I’m going to get this out of the way at the start of the review – if you didn’t like the original Nonstop Knight, then you’re not going to be a huge fan of its sequel. It’s more of the same mostly-hands-off action, and none of the new additions are going to change anyone’s opinion on that style of play.
That said, this is still one of the best midcore action RPGs you can get on mobile. It’s got more going for it than most, and its mix of idle and interactive play means dipping in and out is the best way to experience it.
Nonstop Knight 2 is every bit as entertaining as its predecessor, and while it doesn’t add much to the already established template, it’s enjoyable enough that you’re not going to mind too much.
As before, the game sees you playing a plucky adventurer. Most of the controls are out of your hands – movement and basic attacks are all handled by the AI. A set of buttons along the bottom of the screen represent special moves, and it’s up to you when to unleash them with a tap.
What you do have control over is the equipment your little knight is wearing. You’ll unlock new chunks of gear every time you beat a boss – or you will if you’ve got a key to get into the chest – so your stats are always heading in that lovely upwards direction.
In the previous game there was an ascension mechanic when you reached a certain level, but that seems to have gone now. Instead your progression is steady – you can recharge equipment that you’ve upgraded to its maximum level, but your hero just keeps getting tougher and learning new skills.
You’re not earning when you’re not playing here – your hero can pop off while you’re not online to help others, but you’re not going to come back to clicker-levels of extra resources if you leave the game for a couple of days. That does throw the rhythm of the game off a little bit though.
Because you need the keys to unlock chests, and they’re slow to refill, it sometimes feels like the game is lacking a second option to get more stuff. There are things you can buy, but the lack of a regular income means you’re going to be scraping and scrimping a little more than in the original.
Different kinds of levels try to keep things fresh – sometimes you’re fighting alongside another knight, sometimes you’re in the dark – but the basic mechanics never change. The fun comes from building up your perfect knight, but the slaughter that knight creates is always just out of your reach.
Don’t stop believing
Nonstop Knight 2 does exactly what it sets out to do – it gives you the action you want, in a manner that’s not too taxing, while focusing in on the development of your character. It’s a dopamine release system with lovely graphics, a charming sense of humour, and enough reasons for you to pick it up every day.
It might not build much on the foundations of the originals, but it strengthens them enough that you’re going to find a reassuringly solid numerical experience underneath a few extra shiny gewgaws.