IXION – Review
Follow Genre: City-building simulator, management simulator
Developer: Bulwark Studios
Publisher: Kasedo Games, Kalypso Media Digital Ltd.
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

IXION – Review

Site Score
Good: A solid and atmospheric entry in the genre
Bad: Lacks replay value
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Here at 3rd-strike, we’re dedicated to reviewing as many video games as we can so that you, the reader, can make an informed decision before spending your hard-earned cash on them. However, the sheer amount of games that release each month makes it so that sometimes a gem falls by the wayside, only to be picked up later. Bulwark Studios’ space-themed city building/management sim IXION is one of those titles that “fell through the cracks”, and boy did we miss out. Originally released in December of 2022, we’re only getting around to this one now, and as you’ll find out, we regret not looking at this one sooner. Read on to find out why IXION is a title that you should consider adding to your library.


The story of IXION takes place in a world where humanity has brought about its own destruction. The game’s narrative unfolds aboard the Tiqqun space station, which is the first of its kind to make use of the VOHLE engine, making space jumps possible. After a jump goes awry, the crew of the Tiqqun finds themselves among the last surviving members of the human race. As the Administrator of the station, it’s your responsibility to find a way to ensure the survival of humanity against all the challenges of deep space and the mental strain of losing everyone you know. IXION‘s story is a thrilling and engaging experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The game’s immersive world-building makes for a compelling experience, although we would have liked to have seen more focus on individual characters, given the story-driven nature of the game. As it stands, the only real “characters” in the game are the Administrator, which is the player themselves of course, and Edden, which is an AI that is the Tiqqun’s P.A. and also the player’s guide through the game.


Given the overall scope of the game, IXION boasts impressive graphics, reminiscent of a mix between genre-standard setting titles like Command & Conquer and Base One. The visuals strike a balance between being simplistic enough to prevent lag when structures are closely packed together, while still being detailed enough to maintain an interesting and polished appearance. Upon zooming in, there are no texture shortcuts or blocky models, providing a truly finished product feel. Impressively, we did not encounter any graphical issues, like screen tears, texture clips, FPS drops or any other type of distortion during our time with the game. If there is one thing that we can fault IXION’s visuals for it’s that the game does look fairly typical and generic, but there is of course only so much you can do within the setting of a space colony.


We highly recommend headphones for this one, as IXION delivers a captivating audio experience, emitting all the right vibes for a space-themed game. The spacey voice-over announcements and incoming transmissions adapt in volume and strength based on your location within the station, immersing you in the environment. This effect truly comes into its own when you’re listening with a high-quality headset. The eerie background music enhances the overall atmosphere, fully embodying the feeling of space travel. Furthermore, the ambient sounds are highly detailed and do not interfere with each other, offering a clean and crisp soundscape.


As a colony-simulation game, IXION covers all the essential aspects of resource management, population growth, exploration, and expansion that genre veterans are familiar with. Despite the space setting, IXION is actually more accurately described as a city-building sim that incorporates survival elements as well. The game strives to create a unique colony experience by considering factors such as trust, satisfaction, events, and time limitations. The goal of IXION is to turn the dramatic situation on Tiqqun around, returning the space station to its former glory and achieving a thriving community. Ultimately, you need to ensure that humanity bounces back from the brink of extinction. That’s not that big of a deal and there is no pressure, although it’s certainly possible to fail at this lofty goal. Fortunately, you have all the tools for success at your disposal, and the real challenge lies in juggling them in the right way. To achieve maximum productivity, players must maintain workforce trust, expand their population via cryogenics, and handle events personally, requiring their full attention and micro-management skills. While the game’s basic mechanics are mastered with the help of Edden, managing objectives and unexpected events remains challenging, as events can range from rogue transmissions to damaged equipment, and dealing with them in a timely manner is essential to maintain trust levels.

The Tiqqun station is divided into multiple sections, and players can expand their colony by opening gates between these sections. Probes and cargo-carrying spaceships are required to retrieve new colonists from cryo-pods that are either floating in space debris or abandoned in old planetary stations. Fleet management is also essential, with players able to build science vessels, transportation vessels, and mining vessels to suit their playstyle. Maintaining the station’s integrity is a high priority, and players can upgrade and build new solar panels, engines, and external systems. The station’s exterior also plays a critical role in protecting what you’ve built up so it’s important to keep this upgraded as well.

To control the fleet, check probes, and move the Tiqqun between celestial bodies, players are provided with a planetary systems map. Building probes and scanning space for resources and survivors is essential, and players can automate this process. It is recommended to specialize each sector for a specific purpose, such as housing and food production, when there are multiple sectors. Although IXION has a steep learning curve, and perhaps isn’t the most newcomer-friendly management sim out there, that doesn’t mean it isn’t accessible. In-game tooltips are helpful, and players can pause the game at any time to look at in-game guides that let them freshen up on some of the game’s more elaborate mechanics. The game can be punishing if mistakes are made, so players need to be 100% ready before opening additional sectors.

One issue we had with IXION is the lack of difficulty options. The game is heavily story-driven and has only one difficulty level, which can be punishing if mistakes are made. For example, damage over time can cause hull integrity loss, which scales depending on multiple factors such as the number of open sectors or engine damage. Repairing the hull incurs a cost of resources, and managing the outgoing damage with incoming repairs per cycle can be challenging. This overall lack of difficulty flexibility also hurts the game’s replay value, as there is no reason to really return to Tiqqun once you’ve completed it. Successfully completing IXION‘s story takes around thirty hours, although it’s likely that you’ll fail a few times before you are able to complete the game. That said, other titles in the genre typically have additional missions, difficulty levels, or even online play, meaning they can be potentially played infinitely without feeling stale or repetitive. This is not the case for IXION, however.

Don’t let the game’s comparative shortness to other titles in the genre deter you from picking it up if you’re a genre enthusiast though. You’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck here, and we’d go as far as to say that it’s a matter of quality over quantity. IXION is one of the finest city building/management sims out there, if you can get over the game’s learning curve. That does come with the caveat that IXION isn’t going to be for everyone, but that is something that is inherent to the genre itself in the first place. In fact, IXION is a fairly typical genre example that doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it simply excels at what it does, and sometimes, that’s all a game needs to do to be great.


To say that we were pleasantly surprised by IXION would be an understatement. Our initial impression was that IXION was going to be a middle-of-the-road management sim, and to an extent, it is, but it’s a very solid one with a satisfying gameplay loop. The immersive atmosphere, engaging story, and wide gameplay scope ensure that there is never a dull moment on the Tiqqun. The game’s relatively high difficulty level does mean that it’s not too welcoming for newcomers and the lack of replayability also hurts the game’s appeal somewhat, but if you can look past that, then it’s hard not to become engrossed with saving humanity.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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IXION - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. […] IXION was enjoyed by many since coming out, including our own team as you can read in our review here. The game originally only came with a default difficulty setting, but a free update has now added […]

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