Yes you are right, LÖVE would be faster, but only because it is using LuaJIT. It is almost impossible to create thread-safe cross-platform JIT. So my only choice is to use AOT compiler, what I am planning to add. Plus about Lua backend I am using is that it can even compile Lua to Java bytecode what means really really greag performance (not implemented yet because of thread safety I must handle).
Also, you are a bit wrong about C++ vs Java performance, because backend for audio and graphics what I am using is in C++ and compiled as native for Java.
But downside of working with Lua in cross-platform manner is that you won't be able to use C -> Lua calls, because of that I added replacement to support Java -> Lua calls (along with integration of mvnrepository).
To what I implemented, here is full list: http://nononsense.science/docs
As you can see, I also included networking library because of limited support (if any) for native lua sockets.
Also, planning to add physics and lights engine (I already had them in engine before but I was tidying API a bit and decided to remove them until I will finish stable version).
And yes, you are right about that Java dependency. But after Minecraft boom I am sure that people have Java. I was trying to find some solution what will automatically download and install Java if not present. I do not found anything so
But atleast I found a way how to automatically install Android SDK if not present, so at the end, having only Java and LuaRocks installed and being able to build for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android is not that bad.
Thanks to Apple (-.-) , building games for iOS is only possible from Mac. And no, I saw in other forums that you can fake it by using some virtual machine tool, but that's not true. You need also Mac hardware to run xcode (atleast from what I know).
So yes, NÖN is slower than LÖVE and even with AOT compiler it will always be (but it won't be noticeable). And yes, it have heavy dependencies. But you can build games in Lua (and MoonScript) for all platforms, with LÖVE-like awesome API with single tool what will behave exactly same on all of them.