The Best Political Games for Android

Rise to power through diplomacy or warfare in these Android games

Republican and Democrat campaigners carrying flags

 James Boast / Getty Images

Politics in the 21st century is an especially divisive and contentious topic. 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 into getting elected, staying in power, or living out a wish-fulfillment fantasy.

Head of State

Screenshot of the game Head of State
What We Like
  • Premise of the game is intriguing.

  • Some timely political satire.

  • Intended to reflect U.S. politics in microcosm.

What We Don't Like
  • Game progression feels contained and with little variability.

  • Replayability is lacking.

  • Ultimately doesn't deliver the political depth and fun it promises.

Head of State is a political satire that features anthropomorphic animals. As you play, you enact policies to raise your political party from obscurity to power to overthrow the government surreptitiously. You need to be smart about enacting policies to raise power in different regions of the country while quelling any dissent. You raise your stature in stages to unlock newer and more effective policies while trying to get enough power to trigger the revolution without your coup being squelched.

While you have policies you can enact, the game wants you to play in a way that you probably wouldn't rule — as a deceptive tyrant who is trying to incite a political revolution. Plus, the game seems to have a unique sense of multiparty politics that's more akin to a parliamentary system; your party gains power at various levels.

Download Head of State

Campaign Manager

Screenshot of the app Campaign Manager
What We Like
  • Campaign at different times in recent U.S. history, back to 1992.

  • Uses real demographic and polling data.

  • Replay famous campaigns and candidate matchups.

What We Don't Like
  • Only covers presidential elections; congressional or gubernatorial races would be great to see.

  • Lack of political scandal events feels like an oversight.

  • No third-party candidate option.

The most appealing aspect of Campaign Manager is that it simulates a U.S. presidential election as you try to take your favorite candidate to victory and rewrite history. If you prefer to tackle campaigns going back to 1992 where the starting electoral maps and desires of states are accurate to that time period, that option is available to you as well. You 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. It's definitely worth checking out if you want something grounded in reality.

Download Campaign Manager

Civilization Revolution 2

Screenshot of Civilization Revolution 2
What We Like
  • Condenses the larger-scale game experience with reasonable success.

  • The price has dropped since its initial release.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks multiplayer gameplay.

  • AI opponents all tend to be similarly aggressive, without surprising traits or behaviors, and so are predictable.

In Civilization Revolution 2, you 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, giving you a portable-friendly, entry-level version of this classic series. You build up a civilization while trying to navigate around your opponents and 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
  • Build a spaceship that reaches Alpha Centauri to win via Science

Watch out for Nuclear Gandhi. You may wonder why Gandhi would be so determined 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 a beloved in-joke for the series.

Download Civilization Revolution 2

Pocket Politics

Screenshot of Pocket Politics
What We Like
  • Gives the clicker-style game a twist.

  • Easy to play.

  • Simple gameplay is still addictive.

What We Don't Like
  • The real focus is on generating money, less on political maneuvering and skill.

  • Doesn't simulate the real or political worlds much.

  • You don't actually play a candidate, you just manage money and fund them.

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 your profile to be a dominant politician. This means you'll be raising money by tapping and buying idle money-earners. The money that you sink in becomes worth more and more over time. Encounter various interests, from low-level grassroots efforts to influencing the media and using it 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. Some aspects of the game aren't quite realistic, but it's easier than actually running for office.

Download Pocket Politics

Risk: Global Domination

Screenshot of Risk: Global Domination
What We Like
  • Online and offline pass-and-play multiplayer gaming.

  • Supports Chromecast for display on a TV screen.

  • Classic board game makes for a fun mobile game.

What We Don't Like
  • Random number generator anomalies can result in lopsided outcomes occasionally.

  • Game has had its share of online cheaters; developers have stated they are cracking down.

Diplomacy is fine, but sometimes, becoming a winner requires you to conquer everyone. 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 Risk: Global Domination is that it features Chromecast support so you and your friends or family can sit around the TV, playing via an Android tablet or phone, with the overall game situation being updated on the TV display. The game comes with a few tokens available to play with per day, although you can unlock the full game and quick-play the French Revolution map for a fee.

Download Risk: Global Domination

Plague Inc.

Screenshot of Plague Inc.
What We Like
  • Political? If post-apocalypse were a political party.

  • Challenging gameplay.

  • Graphics of the mobile app version are improved over original game.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be frustratingly difficult at times.

  • Wait times for progress can be very long and boring.

  • The dark theme of eradicating humanity may be off-putting for some.

Plague Inc. 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. 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 work to dodge the countermeasures. Elections won't matter when everyone's been wiped out.

Download Plague Inc.

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