Alternatives for Warcraft 2/3 or Command & Conquer on iOS30/08/2016
[originally posted 30th of August 2016, last updated 29th of January 2020]
I was looking for an app alternative on iOS for the real time strategy (RTS) games I loved and played a lot on the PC and Mac: Warcraft 2 (Warcraft II) and Warcraft 3 (Warcraft III) or games such as Starcraft, Command & Conquer, but it was very hard to find a great one without annoying in-app purchases. I just simply want to pay once and play the game like in the ‘old’ days on my PC. I also want to note that I only looked for true real time strategy since there are also a lot of ‘turn based’ strategy games in the App Stores but I’m actually looking for games where you can actually control each warrior/peon/villager (single of a group) and have a fight on the game itself and not switch to another village and drop your warriors there or like in the turn based ones can only fight one at a time and even turn by turn. No thanks!
For Warcraft 1,2,3 there aren’t much app alternatives nowadays in the App Store that have the humor and gameplay and without ads, in-app purchases (gems and such).
Please note that some apps which are listed here are 32bit apps so therefore can no longer be played with iOS11 and up if the developers didn’t update to 64bit. Do check with the developer or App Store description if the app has been updated for 64 bit or not. I still run iOS10 so for me all these games still work fine.
The best option out there on iOS are:
Viking Village by Limitless Fun (free, with e.g. Wizard in-app for 3.99 euro to get wizard + remove ads). It is available on iOS (free, with in-app) or ‘Premium’ iOS app which is paid (3,49 euro once), Mac, Android (Google Play) and Windows (via Steam 3.99 euro once). It doesn’t have horrible gem in-app purchases. The purchases that are there are no needed although supporting the developer is a must I think and removing the ads as well. The game looks really great and has various game modes including a classic RTS village vs village. It doesn’t have Orcs or Humans but Vikings the way to collect wood/stone/food and building a village and defend it and go to war is quite similar. I did send a (long) list of suggestions/improvements to the developers and I hope they will use those to further improve this amazing game. This game deserves so much more attention I think. You will however still see an optional video advertisement if you lose a game and want to continue playing. The developer did let me know in Jan. ’20 that we might expect an update in a couple of months time (no guarantee) or even see a Viking Village: 2 release in the near future.
The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands by Xigma Games
This game is an RTS, although the view is not top down it is very nice to play. It is a premium game (pay once) with no ads or in-app purchases. It is available in the iOS App Store (4.49 euro / 3.99 dollar)
The Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores (expected Q1, 2020) by Xigma Games
In Q1, 2020 we can expect the even better version: The Bonfire: 2 which has a top down view and has more buildings, land, water transport and different control of the villagers. I can’t wait till that game gets released. It will again be pay once, premium with no ads or in-app purchases.
Blocky Story: War Craft by Przemyslaw Gajc
This game is a true RTS which looks a lot like WCII, however then in the style of Minecraft. The game is available for free with full size ads, but no in-app purchases in the iOS App Store and Google Play. The controls aren’t clear at all I think in the iOS app, lacks a good explanation. Also the start screen when you open the game doesn’t seem to work correctly on my iPad mini2 running iOS12.4. I did already reach out to the developer on this as well.
Cartoon Craft by Studio Nap / 1506 Games /ParkPill
The game is a true RTS, there were no in-app purchases and no ads. Unfortunately the developer decided to drop the pay once and unfortunately it now has in-app purchases. Google Play (normally 0.50 euro, now free), App Store (was 2,29 euro, now 0.49 eurocents but with in-app purchases).
OrcWar by Menfou/Cedric Larouziere which is free. UI wise it’s really nice and also has awesome sounds that sound a lot like Warcraft II/III. The settings and levels are limited and it are only Orcs and not humans although it looks like the developer is planning to add humans as well by looking at their Facebook page. Unfortunately it could use some improvements like an overview map or a bit better way of selecting multiple troops and more type of building and e.g. water and air transportation or Humans aside of Orcs. I would love to pay once 10 euros for all of these features. Currently an ad is showing in the app which they should definitely remove and instead ask a few euros (once, no in-app please!) although when you put your iDevice in offline mode you won’t see it. It’s also available on Windows Phone (OrcWar, OrcWar RTS) and Android as well. The developer did responded to my App Store review on the 9th of May 2017 in which he said that an update can be expected for iOS, however this didn’t happen unfortunately.
Esenthel by Esenthel / Grzegorz Slazinski (has in-app purchases)
The app costs 1.09 euro in the App Store, but does also have in-app purchases.
The game has all the RTS elements in it like WCII.
Red Reign by Ninja Kiwi
You can’t build much building and the warriors can only walk over a road. The map is small.
Only available in Apple Arcade subscription (4.99 euro a month)
Rusted Warfare – RTS Strategy by Corroding games
C&C like Android only 2.29 euro in Google Play store. No in-app purchases or ads.
RAWAR2 by Daan Kogelmans
C&C like Android only free in Google Play with in-app purchases though 🙁
There was a game in 2009 which was called ‘Rise Of Lost Empires‘ by Gameloft which seems like a great WC2 game and did only cost 4.99 dollar (one time only) but is unfortunately no longer available in the App Store. Please see some videos and details here and here.
There is Autumn Dynasty Warlords | see in App Store (6.99 dollar), last update Feb. ’15 | Google Play (4.99 dollar) RTS version | which is definitely not the same thing as Warcraft and is more an Age of Empire 2 (AOE2) kind of game but maybe you will like it.
There was also Starfront which was also a great clone by Gameloft which looked a lot like Starcraft. Unfortunately that is also no longer available in the App Store as well. Please see a description, video and pictures of the game here.
I found five great alternatives for C&C though which are:
Z Steel Soldier | see in App Store or Google Play (5.99 euro) | developer: Kavcom Limited | last updated: 5th of June 2015 | price: 6,99 dollar/euro, no in-app purchases, compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Machines at War 3 RTS | see in App Store or Google Play (7.50 euro)| developer: Isotope 244 | last updated: 1st of June 2016 | price: 6,99 dollar/euro, no in-app purchases, compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Land Air Sea Warfare (HD) | iPhone / iPad (1.99 dollar – iPhone – 3.99 dollar – iPad) or Google Play (4.49 euro)| developer: Isotope 244 | last updated: April 2013 | price: 3,99 dollar/euro, no in-app purchases (not in iOS version, not sure about Android version), compatibility: Requires iOS 4.2 (iPhone) 3.2 or later (iPad). Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Warfare Incorporated | see in App Store or Google Play (beta) | developer: Spiffcode, Inc. | last updated: 29th of January 2016 | price: free, no in-app purchases, compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
MechCom 2 – 3D RTS | see in App Store or Google Play | developer: Game Dev Team | last updated: 7th of June 2016 | price: 0,99 dollar, no in-app purchases, compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
MechCom – 3D RTS | see in App Store or Google Play | developer: Game Dev Team | last updated: 26th of July 2013 | price: 0,99 dollar, no in-app purchases, compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch