IXION – PC Review

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“IXION is an unrelenting, city-building odyssey across the stars. As Administrator of the Tiqqun, DOLOS’ prototype space station, you are tasked with balancing preservation and exploration as you manage infrastructure, resources and crew. Can you keep the flame of humanity alight in the cold dark?”

Developed for PC by Bulwark Studios and published by Kasedo Games, IXION is a story-driven colony-sim set amongst the stars. Released back in December 2022, join me as I take a look at the game to see how it holds up some 4 years later.

The Best Last Humanity Has To Offer

Confident in their logic, and ignorant to the consequences of their technology, mankind has brought about its own destruction. Unfathomable malfunctions have caused the VOHLE engine – humanity’s greatest achievement – to rip apart our Earth’s Moon. This is surely the end of life on Earth, only those already among the stars are safe… for now.

Image shows our Earths Moon, ripped apart by explosions
The destruction of Earth’s Moon will have to bring about cataclysmic change


IXION is set in the Tiqqun space station – the first of its kind to make use of the VOHLE engine – making space jumps possible. After attempting such a jump and experiencing untold complications, those aboard the Tiqqun are among the last of the human race. Against all the challenges of deep space and the mental strain of losing everyone you know, become the administrator of the Tiqqun and find a way to ensure the survival of humanity.

The Basics

IXION ticks all the boxes of a colony-sim, from resource gathering and population management to exploration and expansion. Trust, satisfaction, events and time limitations all play a part in creating a unique colony experience. Maintain the trust of your workforce, expand your population through cryogenics and handle each event personally for maximum productivity. What I like about this game, is that no matter what you’re doing, you have to give it your full attention. Micro-managing is the key to success.

Space shuttle approaches the Tiqqun Station
After a successful shuttle launch, we approach the Tiqqun

Once you’ve mastered the basic mechanics with the help of Edden – Tiqqun’s very own P.A., you must continue to manage your objectives and deal with unexpected and sudden events. These events can be anything from a rogue transmission picked up by a probe, to internal complications or damaged equipment. With no concept of day or night, time is tracked through cycles. One cycle is equivalent to one rotation of the Tiqqun station, and dealing with matters in a timely manner is often essential to ensure trust levels stay high.


Expanding your colony is done by opening the gates between sectors of the station. Picture the Tiqqun as a cylindrical shape, with walls dissecting it into multiple sections. By opening up these sections and providing transportation between them, players can grow their colony.  New colonists can be found in cryo-pods, either floating throughout space debris or left abandoned amongst old planetary stations. To retrieve them, you’ll need probes and spaceships capable of carrying cargo – which brings me nicely to fleet management.

Image showing sector 1 and sector 2, and a power struggle between them
Opening a sector before you’re fully prepared is ill advised

Administrators are able to build fleets of spaceships, including science vessels, transportation vessels and mining vessels. How many of each you make entirely depends on you and your play style. For example, more science vessels mean more science missions, which means more progress in the tech lab.

The Tiqqun

As previously mentioned, the Tiqqun station is now the main hope for humanity’s survival. Maintaining the integrity of both the people inside and the station itself is paramount. But there’s more to the station than just sectors. Often forgotten in games like this, the exterior of the station plays a huge role throughout the game. Pressing F2 to view the exterior, we’re able to upgrade and build new solar panels, engines and external systems. All of this helps maintain the Tiqqun’s integrity and makes life inside the station more bearable.

Image showing the exterior viewpoint of the Tiqqun station
In this viewpoint, we can build on the exterior of the Tiqqun

We’re also given a planetary systems map, which we can use to control our fleet, check on our probes and even move the Tiqqun between celestial bodies. I’m hopeful that travel between star systems is possible – though I haven’t quite gotten far enough to know for sure – something to look forward to. Building probes and scanning space for resources and survivors is critical. You’ll want to automate this process as much as possible.

Image showing the planetary exploration screen
In this view, we can manage our fleet and scan for resource

Graphics & Audio

First of all, IXION has some pretty decent graphics – think Command & Conquer meets Base One. Polycounts have been kept low enough that the game doesn’t lag when structures are packed together, yet high enough to keep things interesting. Zooming in doesn’t reveal any lazy textures or blocky models, just polished graphics and a real “finished product” kind of feel.

Image showing a zoomed-in view of the game graphics
As you can see, the graphics hold their own even when zoomed in on

When it comes to audio, the game gives off all the right vibes. With spacey voice over announcements and incoming transmissions which change in volume and strength depending on where you are in the station, to eerie background music which really sets the scene for space travel, IXION has it all. Even the ambient sounds are detailed and unlike some colony games, they don’t interfere with or overlap each other. Just crisp, clean sound throughout.

Be sure to pay attention to any alarms, sirens or emergency broadcasts – ignoring them can have severe outcomes!

Finally, I’m pleased to report that I noticed exactly zero graphical issues. No screen tears, texture clips, FPS drops or funky graphics of any kind, just polished visuals throughout.


In all honesty, I’ve not found myself enthralled in a game like I have this one for a long time. I genuinely couldn’t put it down, and when I did I found myself coming back to it pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, IXION could lack replayability. Being story driven, I’m not sure there’ll be any variation in gameplay. Truth be told though, not every game needs to be played more than once, and IXION provides plenty of playtime for the money.

Image showing a fully-filled sector
Once you have multiple sectors, it’s good to specialise each one to a specific purpose – such as housing & food production

Some players have reported finding the game too difficult and having too steep a learning curve. Overall I think it’s pretty fair, but can be punishing if you make a mistake. If you’re going to pick up this title be prepared for some tutorial reading – especially in the opening stages.

Final Thoughts

My only real concern with IXION is the difficulty level, and lack of control over it. Heavily driven by story, there’s only one difficulty, and the game allows you to make some fairly punishing mistakes. Some of which can easily lead to the destruction of your station. For example, your station suffers hull integrity loss (damage over time), which scales depending on multiple factors such as the number of open sectors or engine damage. You can repair your hull at the cost of resources, and need to manage the outgoing damage with the incoming repairs per cycle. Get this balance wrong or make a mistake, and it isn’t easy to correct.

Image showing the interactive/decision making screens
On science missions, you’ll have to decide what actions to take and how to deal with a situation

My advice is simple; if you’re new to city builders then make sure you read all of the in-game tooltips, taking advantage of the “pause game time” feature to do so. When you’re not sure about your next move, stop the timer until you figure it out. Do this and also make sure you’re 100% ready before opening additional sectors, and you should be OK.

Overall I have to give IXION a big thumbs up. While it might be a little difficult at times, if you just take your time and read the tutorials, you should find it quite enjoyable.

I award IXION the Thumb Culture Gold Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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