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My New Mobile Gaming Addiction is an Idle RPG

That’s a headline I didn’t really think I’d ever write. I only occasionally talk about Mobile games here, as I usually try to have at least one game to occupy some time while I’m at work or have a quick minute to spare. Dragalia Lost and Fire Emblem Heroes got me through many years, and smaller titles like Dragon Quest Tact did its job for a short while. But now I’ve moved on to a genre of game that is right up my alley but I’ve somehow never played until this past month.

What is an Idle RPG, you are asking? Well it’s honestly right there in the name: it’s a role playing game that plays while you are not playing it (or while you are “Idle”). Though you can certainly play the game in that you can input choices and do stuff you would normally do in a game, you are also gaining rewards like player experience and upgrade materials while the game isn’t active. Thankfully you don’t need to have the game open to gain these rewards either: they are tracked accordingly via time spent. This is a wonderful way to entice someone to keep playing, since the longer you’re away the more rewards you’re accruing.

The game in question is Mobile Legends: Adventures, or MLA for short. Why is the game’s title three cliche subtitles to games? I do not know. But I do know Laura was first made aware of the game via some well targeted ads on Instagram, and here we are.

MLA is an Idle RPG as well as a Gacha game (which is pretty common for Idle games, I’ve come to understand). Your pulls are for characters, which can be merged together if you have two or more of the same character to create an even beefier version of said character. It’s the slot machine effect a lot of games pull, and it’s in full force here. Thankfully the game gives you plenty of rewards to keep the pulls going without paying a dime, but you can pay up if you so choose to get that hit a bit sooner.

The more I analyze the game, the more I can find its depth, but Final Fantasy this is not. The real challenge here comes from increasing your overall power for each party. The higher that number, the more likely you can defeat increasingly tougher foes. You’ll get new equipment which can also be powered up, and as your characters level up they’ll also get new and more powerful skills. The combat system is entirely automated, meaning you do not have control over the fights. This seemed odd at first, but it fits the nature of the game. This is meant to be a fast, no padding experience. We’re here to get higher numbers and move on, and the game does that well.

Every day or two there are additional modes and challenges that unlock, all of which give you a seemingly endless variety of materials and currencies to spend to upgrade your team. You can join a guild, chat with guildmates, and increase your overall Guild rating. You can move through a roguelike dungeon and gain boons and banes. You can send out your characters on submissions to get rewards. Hell, there’s even a grand story featuring many beautifully drawn characters. Mobile Legends: Adventure has all the trappings of a role playing game, but plays fast and to the point.

And that’s precisely why I would say it is my new addiction: it is fast. The game doesn’t try to waste your time with damn near impossible unless you pay progression gaps. Sure, there’s some walls you hit, but knowing that by simply not playing I can eventually get past one particularly challenging match is reassuring. The game is best enjoyed in short bursts, which is pretty much all you can really do with it. Through natural progression every two or three days you can get multiple ten-pulls of new characters, no money required. Lastly, and worth noting, I have a small handful of friends also playing (and in the same Guild!) that have been keeping the game fun and challenging.

Mobile Legends: Adventure is a fun game that came out of nowhere and hooked me with it’s simple, approachable, and rewarding gameplay. It’s a bit odd to say that, since the gameplay is nigh non-existent, but I still find myself enjoying this game just as much as the previously mentioned Dragalia or Fire Emblem. When a game knows what it is and doesn’t try to be more than that it can really take off. MLA has done just that, and I hope I can keep enjoying it for some time.



I've been writing about video games for years and playing them even longer. You'll find me playing all types of games, old and new. Mega Man III is greater than Mega Man II.