Ixion Review – Save Humanity – City Builder in Space (Test)

Mankind Sets Off to New Worlds – Build-Up Strategy on a Space Station – Sci-Fi Survival Town Builder in Review – Ixion Test

Ixion Review
Save Humanity
City Builder in Space (Test)
Ixion Review
Save Humanity
City Builder in Space (Test)

In Bulwark Studios’ new build-up strategy game Ixion, you’ll lead the construction and journey of a space station into the future of humanity. It’s a mix of survival city builder, mayor simulation, and real-time strategy, and this is spiced up with a strong story and tough decisions. The release date for Ixion is 07.12.2022 and it will be released for PC on Steam.

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Ixion Review Video and Podcast

Since I’m stupidly still suffering from Corona after-effects and my voice is not “presentable”, there are currently no videos or podcasts with the review, sorry. I hope it will get better soon, and I’ll be able to do voice-over recordings again. Until then, text + picture only.

Ixion Review – Intro

Hi there, here is the Zap. In this Ixion review, you get a little insight into the new build-up strategy game, in which we build a space station to lead mankind into space and save it from extinction. I’ll tell you how it is played, what’s in it and at the end, I’ll give you a rating. But most of all, I want to give you all the info, so you can decide for yourself if you might enjoy the game.

The game is developed by Bulwark Studios from France and published by Kasedo. So far, there are already two other titles from this team, Crowntakers and Warhammer 40k Mechanicus. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should not affect my review, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price?

Game type – Build-up Strategy in Space

Ixion is a building strategy game in a space station, combined with resource gathering in a relatively open space. As a strategy game, it has a lot of story and always offers decisions that you have to make. Some of these decisions have a strong impact on the progress of the game. With really bad decisions, you can even maneuver your entire space station into the abyss, for example, because it can come to power failures or strikes and uprisings.

So we are the administrator of the space station Tiqqun, which belongs to the company Dolos. It departs from Earth to establish new colonies in other systems. In the process, of course, things go really wrong, and we not only lose contact with the homeworld. But I don’t want to spoil that here.

We construct buildings in the rapidly narrowing sectors of the station, which we can only unlock one by one. We are also in control of several spaceships, such as research ships, mining ships, and transporters. In addition, there are probes that we can send out to find unknown planets and search for resource deposits.

Food supply, housing, electricity, entertainment, and health are the main priorities for our inhabitants. Space offers several different chemical resources that our mining ships and transporters bring to our station. These are the basis for one processed resource each, which are then needed for the station’s construction, maintenance, and maintenance repair. For this purpose, we have numerous factories at our disposal, in which we smelt and process the raw materials collected in space.

Every now and then there are smaller sequences that put us confronted with decisions in a kind of dialogue, how we want to tackle problems, and which steps we want to take first. And everything we decide here can have different effects, on the station, its inhabitants, or how we progress in space as a whole. Wrong decisions here can even mean that whole sections of the story or station components will not be available to us.

In a complex research tree, we have to study numerous techniques and later also improve them. The station can and must be moved to other systems as time goes by. On top of that, it is extremely important to always make sure that the inhabitants of the station in all sectors agree with our direction. Otherwise, we get problems faster than we can say strike, power failure, or shortage of raw materials.

We have to provide a steady supply of resources in space with probes, plan transport routes and explore many secrets. We have to coordinate our spaceships effectively, and later we also have to avoid solar winds, particle storms, and anomalies that can destroy our ships. We start with three ships, but later we can build more.

A not unimportant part is also the maintenance of the station, which permanently loses durability and even much more so with jumps to other systems. There are 6 sectors on the station in total, of which we only have one available at the beginning. The others can be unlocked one by one so that we get more building area, but this increases the costs enormously and on top of that we have to balance the sectors among each other in terms of inhabitants and goods.

Each sector must be kept high in happiness. With more sectors, this requires more and more administrative effort and offers a number of opportunities to let the balance of the station get out of hand.

The goal of the game is to establish new colonies of mankind in the galaxy. But little by little it becomes clear that our station is too incomplete, and we still have to do a lot of upgrades and research, so that our station eventually will be technically able to establish colonies. And then we also have to investigate the incidents that were triggered by our launch from Earth.

Ixion Gameplay – World and Story

Mankind has completely run down the earth. The nations of the world community cannot agree on a common line. Then a company called Dolos takes on the great task of transporting mankind into a new future and builds a huge space station, which should also be able to make space jumps to other solar systems. After a few years, it is finished, the Tiqqun, an enormous colossus of steel, aluminum, and circuits. It is supposed to become the means of transport with which people want to set off for a new future in distant worlds.

Few city-builders or building strategy games offer a real story. Ixion is quite different here. It starts with a detailed introductory movie, radio contacts with voice-overs, and dozens of small events in which we determine how the fate of our station and thus of humanity as a whole should proceed.

I won’t spoil the narrated story, because it’s really well-written. Just so much, the plans that were made for our launch all really don’t work out at all. So it’s our job to use the station to make sure that humanity can settle on new planets and continue to exist. And here we are constantly faced with decisions in which we must weigh our conscience and ethics against the danger that our failure may mean an abrupt end to humanity.

Technology, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation

The game is built with the Unity engine, so the graphics are okay for the most part. Textures and models are decent, but nothing outstandingly fancy. The jump animations when the space station changes systems are very nice to look at, but they get repetitive sooner or later.

There is sometimes a strange wishy-washy effect to the animations. By this, I mean that it looks like some objects exist twice on top of each other and their edges and textures flow into each other. It’s hard to describe, it looks strange, but it’s not a big deal and only happens rarely.

Otherwise, Ixion runs stable for me. I had no crashes and no major bugs. The performance was also good on my midrange system, and that at very high details. So it should be possible easily to adapt it to weaker systems by turning down a few settings.

The music in the game is very nice and atmospheric, and it should be, after all, they try to market the soundtrack separately as well. The dubbing of actions, units, and controls is otherwise unspectacular but good.

In a game with so much text, the voice output is important. It’s in English, partly with funny dialects, but that’s obviously intentional because the characters came from countries where the accents fit. However, not all texts are recorded as voice-overs, so you should not be a reading wimp, otherwise, Ixion could present you with problems.

The translations of the numerous texts are available in German and English, both of which I understand and can say are well done. In addition, six other languages are offered, namely Spanish, Japanese, Korean, French, Russian, and Chinese, but I can’t say anything about their quality.

How Well Does Ixion Run on the Steam Deck?

The performance on the Steamdeck is good. The fonts are a bit small and unfortunately, the UI is not scalable, but it still works. My somewhat aged eyes need reading glasses here, though. Younger station administrators certainly have no problems with something like this.

Somewhat problematic are camera rotations on the steam deck, since there is no direct support for this. But even though Ixion actually supports this, you don’t necessarily need it to play it. So overall, I’d say Ixion can be played well on the Steam deck.

Ixion Screenshots – Ingame Gameplay Pictures (Part I)

Click or tap on the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Ixion Test – Opinion and Conclusion

The build-up strategy part is fundamentally very slick and fun. There are some considerations to be made about which buildings to arrange and how, and as the game progresses, lack of space and optimization of the layout become more and more important. Also, the paths should be well planned, because all goods have to be transported back and forth, later also from sector to sector, and too long paths then cost a lot of time. Ixion has some similarities with Startopia, which has gotten a remake not that long ago (Read my Spacestation Startopia Review here), but in the details, both games are not that close to each other.

The story has surprising twists and difficult decisions. I liked that very much. However, it is a double-edged sword. Because of the close connection to the story, playing through again after the first time is not as exciting anymore. The balancing is also a bit skewed. Here I see minor problems with the game.

I failed sometime after about 15h, shortly after I had built the first colony. The reason was that I ran out of metal and there were simply no more deposits in the current system, but I didn’t have enough progress in the story to be able to do a space jump into the next system. With that, my station at some point became more and more wrecked because I couldn’t repair it without metal. Then my approval rating with the residents dropped rapidly and everything went down the drain.

After that, however, I somehow couldn’t really motivate myself to play through the exact same story again. The story is extremely good and motivating on the first playthrough, but the replay value drops quite a bit due to the strong story tie-in. I restarted, but the motivation was already noticeably lower than at the beginning when you wanted to know how the exciting story continues.

All in all, Ixion offers very solid build-up fun with some features that make it stand out from the crowd. The management of the spaceships, the exploration of the systems with probes, and also the many dialogues make it a special experience.

For the price of $34.99 / € or $29.99 pounds respectively, the offered content is reasonably okay. Due to the somewhat dropping replay value, I would be more comfortable with a slightly lower price, but it’s still within reason. A freeplay or sandbox mode and maybe some kind of random event generator would be a great addition to the game, maybe the developers will come up with something like this later.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed Ixion. And I’m going to pick it up again later on and try to unravel the mystery of the story and settle humanity on other planets.

Ixion Review – Rating

I enjoyed the gameplay mix of building, survival, administration, research, and exploration in Ixion very much. The strong linear story offers a high level of motivation during the first playthrough but unfortunately lowers the replay value. Overall, the price is okay, but it could be a few euros/dollars/pounds lower.

Adding it all up, I would like to give Ixion a basic rating of 80 %. For the special mix of different game elements and a good story, as well as the resulting variety in the gameplay, I would like to award a bonus of 4 %.

This brings me to a final rating for Ixion of 84 % on release day. Maybe if the developers added a bit more random events and a freeplay mode, it could increase the replay value enormously. This would improve the rating even more.

Ixion

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Ixion Review - Rette die Menschheit - City Builder im Weltall (Test)
Mankind Sets Off to New Worlds – Build-Up Strategy on a Space Station – Sci-Fi Survival Town Builder in Review – Ixion Test
In Bullwark Studios’ new build-up strategy game Ixion, you’ll lead the construction and journey of a space station into the future of humanity. It’s a mix of survival city builder, mayor simulation, and real-time strategy, and this is spiced up with a strong story and tough decisions. The release date for Ixion is 07.12.2022, and it will be released for PC on Steam.
Graphics
Sound
Strategy
Story
Scope of the Game
State of the Game
Fun per Price Ratio

Rating

I enjoyed the gameplay mix of building, survival, administration, research, and exploration in Ixion very much. The strong linear story offers a high level of motivation during the first playthrough but unfortunately lowers the replay value. Overall, the price is okay, but it could be a few euros/dollars/pounds lower.
Adding it all up, I would like to give Ixion a basic rating of 80 %. For the special mix of different game elements and a good story, as well as the resulting variety in the gameplay, I would like to award a bonus of 4 %.
This brings me to a final rating for Ixion of 84 % on release day. Maybe if the developers added a bit more random events and a freeplay mode, it could increase the replay value enormously. This would improve the rating even more.

4.2

Outro

Are you interested in space station build-up fun and that subtle, dark “lost in space” feeling? Or are linear storylines and survival in strategy games not for you? Feel free to write me your opinion in the comments or in the ZapZockt Community Discord.

More gaming news, game reviews, and guides can be found on the ZapZockt YouTube channel or here at zapzockt.de – thumbs up, subscribe, and share with friends won’t hurt and then I wish you a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

Ixion Screenshots – Ingame Gameplay Pictures (Part II)

Click or tap on the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Ixion Steampage

Ixion Twitter

Ixion Developer Bulwark Twitter

Ixion Publisher Website

Ixion Publisher Twitter

Ixion Publisher Facebook


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