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5 mobile games like Age of Empires

5 mobile games like Age of Empires

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  • You may only be able to play it on game pass, but here are five games like Age of Empire on mobile!
  • Check out everything from business, to ancient battles and more
  • We found that the combat and troops counters remind us mostly of Total War, and these games are most similar to Age of Empires.

Age of Empires is a classic RTS, and for good reason. Combining unique historical factions with thoughtful yet fast-paced gameplay. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to experience it on mobile - aside from using Xbox Game Pass - you’re a bit stuck.

But, fortunately, we’ve taken the time to compile this list of great alternatives that give you the same mix of strategy and action that Age of Empires provides. This is our top five mobile games like Age of Empires for you to play if the original is eluding you!

Think tactically

Now, fair warning, these won't be one-to-one comparisons. We wanted instead to cast a broad net into the realm of strategy; balancing fast-paced action with thoughtful planning and a wide variety of games that will tickle the part of your brain, which enjoys reigning over a glorious empire, business or city.

And if you want to check out more games that might entice you, we've got other lists to check out. Why not check out other games like the Metroidvania hit Dead Cells? Or something to evoke the grim and depressing atmosphere, games like Papers, Please?

But, back to the task at hand. In a way, we might as well call this the Feral Interactive list as (spoiler) four of the five are ports done by that same company! But, push ahead and you’ll find out exactly why that is. So, in terms of games for mobile that are like Age of Empires, let’s get started.

Click Here To View The List »

Total War: Medieval II

Total War: Medieval II Set in mediaeval Europe, this is one of Feral Interactive’s much-praised ports of the classic strategy series on mobile. Pitting you against famous historical nations like France, the Italian states (Venice, Sicily and so on.) and more, you’ll seek to either conquer the known world through force of arms, trade or building your own truly dazzling empire to rival ancient Rome.

In case you aren’t familiar with the gameplay of the Total War series, there are two main sections. The first is the campaign map, which in this case is most of Europe, the Middle-east and North Africa, as well as a certain section to the far west we won’t spoil just yet. On this campaign map you manage your cities by building different structures to increase population growth, recruitment, train new units and more. You have two different sorts of cities, either a regular city or a castle with the latter having far less in terms of population and growth opportunities but much greater defensive capabilities. Meanwhile the former is more vulnerable but generates greater revenue and population growth.

The second part of the game is the battle map as you play the campaign you slowly build new armies and fill them with units of varying equipment. When you either use them to attack another faction’s army or one of their cities, you’re taken to the battle map. This is where the real-time strategy elements come in as you direct your forces on the field of battle until you wipe out the enemy, causing them to break and run or capture the city if you’re assaulting one.

Mediaeval II’s setting isn’t just aesthetic either. As the game progresses you’ll benefit from technological innovations in everything from infrastructure to siege weapons and even the development of gunpowder. Political manoeuvring, alliances, trading and more will all play a role in keeping you on top.

Depending on the faction you play you’ll either be leading the historical Crusades deep into Egypt and the Middle-East, or resisting the Christian invaders. But whether you’re Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox or Paga, you’ll want to keep an eye on the far-east. Because there are rumours of a certain Genghis Khan who’s making big moves over in China, and he’s got his eyes set on Europe and more…

Medieval II is available on iOS and Android.

Sid Meier's Railroads!

Sid Meier's Railroads! “Hey! I’m here for action, blood and guts, people in armour hitting each other with big swords! What do railways have to do with that?!”

Alright, calm down and let me explain…

When it comes to older PC strategy titles, one name stands out above all. Sid Meier is responsible for everything from building civilizations to playing golf and high-seas piracy with the numerous games he’s worked on over the years. And while we’re not the kind of people to proclaim him to be responsible for every iota of detail, it’s undeniable that he has worked on a certain kind of game and style.

So that’s where Railroads come in. Rather than directing armies in grand strategy or focusing on fast-paced battles you’ll instead be managing a massive railway network. By building routes to and from major cities, farms, mines and more you’ll slowly grow your company and the railways that you manage in turn. You’ll also learn a great deal about the early days of railways from the in-game descriptions and historical scenarios you can pick from.

Each game of Railroads is set on a different map, and challenges you to build rail lines to different cities and resources, as we noted, while staying within budget. To do so you manage what trains you put on said lines, where they go, what they carry and more. Whether that's passengers, cargo or a mixture of both. You'll also be bidding on amazing new technology that can change the course of the game, but beware because your opponents are also angling for the same...

Now, this may sound a little bit dreary and dry. And truth be told if it were Sid Meier’s earlier game like Railroad Tycoon you might be right. However, Railroads was noted when it was first released for taking a much more fast-paced approach. You’ll be head-to-head with other railroad tycoons in a race against time, and believe me these guys aren't going to sit around and let you take a monopoly. As you compete against the clock, your opponents and the world itself you'll understand why this game is on the list.

While the various characters you can select won’t affect your chances of victory, just like the rest of the game you can enjoy reading all about the effect they had on the world of rail. You'll also be able to unlock new locomotives, both real and with their own fictional names but familiar designs.

Now, you might be wondering where the stakes are, and if competition amongst titans of rail isn’t enough for you, then you’ll be glad to know the economy in Railroads is not some static set of numbers. Market fluctuations, stock market crashes and even natural events can drastically affect previously profitable lines, meaning you’ll have to scramble to reorient your whole company or risk bankruptcy.

Sid Meier's Railroads! is currently only available on Android.

Kingdom New Lands (Two Crowns, Eighties)

Kingdom New Lands (Two Crowns, Eighties) When it comes to marrying long-term strategy and fast-paced real-time strategy, Kingdom sits in a rather strange position. You play as a regent on horseback, king, queen or otherwise, finding your way to a mysterious fog-shrouded land. It’s your job to rebuild a kingdom worth ruling over, and all with only one resource to take advantage of, gold coins.

Yes, your only tool is money, and if that’s not a metaphor for monarchy I’m not sure what is. Tossing a coin on a penniless vagrant turns them into a peasant, putting them into building sites then causes that structure to be built by said peasants. Slowly you’ll grow your castle and your walls to take on the oncoming forces of the Greed, evil monsters that want nothing more than to wreck everything you’ve built, steal your gold and (quite literally) take your crown!

On we often discuss the difficulties presented by the smartphone platform. There’s only so much you can do with a screen before your thumbs and fingers start getting in the way after all. But Kingdom takes on this challenge by reducing your needed controls to only three things, going left, going right and dropping or assigning coins.

The hands-off strategy means that you can’t simply cheese your way to victory when the going gets tough, or micromanage every single aspect of your kingdom. Instead, you’ll have to carefully plan ahead, growing crops, arming soldiers and eventually assigning your troops to travel out and destroy the portals that the Greed is using to attack. You’ll need to carefully time your actions and plans to ensure you aren’t caught outnumbered when night falls.

It’s about as minimalist as you can get, and it works beautifully. The graphics aren’t bad either, and while they’re intentionally stylised and simplistic there’s always something immensely fun about building up an impenetrable fortress out of what was once waste ground. It’s the perfect strategy game to unwind and relax with…at least until the Greed comes knocking on your walls and it instead becomes an intense, nerve-wracking wait to see if your defences will hold through the night…

We’re taking this as more of an overview of the entire Kingdom trilogy on mobile because they all fall into the same general gameplay loop. You can play not just the original Kingdom in its New Lands version, but also Two Crowns - which introduces the Shogun DLC, cooperative play and more - and the Stranger Things-inspired Kingdom Eighties. All of these are available as separate purchases, and all bring something new to the table in terms of aesthetics and gameplay.

Kingdom is currently only available on Android, as are the Two Crowns and Eighties versions.

ROME: Total War

ROME: Total War And now you see why we were calling this the ‘Feral Interactive list’ instead of 'games like Age of Empires', we promise there’s only one more! ROME: Total War takes you from the Middle Ages back into antiquity and one of the most famous historical empires of all time, Rome. You’ll get the chance to bring Rome from a few minor cities on the Italian peninsula and make it into the world-spanning empire it was historically.

Or, maybe you’d prefer to be the barbarians knocking on the gates? Yes, you’re not just restricted to the three Roman sub-factions, once you unlock them you can also play as everything from the Greek City States to ancient Britannia, the Parthian Empire and even the infamously ahistorical - bronze-age rather than Ptolemaic - Egypt.

Rome: Total War came before Medieval II when it was originally released, so there are some aspects that are missing such as Crusades and other politicking. However, you’ll have access to diplomacy, technological advances and historical battle scenarios. And with the latter, if you’re of a certain age you’ll remember the short-lived TV series Time Commander where they presented this game as some kind of advanced battle-simulator.

And, much like Medieval II, it’s hard to dispute that as there’s a myriad of background data being considered. This means that taking the high ground, letting your enemy wade through mud and peppering them with arrows or other clever tactics have a real, tangible impact on your chances of victory.

If directing vast numbers of soldiers, cavalry and missile units into battle is your cup of tea, then Rome: Total War delivers in spades. You’ll command everything from armoured cataphracts to war elephants, the eponymous Roman legionaries and more. Each faction brings something unique to the table, and being able to unlock and play as them slowly over time adds a great deal of replayability to the game.

Aside from that, the music and presentation of Rome: Total War is deceptively colourful and a treat for both the eyes and ears. This game is considered an all-time classic of not just strategy but gaming in general for a very good reason. And being able to take it with you in your pocket is probably a good reason that Feral would be brought on board to manage the Remastered version of this game for PC too.

Sadly, unlike Medieval II this version of the game doesn’t come bundled with the fantastic Barbarian Invasion and the not-so-fantastic Alexander expansion. So you won’t be able to take part in the fall of Rome as well as its rise.

Rome: Total War is available on iOS and Android.

Tropico Mobile

Tropico Mobile Well, we’ve had you playing as a railroad tycoon, an ancient commander and a mystical fantasy regent. Why not pump the brakes and get back to everyone’s favourite pastime, being the dictator of your own banana republic? What? That’s not your personal fantasy? Well to each their own…

But yes, being serious we’re talking about another PC port to mobile. In this case, Tropico. A city-builder with a unique twist in that you’re not just building your ideal metropolis, but your own ideal dictatorship. Create your island nation where you manage everything in your citizens’ lives, or take a hands-off approach as you grow your Swiss bank account.

Or, maybe you might even do the unthinkable and actually try to make your citizens happy, wealthy and comfortable in your personal island paradise. The choice to be a benevolent tyrant or a terrible dictator is up to you. All while you marvel at the tropical landscape, listen to some funky Latin-American-inspired tunes and manage your international diplomacy.

Another classic of the strategy genre, Tropico has been brought to mobile in a much more modern and aesthetically pleasing way. You won’t be looking at stylish yet dated graphics, as the graphical fidelity of Tropico 3, 4 and 5 is alive and well here. And you’ll get to enjoy many of the quality-of-life improvements from that trilogy as well. Although not things like eras and multiple islands sadly.

This is one of the games where we won’t pretend it’s action-packed because unless you cock up in a truly magnificent way you usually won’t have to worry about rebels or a coup deseating you. Instead, the main problems facing you will be managing your finances, growing your crop output and ensuring that you’re able to provide modern conveniences, healthcare, education and entertainment for your growing island populace.

You’ll also get to design your dictator and play on a variety of difficulties and islands. Things getting too easy for you once you build your tobacco or coffee farms and get a great export market going. Why not play on a barren island where you’ll have to eke out every last dollar? If anything is going to force you to take a firmer hand with your people, El Presidente, that might just be enough to push you over the edge.

Tropico is available on iOS and Android.

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Iwan Morris
Iwan Morris
Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.