is to expand your kingdom and defend it against all challengers. Also available to play in browser, this game is focused on managing your castle and strategic battles. Tribal Wars 2 features several upgrades over the original game, including better graphics, a cleaner interface and customizable tribe quests.
Buildings within your walls can be upgraded while you assemble an army to defend and attack. Resources can be gained by pillaging the kingdoms of other players. Political alliances can be made with other players to ensure the survival of your kingdom – or the destruction of your rival’s!
Game of War: Fire Age
This freemium MMO strategy game is one that you’ve no doubt seen advertised somewhere – a certain famous model has been popping up in sorceress garb on TV and even during the Super Bowl – it’s another medieval themed game that features some rather aggressive prods toward its microtransactions.
Gameplay wise, this city building game is somewhat similar to Age of Empires. Resources need to be gathered in order to construct new buildings and train soldiers. There’s more emphasis here on alliances between players, and it even incorporates Google Translate in order to facilitate cooperation between players from all over the world.
A purely mobile game, Game of War: Fire Age is only available on iOS and Android.
Clash of Clans
One of the ground breaking freemium mobile strategy MMOs, Clash of clans is focused on building a community, training your troops and taking them to combat against other players in order to earn Elixer and Gold, with which you can improve your civilization’s holdings. Unlike the other games covered so far, Clash of Clans also has a single player campaign that pits the player against various goblin villages.
One of Clash of Clan’s biggest selling points are the clan wars – in which groups of players form together in order to battle against each other – even escalating matters into all-out war between rival clans. A tournament-style mode, each player within a clan can only attack twice per war. The clan with the most stars at the end of the war is declared victorious.
Clash of Clans is available on Android and iOS.
Clash of Kings
Released in 2015, Clash of Kings puts survival of your people in the hands of your tactical nouse, as players fight to control 7 kingdoms against other players from all over the world.
Players can make alliances or implant themselves undercover in their rival’s pact, looking to strike when they’re least prepared. There’s also an emphasis on city building in the vein of a simplified SimCity-like experience which allows you to build defences and upgrade buildings. The player must pay attention to the protection of their kingdom, otherwise other players will find it easy to plunder.
Samurai Siege: Alliance Wars
A massively multiplayer game with a different theme this time, Samurai Siege: Alliance Wars has a distinctively Oriental setting, allowing players to take charge of armies consisting of Ninjas, Samurais mythical beasts.
The usual city building and maintenance is included, but the selling point here are the ‘Alliance Wars’, where groups of players team up to take part in battles that rage over a 12 hour period, with the aim being to collect as many ‘War Points’ as possible. Samurai Siege: Alliance Wars is a game that offers a little more depth to team based combat than most mobile MMO strategy games.
Spartan Wars: Empire of Honor
Obviously taking inspiration from the movie ‘300’, Spartan Wars: Empire of Honor is thematically strong offering to our roundup of mobile empire building games. Standard city building and army training is included, with unique twists being added by the addition of ‘God abilities’ and the inclusion of mythical gods as you battle for control of this Spartan dominated world.
As with the other games, players are free to make diplomatic alliances and join teams in order to compete in larger-scale combat. As with the other games, there’s a reliance on gathering resources and this can be sped up via microtransactions, which are pushed quite heavily through the interface.
That wraps it up for our roundup of mobile empire building games. Please note that all of the games featured here have microtransaction options that can radically alter the gameplay experience. Of the games included, I ‘wasted’ a great deal of time with Clash of Kings, and found it largely satisfying even without spending a penny. Game of War: Fire Age however is quite the opposite. Which one do you prefer?