Not Tonight 2 is a 2D single-player simulation game developed by PanicBarn and published by No More Robots. Your friend Eduardo is under arrest for being an immigrant and is transported to Miami. It’s up to Eduardo’s friends to travel across an alternative broken America, retrieve their documents, and avoid trouble at all costs. Along the way, you’ll work as a bouncer for income — checking IDs, playing minigames, and making decisions that’ll ultimately help you or make your journey more difficult.
Not Tonight 2 tackles serious subjects in a darkly comedic way. America and Canada don’t quite get along, certain map regions require masks or special items, and subtle racism is still thriving. The majority of the story is told via text and dialogue. You’re constantly running into people who are highly odd and amusing. These distinct personalities always contribute to the overall story and are quirky in the best way possible. Overall, I found the character and story writing engaging and entertaining.
If you’ve played the predecessor or Papers, Please, gameplay is similar. As a freelance bouncer, you’ll be admitting or denying entry of others. The goal with each shift is to abide by your boss’s rules, permit a baseline amount of individuals, and, if you can hit a specific number, you get bonus pay. Errors can result in a warning, docked pay, or even ending the shift early from poor performance. With time against you and obstacles in every direction, there’s an overall sense of pressure that can impact your performance. When minigames are introduced, things are even more challenging, adding to the tension.
Minigames add to chaos in the best way possible. For example, when playing as Malik in Denver, I had to double-check IDs while simultaneously making sure land deeds fit the puzzle. If either didn’t line up, people were turned away. The same applied when playing as Mari in LA — I had to do my bouncer work, decline entry to those with masks, and fill up a tank of chemicals depending on type of vial and specific amount requested. It’s purposefully chaotic, and errors will be made, but that’s all a part of the journey. The minigames add to the overall anxiety and sense of urgency, and I enjoyed every bit of it.
Visually, things are great. The pixelated design is decent, and the overall setting aesthetics are purely eye candy. I loved the soundtrack and the variety it offers. I constantly found myself putting on headphones when playing just to bump.
Not Tonight 2 offers a favorable gameplay loop complete with challenges to keep you on your toes. The story is decent, and the mixed comedy helps keep everything afloat. Not Tonight 2’s cutting political commentary might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you enjoy the original’s core gameplay, this needs to be on your radar.
Not Tonight 2 is available now for $19.99 on Steam and is currently discounted 10%.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Not Tonight 2.