Gaming

Best Strategy Games With A Minimalist Design

Highlights

  • Sudocats is a relaxing strategy game that combines sudoku with adorable cats. Place cats on the board strategically to beat each level and enjoy a purrfectly calming experience.
  • Mini Metro offers a unique city-building experience by designing subway maps. Connect stations and streamline commuting in this simple yet engaging game perfect for city planners and train enthusiasts.
  • Bad North is a challenging real-time tactics strategy game where players defend their kingdoms from invaders. Take advantage of each landform to win battles and witness cute little soldiers fighting for victory.


Strategy games can be fun, frustrating, relaxing, and sometimes confusing – but the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a level is a universal triumph. From playing sudoku to avoiding incoming killers, strategy games run the gamut of what’s possible in video games. Add a relaxing, chill soundtrack and a minimalist design, and perhaps there’s a hidden gem among these puzzling and wildly stimulating head-scratchers.

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8 Best Minimalist Sandbox Games, Ranked

Sandbox games don’t always need to be complicated; some are based on the concept of minimalism and offer simple yet fun experiences.

With dozens of games to choose from, strategy and minimalist are two popular tags on Steam for games that do just that: get players thinking of the best move to make next while not getting too distracted by game design elements that might throw them off. Whether it’s creating new land, defending hard-earned territory, or exploring caves and mines, there are some strategy games that flaunt a simple, minimalist design, that allows gameplay to triumph alongside it.


8 Sudocats

A Purrfectly Relaxing Strategy Game

Sudocats

Sudocats

Released
March 14, 2022

Developer(s)
Devcats

Genre(s)
Puzzle

Sudocats is best explained by Devcats’s short, sweet, and to the point tagline: “Sudoku for cat people.”

This simple, minimalist strategy game is easy to navigate and just as adorable to play. Adopt and collect new kitties to add to the collection that’ll help beat more and more of these addictively relaxing levels. For fans of sudoku, fans of cats, or both, this relaxing strategy game involves placing one of each kind of cat across the board – but make sure to introduce them properly, or bear witness to a cat-fight!

7 Mini Metro

Design A Subway System, But Better!

Mini Metro

Mini Metro

Released
August 11, 2014

Developer
Dinosaur Polo Club

Genre(s)
Simulation , Strategy

Mini Metro is a simple city-builder, but there are no buildings to construct or roads to pave. Here, players will be put into a different, high-paced setting: designing a subway map for a bustling metropolis.

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Connect disconnected subway stations and help everyone commute to and fro in a more streamlined manner. Mini Metro is perfect for fans of city planners, but also for fans of trains. It’s a double-whammy.

6 Bad North

Protect The Land (And Use It To Win)

Bad North - gameplay

Bad North

Released
August 20, 2018

Developer(s)
Plausible Concept

Genre(s)
Real-Time Strategy

This real-time tactics strategy game has players defending their kingdoms from invaders and leading their people from island to island, taking strategic advantage of each unique landform to help win the day.

Bad North is simple in design, but surprisingly detailed in gameplay – even hiding behind a small hill could make or break a battle! It’s challenging but highly replayable, and the little soldiers are rather cute to watch all fight to the death.

5 Mini Motorways

Casual & Minimalist City Planner

Mini Motorways

Mini Motorways

Released
September 19, 2019

Developer(s)
Dinosaur Polo Club

Genre(s)
Simulation , Strategy

Dinosaur Polo Club’s sequel to Mini Metro, Mini Motorways involves designing the road map for an ever-growing city, one motorway at a time. Keeping the city moving is harder than it looks!

Related

7 Minimalist Puzzle Games

Players who enjoy simple aesthetics while solving puzzles will love these minimalist games.

With its minimal color scheme, relaxing gameplay, and sense of accomplishment, fans of any sort of city planner games like the City: Skylines and the SimCity series will soon get sucked into strategizing the best ways to format this monochrome town.

4 Thronefall

Defend The Kingdom In This Minimalist Tower Defense

Thronefall

Thronefall

Released
August 2, 2023

Developer
GrizzlyGames

Genre(s)
Strategy , City Builder

Vibrant and minimalistic, Thronefall’s early access demo showcases the game’s best features and a sneak peek into its tower defense gameplay. Keep the little kingdom safe from attackers, and build it up to become a spiraling fortress.

Build up the base during the day, then defend it during the night from sneak attacks. Achieve the perfect balance of economic success and strong defenses! Thronefall is perfect for fans of other tower defense games like Plants vs. Zombies.

3 Minit

Groundhog Day In A Game

Minit

MINIT

Developer(s)
Vlambeer

Genre(s)
JRPG

Players have one minute. That’s it, one minute to learn as much as possible in the world of Minit, a minimal pixelated game that’s played sixty seconds at a time.

From finding secrets to strategizing the next move, Minit proves itself to contain hours of incredible gameplay – even if it’s only a minute for each round. Figure out what’s going on, find the appropriate tools to complete tasks, and hurry it up – there’s only a few seconds left!

2 Dorfromantik

Design A Zen-Like Dream

Dorfromantik

Dorfromantik

Released
March 25, 2021

Developer
Toukana

Genre(s)
Puzzle

Settle in with a warm drink and some snacks, it’s cozy gaming time! This turn-based strategy game involves creating a beautiful biome by placing colorful tiles down on the board. Build a village, finish quests, and fill the environment with new life.

Casual and relaxing, Dorfromantik is a less high-maintenance version of various city builders; turn the tiles to fit with the previously placed ones and profit by having an idealistic, pastoral landform. Fans of Planet Zoo will love building a chill biome, especially thanks to the minimal, pastel palette of the game itself.

1 SUPERHOT

Plan The Next Move Carefully

SUPERHOT

Superhot

Released
February 25, 2016

Developer
SUPERHOT Team

The game that moves as the player does, SUPERHOT is arguably one of the most iconic VR games to date. As the player moves through the world, taking out enemies, the world moves with them – and pauses when they can stay still long enough to plot their next move. The game without its VR capabilities follows the same mechanics, and it’s just as exciting to slightly scoot the mouse and watch the world come alive… for just a split second of chaos.

With its simple, minimal design and puzzling gameplay mechanics, SUPERHOT’s landmark time manipulation mechanic makes it one that any fan of The Matrix needs to check out.

Although generally regarded as an FPS, SUPERHOT fits the strategy genre very well due to its stop-and-start gameplay loop requiring players to constantly strategize their next move.

More

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Antonio Josse

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