On first look, Arena of Evolution is just another autobattler on mobile. It has the classic Auto Chess layout and the aggressive monetization tactics typical of mobile games. Battle pass, cosmetics, quests and challenges, you name it.
However, those first impressions are only part of the big, strange picture. The more you play the game and learn about it, the more obvious it becomes that it isn’t just another Auto Chess clone.
Arena of Evolution is set in the universe of Red Tides, a sci-fi tug-of-war strategy game. It is the only autobattler to not have a generic fantasy setting, although it isn’t completely original either. As you might notice by the Raynor-esque character in the Red Tides trailer below, it is somewhat inspired by StarCraft 2.
In fact, much like Underlords and Teamfight Tactics, Arena of Evolution has a convoluted origin story beginning in a Blizzard game. It is a spin-off of Red Tides, which itself is based on a mod in the StarCraft 2 arcade.
Its StarCraft 2 roots also show a little in the gameplay. Arena of Evolution is the only autobattler that distinguishes between aerial and ground units. While it still borrows a healthy amount of mechanics from Auto Chess, it does so a lot less than practically every other autobattler.
It goes a step further by adding a number of completely unique heroes and synergies, like the Supporter class that lets players summon benched heroes mid-fight.
In addition to regular gameplay, Arena of Evolution offers Blitz, a faster game mode for shorter matches. This mode was adapted by every other mobile autobattler to come after it. It has other features that are quickly becoming standard for the genre, like ranked matchmaking and custom lobbies. While it is no longer unique for having these options, it was the first game to introduce them.
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Games player and write-abouter from Ottawa. Doom basically raised me.