I had a good time with the first Nonstop Knight game, a little automatic dungeon crawler where you’d fight a bunch of enemies in a diablo-like fashion, collecting money and experience, gear and new skills, pets and other trinkets to get stronger and clear more and more dangerous challenges. I decided to give the new one a shot and I’m kinda unhappy with the things they changed, making it a more aggressively micro-transactionned adventure where ultimately, playing more won’t give you any progress and that feels real bad.
The game plays more-or-less the same than the first Nonstop Knight, you automatically run into dungeons and hit enemies, the only player interaction is the use of skills, metered by a mana bar instead of cooldowns (although your ‘ultimate’ skill is still on a timer) this time around. Between maps, you get to switch your gear, equip new skills unlocked by leveling up and passive talents found in blind boxes that you have to buy with premium currency. You have a bunch of stats to improve (they are mostly boiled down to 3, so it’s tough to say if getting more attack speed is worth it if your ‘main’ stat goes down.) and there’s a wide range of skills from blasting foes with ice to dashing in a fiery line to summoning tornadoes.
Instead of being on a linear path of identical levels, you’re sent through dungeons where you can explore side areas at your leisure. These side-zones can have different challenges like collecting coins or resources in a limited period of time and it’s interesting to think of the different gameplay types they could throw at me. Some of the boss fights are a bit difficult and you’ll need to use your skills judiciously in order to defeat them - or spend some premium currency. If you’re having troubles in a specific map, you can’t grind. Killing enemies doesn’t give you anything to progress anymore, unlike Nonstop Knight 1, so you won’t get any stronger by mindlessly fighting foes in a dungeon you can manage.
I like the depth of effects you can get on your legendary equipment, since this is a Diablo-like game they have a wide pool of ideas to pick from. There’s also a wide range of skills but the level-up progression is extremely slow. Same thing for talents, there seems to be a bunch of cool ways to customize your character but the only way to get them is to pull from blind card packs and hope you get what you need.
The thing that made me quit Nonstop Knight 2 was a point fairly early on when I ran out of ‘keys’. Usually, defeating bosses is the only way to get more, better gear. You also can use keys to play the challenge maps that I was talking about earlier. If you run out of keys, you cannot get items from bosses anymore, so there’s close to no point into defeating them - you’ll be underequipped for the following maps. Such system really turned me off, so I quit playing.