Age of Empires is one of the all-time real-time strategy greats. It has a long legacy, and for good reason, as it’s a damn good videogame series. It was actually first posited as Civilization meets Warcraft, and a lot of people love that combination, but it’s sadly not available on a portable system. So, what games like Age of Empires are there that you can play on the bus?
There’s quite a few, actually, so read on to find some recommendations. If you’re after something more fantastical, we’ve got guides to the best games like the Witcher 3, games like Skyrim, or games like Pokémon that you can take on the go. If you’d rather have some Nintendo-style magic, check out our list of the best games like Zelda on Switch. Hopefully, some of these tickle your fancy.
Anyway, let’s get into the best games like Age of Empires, and see if we can’t find you a new personal favourite.
Forge of Empires – Mobile
You can tell this game is gonna be like Age of Empires – even the name is similar. However, while AoE was undoubtedly an influence on Innogames when they created Forge of Empires, it still manages to stand proud as its own unique gaming experience. As a free-to-play game, it’s particularly impressive. As you build your own civilisation, you get to watch it growing and evolving through the different stages of real world history, starting back in the Stone Age, and growing all the way through to the distant future.
Play Forge of Empires for free.
Northguard – Switch
If you’re a fan of Norse mythology and strategy games, Northguard is the game for you. Your task is to settle a seemingly untouched island. There’s trade, conquest, and religion, as well as wolves and undead warriors that threaten your faction. It runs at quite a slow pace, but in a very good way. It’s the perfect companion when you’re out and about.
Islanders – Switch
Even more laid back than the previous game, Islanders is a procedurally generated city-builder. It has a simple, winsome aesthetic, lovely, chill music, and a more casual style of gameplay in comparison to some of the other games on this list. It’s a simple game, but wonderfully so.
For the King – Switch
For the King can appear to be a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of different mechanics and genres. In fact, I think of it more as a banquet that has lots of different stuff that you’ve accidentally blended together, but then suddenly are surprised by how good it tastes. What I mean is, the game has elements of strategy, but also turn-based combat and RPG elements, all while kinda being a roguelike. And it’s great!
Bad North – Switch and mobile
Another RTS for any Viking fans out there, Bad North skews slightly harder than your usual strategy game. While you need to defend from incoming attackers, you also have to keep in mind that the game has permadeath. So, you can spend a lot of time investing in a character, but once they’re gone, they’re gone. It’s harsh but addictive.
Civilization 6 – Switch and mobile
One of the all-time classics of the genre, Civilization VI is the most recent title in the legendary series. You have to build up a country over 4,000 years or so, through many different historical eras, all the way to the future and beyond. It’s exceptional, addictive, and has stellar DLC. I’ve managed to put more than 1,000 hours into the game, and I’m still not dead, so it’s got to be doing something right. If you end up liking it, why not check out the best games like Civilization to find something similar or our Civilisation 6 tier list?
Kingdom: Two Crowns – Switch and mobile
Kingdom: Two Crowns is one of my favourite indie games. It’s only tangentially similar to Age of Empires. It has all the strategy, but it’s a side-scroller too. You have to spend your days finding supplies to build up your base, and the evenings defending the base from nasty creatures. It has an excellent game loop, and you can play it with a friend. Definitely worth a look.
80 Days – Switch and mobile
Even more dissimilar to Age of Empires is 80 Days, but I’m pretty sure any fan of the series should enjoy this. It’s basically a playable novel based on the original Jules Verne classic, except it’s twisted into a steampunk aesthetic. It’s a grand adventure with light strategy elements, but the most important thing is it is the best writing I’ve ever experienced in a videogame.
Rome: Total War – mobile
Hopefully, if you’re a fan of Age of Empires, you’re also a fan of the Total War series. But maybe you didn’t know you could get it on mobile? Currently, only Rome: Total War is available, but that’s not the end of the world as it is arguably the most well-known entry in the series. If you’re looking for a more recent bit of history to war through, don’t worry, as Medieval II: Total War is coming to mobile too.
That’s all the games like Age of Empires that I can think of. If you’re after a change of pace, check out our Gibbon: Beyond the Trees review and learn why it’s such a stellar, ecological adventure.
If you’re after something new to play, perhaps our lists of the best Switch strategy games and best mobile strategy games will have something for you.