Best Indie Strategy Games – We Rank The Top 25

best indie strategy

If you like to put more effort into your game and consider all of your strategies, this list compiles some of the best indie strategy games out there.

Of course, there are plenty of popular strategy games made by AAA studios, but it’s nice to give some love and recognition to some high-quality indie games, too.

25. Northgard

Viking Games
Image Credit: Shiro Unlimited.

If, like many, you’re a fan of Norse mythology, Northgard is the perfect strategy game to get stuck into. With a beautiful art style and plenty of vibrant colors, the world is much more inviting. There are conquests to complete while you try to make your clan as successful as possible. 

Compared to some strategy games, Northgard has easy-to-grasp mechanics, making it a game where you can relax and chill if you don’t want a hectic game. If you enjoy it, you can also get DLCs, which add plenty of new content.

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

24. Into the Breach

Into The Breach
Photo Credits: Subset Games

Created by the developers who made FTL: Faster Than Light, Into The Breach is a challenging strategy game where you’re in charge of powerful mechs. You need to work towards saving the future from an alien threat in a randomly generated world. Because of this, everything you do can be much harder to pull off, as you can’t predict what will happen in your next run.

This game is great if you like a retro feel to your games and enjoy a strong sci-fi element throughout. 

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, iOS, PC

23. Bad North

Bad North island
Image Credit: Raw Fury.

With a cute and calming art style, you’ll be fooled by that alone. Bad North throws your expectations out of the window, introducing some difficult and intense gameplay. 

Bad North combines strategy with roguelike gameplay in this idyllic indie game. It’s up to you to protect your kingdom from a group of Viking invaders, having to make tactical decisions along the way. Will you be able to do what is right for your people, or will you leave your village plundered and pillaged?

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, iOS

22. Against the Storm

Against the Storm city building
Image Credit: Hooded Horse.

Against the Storm is a relatively new game, as it has been in early access for a while. It’s a truly beautiful but complicated game with an element of dark fantasy. Working as the Queen’s Viceroy, you have to help your civilizations thrive in the face of adversity. Dealing with apocalyptic rain, you have to help them uncover new secrets hiding in the wilderness while making sure that the Queen does not become angered by your actions.

Against the Storm is one of the harder strategy games on this list, as there are a lot of details to remember. Once you get into the swing of things, it can be incredibly fun and easily become one of my favorite strategy games of all time.

Platforms: Windows

21. Darkest Dungeon 2

Darkest Dungeon team
Image Credit: Red Hook Studios.

The sequel to Darkest Dungeon, Darkest Dungeon 2, takes a slightly different approach to its turn-based battle. With a new and improved art style, you have to fight for survival, complete quests, and ensure every team member remains sane and healthy. This can be a complete challenge in and of itself. Some of the greatest threats can be formed by frayed relationships between crew members, so tread carefully.

Darkest Dungeon 2 is a fantastic indie strategy game, but it can take a little while to get to grips with. Dying leads to progress, so don’t feel too bad if you don’t win for the first ten attempts or so.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

20. For the King

For the King
Image Credit: Curve Games.

For the King blends different genres to make a stunning strategy experience. Blending roguelike and tabletop elements together, you have to try to aid the queen of your kingdom, which is now in ruin.

You can play it solo or cooperatively, both online and offline, depending on what works for you.

If you have a great time with For the King, check out For the King 2!

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

19. Frostpunk

best city builder game
Image Credit: 11 bit studios

Frostpunk is a post-apocalyptic dystopian indie strategy game that you really don’t want to miss out on. You have to help build your city from the ground up and help them survive frigid temperatures. There are some tough decisions to be made and quests to complete.

Will you become the hero or the villain of your civilization?

If you find that you’re enjoying Frostpunk, you don’t have long to wait until Frostpunk 2 arrives, with a set release date in July 2024. 

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows

18. Balatro

Balatro poker cards
Image Credit: Playstack.

Balatro is an indie strategy game that has taken the world by storm. It first had a little bit of a rocky start due to gambling laws (of which there is no real gambling in the game,) but that was soon resolved. It then became a smash hit, where you have to play illegal poker hands, discover new cards as you go, and create some truly wacky card combos.

This game combines poker, deckbuilding, and roguelikes into one moreish game. You’ll find yourself saying “one more round” for at least five more rounds, if not more.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

17. Ftl: Faster Than Light

Faster Than Light spaceship
Image Credit: Subset Games.

Subset Games features two games on this indie strategy game list because they are equally fantastic. Taking place within a spaceship, you have to make sure you can keep it running with a full crew. Not only this, but you also have to fight for survival as you have to fend off other ships in space. 

Nothing can prepare you for the next run, as it’s randomly generated each time. 

Platforms: iOS, PC

16. Mini Metro

Mini Metro London map
Image Credit: Dinosaur Polo Club.

Compared to some of the other strategy games on this list, Mini Metro (and Mini Motorways, respectively) are some of the most relaxing games here. With a minimalistic design, you are in charge of designing a subway map for an ever-expanding city. Will you be able to keep your city running smoothly, or will chaos and jams soon mess up your flow?

There are also scenarios in the game with famous subway maps from around the world, if you ever wanted to tweak the London Tube map, for example.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, PlayStation 4, iOS, PC

15. They Are Billions

They Are Billions combat
Image Credit: Numantian Games.

They Are Billions is a fantastic Steampunk indie Strategy game that takes place on a post-apocalyptic planet. You have to build colonies and defend them from the zombies threatening to wipe out the remainder of human civilization. 

There are plenty of missions to do, giving you hours and hours of content to wade through while making sure that your society stays alive and uninfected. Although it may seem like a zombie game on the surface, you have to dig deep to find out why the pandemic even started in the first place.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

14. Warpips

Warpips combat
Image Credit: Daedalic Entertainment.

Although it may seem like a simple tug-of-war game on the surface, Warpips requires a lot of thought to have the ideal team composition. Luckily, the game’s mechanics are easy to pick up, making it very beginner-friendly.

You have to decide what tech trees you want to research to make sure that you have the strongest army to take over the opponent. It’s an incredibly simple game with plenty of replayability, and you can experiment with many different compositions.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PC

13. Hero’s Hour

Hero's Hour zoomed out map
Image Credit: Goblinz Publishing.

When it comes to chaotic indie Strategy games, Hero’s Hour is definitely in the top spot. It’s a fast-paced, turn-based strategy game with real-time combat. What a mouthful! The more you explore, the more you can develop your army, obtain new skills, and find powerful magics.

With procedurally generated maps, you may find yourself in a spot of bother from time to time. If your army isn’t strong enough, it won’t be long before enemies completely overwhelm you!

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

12. Tooth and Tail

Tooth and Tail red vs blue
Image Credit: Pocketwatch Games.

Tooth and Tail is certainly one of the most unique strategy games out there. You have to lead a revolution as an army of Skunks, Owls, and Boars. What more could you possibly want from an indie strategy game? There are plenty of ways to play the game, from single-player to online competitive play and even some split-screen couch co-op! 

Working hard to build your base, fend off enemies, and fight for survival, you may find yourself snacking on an opponent or two along the way. 

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

11. Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers
Photo Credits: Overhype Studios

Battle Brothers has a charmingly dated feel to it, as you have to lead an army through a medieval fantasy world. Sailing across seas, pillaging villages, and making difficult decisions are all part of the parcel in this game. You have to decide who is worth keeping and having in your army and whether or not the others should be punished for their lack of utility.

Will your army be able to succeed in this procedurally generated world, or will you succumb to your opponents?

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Windows

10. Thronefall

Thronefall forest
Image Credit: GrizzlyGames.

Thronefall is a gorgeous little indie strategy game. It comes with such a unique minimalist art style that you’d have no idea it could become a sprawling kingdom in no time. This game is still in early access, so expect some bumps in the road from time to time. However, don’t let that deter you from playing this beauty of a game. 

If you’re looking for a shorter strategy game, Thronefall will easily fill that gap. It has 5-7 hours of core playtime, meaning you don’t have to waste away at your desk to complete it. It has hack-and-slash elements and is one of the simpler strategy games you can play on this list.

Thronefall is the perfect gateway into strategy games if you are overwhelmed by all the different elements. This game is stripped back and takes it back to basics.

Platforms: PC

9. Defcon

Defcon world map
Image Credit: Introversion Software.

Inspired by the 1983 movie Wargames, DEFCON has that great retro feel to it and gives you all the tension of the Cold War era. Having to remain suspicious throughout your gameplay, you’ll delve deep into the psychological aspect of taking part in a nuclear war, where you are playing as a General hidden in a deep underground bunker.

Compared to some of the games on this list, this one can look a little bit intimidating, especially if you aren’t a fan of games that feel dated. 

Platforms: PC, Nintendo DS

8. Game Dev Tycoon

Game Dev Tycoon garage studio
Image Credit: Greenheart Games.

Game Dev Tycoon is a wonderfully simple indie strategy game and a great timesink, too. You get to walk through the history of game development, from beginning on chunky computers to progressing to a modernized company with hundreds of employees. 

Will you be able to make some AAA games, or will they all fall flat on their face?

Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC

7. Invisible, Inc.

Invisible Inc stealth mission
Image Credit: Keli Entertainment.

Invisible, Inc. combines stealth gameplay with isometric strategy. It is arguably one of the more difficult games on this list. If you enjoy a challenge, you’ll want to make sure you give this one a go. Set in a Cyberpunk world, you have to take control of Invisible, Inc.’s agents and infiltrate some of the world’s most dangerous companies. 

It can get incredibly tense and leave you white-knuckled at the desk with sweat dripping down the back of your neck. Every wrong move leads to a severe consequence, with some being fatal.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC

6. Banished

medieval city building games
Image Credit: Shinning Rock Software

Banished is a dated-feeling city builder set in a medieval world. You have to help a group of exiled travelers find their footing and start their life over again. With a cart full of supplies from their homeland, you have to use them, expand on them, and try to help them create their own village where they will thrive.

Admittedly, Banished is a little bit harder to get into out of the city builders on this list. The controls can be quite finicky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a wonderful time sink.

Platforms: Windows

5. Parkitect

Built up theme park in Parkitect
Image Credit: Texel Raptor.

While Planet Coaster could be on this list, that game can be incredibly overwhelming and daunting. So, Parkitect is going to take its place on this list. It’s a lot more user-friendly, has cute animations and graphics, and is nowhere near as intensive on your PC. 

It takes the best of the Rollercoaster Tycoon games and adds to it, allowing you to even play the game in online co-op with up to eight players! This can lead to some fantastically comical chaos, so why not give it a try?

Platforms: PC

4. This Is the Police

This is the Police house burning down
Image Credit: THQ Nordic.

This Is The Police is the perfect game for those crime fans out there. Taking place in a city riddled with crime, you play as the dark and mysterious Police Chief Jack Boyd, where you fall into a rabbit hole of intrigue and crime. This game combines adventure with strategy and can lead you down many different paths.

Will you be able to retire with a healthy sum of money in your bank, or will you end up in a body bag?

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

3. Plague Inc: Evolved

Plague Inc evolving the virus
Image Credit: Ndemic Creations.

If you’ve ever wanted to cause a worldwide pandemic (a touchy subject), then this is the perfect game for you. Choose your country, and evolve your illness as you make more and more people sick. Will it be just an irritating flu, or will it be an illness that wipes out all of humanity? 

Depending on how you play, you can decide their fate. Once you’ve had enough fun playing in the free play section, you can then move on to the scenarios, which can really put your strategy to the test.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, PC

2. Timberborn

build a city game
Image Credit: Mechanistry

Ever wanted to control a colony of Beavers? Well, with Timberborn, that is exactly what you do! In a world where humans don’t exist anymore, you have to help a colony of beavers survive in a lumber-punk world to see if they can outlast the humans. From technical city building to water physics and terraforming, Timberborn combines all the difficult elements of city building and smashes them with survival and strategy elements.

What’s not to love?

Platforms: PC

1. Rimworld

Rimworld colony layout
Image Credit: Ludeon Studios.

Rimworld is one of the most popular indie strategy games on the market, and it’s not hard to see why. Somewhat reminiscent of the first Fallout games, this game takes place in a sci-fi world propelled by an AI storyteller. The game creates stories by using psychology, diplomacy, loyalty, and other topics throughout the game.

It can get chaotic, to say the least, as you try to help your colony survive and not rip each other to shreds in the meantime. If you’re looking for a timesink, Rimworld is the perfect game for that.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

That concludes our list of the best indie strategy games. What is your favorite indie strategy game? For more on indie games, check out our weekly round-up of new indie game releases

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Written by Amy Eastland

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