The Best Political Games for Android

Rise to power through diplomacy or warfare in these Android games

Politics, especially in the 21st century, have become an especially divisive and contentious topic. Perhaps you might want to get away from the topic entirely—or maybe a video game that lets you explore the topic is more your speed. These political games are fascinating explorations of getting elected, staying in power, or just living out a crazy wish-fulfillment fantasy.

Head of State
Policies screen in political satire Head of State. Ed Biden

This political satire—featuring anthropomorphic animals for no particular reason—has you trying to enact policies to raise your political party from obscurity into power, in order to overthrow the government surreptitiously. You'll need to enact policies smartly to raise power in different regions of the country while quelling any dissent. You'll have to raise your stature in stages to unlock newer and more effective policies, trying to get enough power to eventually trigger the revolution without your coup being quelled.

The game is kind of interesting because while you have certain policies that you can enact, it might be better to play not in the way that you so desire to rule, than as a deceptive tyrant, as the game seemingly wants you to be. You know, since you're trying to incite a political revolution and all. Plus, the game seems to have a unique sense of multi-party politics that's more akin to a parliamentary system, as your party gains power at various levels, versus just being a presidential candidate rising to power.

What might be most appealing about this game is the fact that it actually simulates a US presidential election, letting you try to take your favorite candidate to victory, including several candidates from the 2016 primaries, in case your favorite didn't make it to the 2016 election. Or if you want to try and tackle campaigns going back to 1992 for yourself, where the starting electoral maps and desires of states are more accurate to that time period, that option is available to you as well. You'll have to run campaigns and startup efforts with your budget in all 50 states. While your chances of turning deep red or blue states around aren't great, this game gives you a good sense of how American elections work from a simplified but still plausible viewpoint. Worth checking out if you want something a bit more grounded in reality.

Dictator: Emergence

If you've played Head of State, and think after the revolution, it's time for you to be the best dictator that you can be, then this game is for you. You have to balance out 6 different factions at a time, making yes or no decisions to their requests to keep individual factions from becoming too weak or powerful. If you like Reigns, but want something with a bit more control than the random card-drawing, Tinder-esque aspect of that game, this might be for you. A few different versions, with varying amounts of free-to-play influence, are available on Google Play for you to peruse.

Civilization Revolution 2
Playable character John F. Kennedy in Civilization Revolution 2. 2K Games

Build up a civilization from scratch, playing as one of several real-world leaders. This classic game series from Sid Meier has been streamlined for mobile (though many would love a straight-up port of Civilization 5 for mobile as well), giving you a good portable-friendly, entry-level version of this classic series. You'll be able to build up a civilization from scratch, trying to navigate around your opponents, trying to win in one of four ways. Capture all the enemy capitals to win via Domination. Collect 20,000 gold and build the World Bank to win via Economy. Manage to build the United Nations and win via Culture. Or, build a spaceship, reaching Alpha Centauri, to win via Science. Just watch out for Nuclear Gandhi. You may wonder why Gandhi would be so hellbent on trying to strike you down with nukes when given the opportunity, but it's a reference to a classic game in the Civilization series where a bug would cause Gandhi to go from being peaceful to being a nuclear warlord. It's become such a beloved in-joke for the series that it has stuck around in future games. 

Pocket Politics

Kongregate has a clicker that's perfectly appropriate for election season in Pocket Politics. The format is familiar to many clickers, but with the idea that you're an upstart politician trying to raise their profile in order to be a dominant politician.This means raising money by tapping, and also buying idle money-earners, with the money that you sink in being worth more and more over time. These represent various interests, from low-level grassroots efforts all the way up to influencing the media and using that to your advantage. Eventually, you'll be able to go from community leader to president, and then you can retire...and start all over again! Of course, there are some aspects that aren't quite realistic, but it's easier than actually running for office!

Risk: Global Domination

Diplomacy is fine. But sometimes, becoming a winner requires that you just conquer everyone. And why not do so in a mobile version of popular board game Risk? This version is free to try with several cool features, including online play, single player play, and local pass and play What's cool about this version is that it features Chromecast support so you and your friends and/or family can sit around the TV, playing via an Android tablet or phone, with the overall game situation being updated via the TV display. This game is free to try, with a few tokens available to play with per day, though you can just unlock the full game and the quick-play French Revolution map for $5.99.

Plague Inc

Look, this might not seem like a political game, but look at it this way: maybe in this election, you're rooting for the Sweet Meteor O'Death. Maybe the only way to make America great again is to wipe out everything and start from scratch. Plague Inc. is there for specifically that. This mobile gaming classic lets you start up a disease to try and eradicate all life on earth, and then working to dodge the countermeasures. Elections won't matter when everyone's been wiped out.