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In order to keep a little order to my list, I'll focus on free strategy games that are available at the moment. Also note that most of my links go to ArmorGames.com. That's just because they tend to have a good selection of the best that's out there and the pop-ups are usually few and far between.
There is no actual order to my list. The games cross many themes and playstyles, but the list as whole is the best of the strategy genre.
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This one isn't technically free. It's a long demo for a good game that should be release at the end of July. For the time being, you can play the first six levels for free though.
The game is actually just a twist on a style that's been hitting a lot of online arcades lately. This free game has a number of control nodes that spawn soldier units. You then order these to attack and capture other nodes until the map is yours. It's a fast paced but cool strategy game.
The reason that it's so fun is that it is just oozing with style. You don't just see numbers on your node growing. The plot is that you are trying to spread your plant life through an asteroid field. You grow units by using seeds to plant new trees. These trees grow over time and branch out as the level grows on. There is a great sense of accomplishment as you see your little home planet supporting five huge trees spawning an army every few minutes.
There's also a bit of strategy as you try to secure the asteroids that grant your trees and seedlings the best attributes. The whole thing just feels really cool though. If you are interested, then check it out on the main website here
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Did you play Advance Wars? If so, then here's another 10 levels to play for free online. If you're not familiar with the series, then it's a tile-based strategy game. You move soldiers, tanks, ships, and airplanes around the map to capture control points and take out enemy forces.
This version is incredibly faithful to the idea. The details are crisp and the levels honestly feel professional. The story fits the slightly cheesy universe. The gameplay is advanced enough for real strategy buffs to plan great strikes. It's also friendly enough for beginners to jump right in and not get steamrolled.
It's a game that is definitely worth your time. Check out the link below.
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This strategy game has you fighting through trench warfare in World War I. It's a type of strategy that isn't used much and is very faithful to the idea.
You move soldiers, machine gunners, and snipers from trench to trench. The idea is to either break the enemy's morale or push them off the battlefield. You have to use the various types of soldiers to establish a strong defense and then push forward across the battlefield. Artillery, mortars, and gas attacks will help in this goal.
I need to reiterate just how cool this free strategy game is. You are playing a realistic WWI game. You send units hastily out of trenches, often to be taken apart by enemy fire. You'll see entire squads taken out in seconds by lucky mortar strikes or mustard gas attacks. You'll do the same to enemies. It's just a really unique experience. It's only flaw is that its a bit repetitive.
If it sounds good to you, then look it up here.
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Mastermind: World Conqueror
A great game for those who don't just want a war game. This one has you playing an evil genius who's on the rise. It's just a fun game.
You start out with a pitiful base and a few minions. You then rob banks to gain more money. You rob labs to unlock technology. There are options to murder and kidnap politicians, reporters, and crime bosses to make future operations easier. There's a surprising level of depth available for a free online game. Each operation has its own animation and a few options that mix up the dialogue.
One of the best parts is the humor though. I won't spoil the ending, but everything is of a dark and tongue-in-cheek manner. Your base is attacked by superheroes and special agents. You can hire advisors and bodyguards with hilarious stereotypical villain identities. The whole thing smacks of the best humor from the Austin Powers series.
If it sounds like you'd like it, then check this link.
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The Space Game
A pretty cool strategy game. You need to mine asteroids quickly, ensure a sufficient power supply, and build up the right turrets to fight off waves of enemies. It's a really interesting strategy game with a lot of room for different strategies and styles. The interface is also easy to learn, so it's a great game to pick up and play. There's not much else to say about it really.
I'm not linking to the main site since I don't like the layout and annoying prompts.
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Not too much to say about this one either. It feels a bit like the old Dungeon Keeper games. The idea is that your hero is in charge of a dungeon. You build lairs that spawn units to fight waves of enemy units. There is a good bit of room for strategy as you use different monsters to fight the variety of threats you'll face. Overall, it's a nice mix between a defense game and a strategy game.
The interface is simple too use and the gameplay is very addictive. I think that you'll really enjoy it.
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I'll finish the list with a business game that involves a good bit of strategy. This is a fairly simple game that has you building oil wells and bribing politicians to get your way. It's a very straightforward game that shouldn't take you more than an hour to complete.
The downside is that the interface sometimes has too many hidden options. You have to remember to click on each buildings to find out about some special options (bribing army officials, organizing a war, etc.). It also has no apparent good ending. The game will only end if you destroy the world. Otherwise it will just continue with no real ending. A little disappointing really.
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Well this list should get you started. I generally tried to pick the cream of the crop for this list. There are a number of other games that are also good, but I tried to pick the best of each genre to save you some time.
Best of luck with your future gaming.