This role-playing/strategy game hybrid gives players a fun and addictive fantasy experience, but never asks for more than a few minutes at a time. Don’t misunderstand, once you start playing AFK Arena, setting up your team of heroes and pushing back the forces of darkness, it can be difficult to put down. But one of the great things about it is that players continue to get rewards with experience, treasure, items, and more, even while the game is idle (hence the “AFK” part of the title). This means you can log in just once a day, grab your accumulated loot, distribute your goodies to your team as needed, and complete a couple of quick quests before going right back about your merry way.
When you do take an active part in AFK Arena, the gameplay is light and simple, at least on the surface. The game just about plays itself in battles, with your only input being to choose your party before the battle starts and tapping on heroes when their abilities are charged. There's a lot more depth and complexity, though, once you start getting into building up your heroes, equipping and leveling their gear, and “ascending” them to become more powerful. Other factors include things like faction bonuses and hero positioning, which can make a substantial difference on the battlefield. Unfortunately, while the tutorials cover the basic elements of gameplay, learning the more advanced stuff feels like you’re left on your own to learn through trial and error. Other parts of the game even feel a bit incomplete. Searching to add friends is an almost impossible task, and the shop sometimes requires you to leave and log back in before your purchases are credited. It’s more of a minor inconvenience than anything, but it still takes a little of the fun away from an otherwise entertaining and bite-size fantasy adventure.