Strategy games are among the most intellectually-demanding genres out there. You’re probably familiar with many of the popular titles, like Civilization, StarCraft, and Total War. There’s a lot going on at any given time, and a hasty decision could mean the difference between victory and loss. In terms of mobile gaming, an Android tablet with a bigger screen is perfect for keeping track of numerous events unfolding simultaneously.
But there are different kinds of games within the strategy genre. Some classics, like Civilization VI and XCOM 2, favor more traditional turn-based progression, with a few that make up the best Android games around. They provide you with more breathing room when it comes to decision-making. On the contrary, real-time strategy games require quick thinking. In particular, tower defense games feature hectic combat with countless units and events populating the game world.
There’s a vast selection of tower defense games on Android, so we’ve compiled a list of the best on the Play Store. Let’s dig in!
2112TD: Tower Defense Survival
2112TD takes place in the not-too-distant future. Earth’s colonies have been overrun by an alien species, and it’s up to you to defend the remainder on the planet to prevent the extinction of mankind. Think of this tower defense game as your opportunity to relive the events of Starship Troopers.
Research and unlock new experimental technology to gain the upper hand over the invading alien forces. 2112TD features visuals akin to games like StarCraft which help immerse you in the game’s semi-futuristic feel. It boasts a campaign mode with multiple difficulty levels to cater to players of different skill levels. In other words, no matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran, you’re likely to find a challenge in 2112TD, and at $1.99, it’s a no-brainer.
Bloons 6 TD
Bloons 6 goes for much more light-hearted and vibrant visuals. In this colorful tower defense game, you play as one of the title’s cutesy monkeys. Each monkey protagonist offers a unique look, set of skills, and an upgrade tree, and it’s up to you to utilize their abilities to the fullest to pop imposing enemy… balloons.
Partake in an exciting campaign mode for up to four players, check out community-created levels, or whip up your own. By collecting trophies, you unlock cosmetic items that enhance the visual experience, from character skins and animations to background music.
Bloons 6 offers a lot of content for its $6.99 price tag, especially considering all of the game’s regular updates.
Iron Marines Invasion RTS Game
Apparently, tower defense lends itself well to an alien invasion. Iron Marines Invasion combines the dire invasion scenario of 2112TD with the vibrant visuals of Bloons 6. But here, you assemble a team of various species to fend off the invading forces.
You can select from a wide range of species, including Humanoids, and Frognauts, which could easily fit into a Battletoads game. Iron Marines Invasion features a galaxy for you to explore, collect resources from and defend from invading alien hordes. And best of all, Iron Marines Invasion costs only $2.99.
Kingdom Rush Origins TD Game
We’re moving away from sci-fi and into fantasy. Developed by the same studio as Iron Marines Invasion, Kingdom Rush Origins is part of a lengthy tower defense series and serves as its origin story. Kingdom Rush Origins takes place in a mythical fantasy land where you play as elves and attempt to protect your kingdom.
Employ a variety of elves, including nimble archers and those that wield powerful magic. Kingdom Rush Origins features a galore of content, with multiple game modes — such as Classic, Iron, and Heroic — numerous legendary heroes, and a plethora of in-game achievements to keep you occupied.
Much like the Iron Marines Invasion, Kingdom Rush Origins will set you back $2.99, but it also comes included with the Play Pass subscription.
Last Hope TD – Tower Defense
Tower defense and zombies go together like bread and butter. Last Hope presents you with over 145 levels of varying difficulty where you must protect your home base from the invasion of zombie hordes. Choose from a multitude of heroes, each with their own unique skill set, to retaliate against the seemingly endless swarm.
In addition to that, Last Hope includes a dozen of different turrets, each with a separate upgrade path and over 50 enemies for you to decimate. Last Hope is one of the few free-to-play titles on this list and could easily be a contender for the best zombie game on Android.
Don’t let the simplistic visuals fool you because Mindustry is an engrossing tower defense game underneath. Mindustry revolves around the construction and subsequent defense of factories. These factories, along with lengthy conveyor belts, produce the resources and technology necessary to create your defenses.
But you’ll not only fend off incoming enemy attacks and raids but also fight against frequent natural disasters, such as fire. Mindustry features two full campaigns set on two different planets, along with co-op, PvP, and sandbox modes. Best of all, Mindustry is a free-to-play game with no in-app purchases.
North Tower – Merge TD Defense
North Tower is yet another free-to-play tower defense game, and it’s just as good as the premium titles. In North tower, you must protect your kingdom from a barrage of attacks and repel troops or even giant dragons and worms trying to invade your castle.
North Tower combines multiple gameplay mechanics that make it stand out from the crowd, such as tower defense. But there are also elements of an idle game with merge mechanics fueling North Tower’s progression. Merging weapons of the same level creates more powerful versions, leading to a unique progression system. And being an idle game means that things happen in North Tower even while you’re not logged into the game.
Whether Tiny Guardians is the best tower defense game is up for debate. But it could definitely put up a fight for the title of the cutest. Furthermore, Tiny Guardians puts a unique spin on the traditional tower defense genre. That’s because there are no towers in this game.
Instead, your goal is to protect a specific character in Lunilae as she traverses treacherous woods full of beasts, both contemporary and mythical. Tiny Guardians mixes tower defense with card collection, as each guardian is represented by a collectible card.
Tiny Guardians costs $3.99 and is also included in the Play Pass subscription. Even better, all in-app purchases are entirely cosmetic.
The best tower defense games are varied and plentiful
From aliens in 2112TD to zombies in Last Hope TD, there’s a fair bit of variety when it comes to tower defense games. What’s your favorite? We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to the offerings on the Play Store. So leave a comment below, and it might magically appear in the next update.