Aren't these all like horrible freemium games with lots of downtime?
Not necessarily. Most are freemium but many are tailored so you really don't need to pay anything and can still get plenty of gameplay. Ditto on the downtime, it varies from game to game. Finding one that suits your style can be a crapshoot, but because there are so many, it's also very possible that one exists.
I'm generally surprised at just how many of these games are out there, and just how many people appear to be playing them. It seems like an incredibly fractured audience for what's already a niche genre. Of course I'm one of these people, maybe there are just like 100 of us and we all play every release that comes out lol.