Night Time was released in late February 1985 by E.G. Records. It was an international hit, reaching number 11 in the United Kingdom in its first week on 9 March, number 8 in New Zealand and number 50 in Sweden.
The album was remastered and reissued in 2008, with nine bonus tracks. The bonus tracks include the non-album single "A New Day", three remixes and four tracks from a 1984 Kid Jensen BBC radio session.
In his retrospective review, Ned Raggett of AllMusic opines that the album finds the band's music "caught between their earlier aggression and a calmer, more immediately accessible approach. The tension between the two sides had a perfect balance, and as a result, Night Time is arguably the quartet's freshest album since its debut, with a warm, anthemic quality now supplementing the blasting, driving approach that made the band's name". Adrian Begrand of PopMatters opined that, with the album, the band "perfected" their "balance between antagonism and accessibility" and that "the band are simply on fire on this record".
Kerrang! magazine claimed that Killing Joke filed suit against Nirvana because the latter's "Come as You Are" (1991) was musically similar to "Eighties," primarily the guitar riffs used. When no actual suit could be identified as having been filed, Kerrang! claimed the matter had been dropped shortly after Kurt Cobain's death in 1994.
According to Rolling Stone, Killing Joke did not file a copyright infringement lawsuit due to "personal and financial reasons".