App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
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One of the keys to making a dungeon-crawler hard to put down is the promise of constant, incremental progression through leveling up, earning new abilities, and--most importantly--gear. Nonstop Knight is a new release from flaregames that takes this concept to its logical extreme: it is always being played, whether you like it or not.
Players kick off Nonstop Knight by playing a short tutorial that offers the only pauses of the game. The idea is simple: Wander through dungeons, kill baddies, fight a boss, get rewards, rinse, and repeat.
Doing this happens almost automatically, as the protagonist runs head on into enemies for you. All you have to do is focus on using abilities and upgrading or equpping new gear.
When does it end?
This all sounds fairly standard, yes? Well, the curveball of this game comes when you close the app. As you go on about your other business with Nonstop Knight closed, your hero just keeps on slaying enemies. You'll even get a notification when your knight is ready to fight a boss and move on to bigger and better things.
Once you re-open the app, you'll get a quick recap of what has happened in your absence, as well as a lump sum of gold that you can use to upgrade your equipment.
Fun has its limits
As you keep progressing in Nonstop Knight, the exercise eventually starts feeling a bit tedious. There are more things to do in the game besides charge further into the dungeon, but none of these extra hooks hold a ton of appeal either.
There's a set of achievements that mark your milestones, an ascension system that allows you to start the dungeon over but progress faster, and there are tokens you can earn or buy to purchase permanent hero upgrades. These all still feed into a game that plays itself and--while the idea is novel and the game looks nice--isn't all that fun of an experience.
The bottom line
If you're into idle games, Nonstop Knight seems like a well made one of those. Otherwise, I'd just play a game that demands a little more from you.