AFK Arena is an idle gacha game where grinding for (loot/xp/gold) is replaced by going AFK. Opening up the game to collect these AFK rewards will strengthen your team over time. Even if you do not intend to play for a while, simply checking in on the game for a few minutes per day will drastically bolster the strength of your team over time.
AFK Arena’s combat plays like auto-chess: Assemble a team with good synergy, switch out certain units to adjust your strategy, switch unit positioning to drastically change battles, and collect duplicate copies of your heroes to increase their stats. RPG elements such as acquiring gear, doing special missions, and fulfilling daily quests make up the core progression of the game.
ii. What is the core gameplay loop?
The main focus of the game is pushing through campaign stages with your team and defeating enemies. The difficulty scales as you progress. The game heavily rewards you based on how far you can push. Completing campaign stages unlocks new gameplay features, side-missions, hero summons, resources, etc. If you’re smart with how you approach the game, it can lead to a snowball effect where your power spikes lead to more power spikes.
Ascending your core heroes while unlocking new ones is the gacha fun factor. Your formation evolves over time while your options to approach battles broadens. You start with a rag-tag team in the early game while summoning powerful replacements over time. The heroes you rely on most eventually stick, becoming core aspects of your team.
As you progress, you’ll eventually hit a wall (usually a boss stage). You can overcome these difficult battles by upgrading your gear, adjusting formation, and swapping out heroes. This works a surprising amount of the time. If you’re stubborn enough, you can exhaust all possible options to overcome the battle. When that doesn’t work, you’re forced to go AFK and try again later.
You can't play it 8 hours a day but its an excellent side-game.