Sci-fi citybuilder Ixion was one of the best things I played during February’s Steam Next Fest demo bonanza earlier in the year, and my only regret is that I didn’t write up my thoughts about it at the time because, you know, Elden Ring. Happily, though, developers Bulwark Studios have announced Ixion’s release date this morning, so let me tell you about it now.
Launching on November 16th, Ixion is a space-faring management game that puts you in charge of creating a new home for humanity aboard a humongous cylindrical ship known as the Tiqqun (pronounced ‘tycoon’). You’ll be filling its huge hangars with various facilities, accommodation buildings and more to manufacture everything you need for your journey through the stars.
You’re headed toward Proxima Centauri, where you’ll supposedly be performing field research, mining ops and colonisation tests for your megacorp owners DOLOS. However, the hour-long demo I played earlier in the year, which contained the game’s first chapter, ended on a real cliffhanger when I was supposed to perform the necessary space jump to Proxima Centauri, so I’m eager to find out what the rest of the game has in store.
In terms of what you’re doing moment to moment in Ixion, though, it’s mostly a mixture of constructing the necessary infrastructure you need to advance your ship’s scientific capabilities, and putting various resource management, stockpiling and distribution systems in place to help keep your crew ticking along. Buildings can be placed along a strict grid-system, and you’ll also need to build roads to make sure your ant-like crew and vehicles can get to where they need to be. You’re given a bunch of resources to collect inside the ship at the start (which you’ll need to gather to make room for other, more important buildings), but the rest you’ll need to manufacture on your own.
Once you build a docking station, you’ll also be doing a fair bit of space exploration, sending out other research vessels to nearby planets and star systems to collect more resources, rescue stranded crew members from other ships and gather intelligence. Ixion has three different viewpoints you can cycle through at any time – the interior, where you’ll be doing most of your building, the exterior, where you’ll eventually be installing larger bits of wider ship tech, and the planetary system, where you’ll be doing all that exploring.
I had a great time sampling all three during the hour or so it took me to complete that first demo chapter, and I felt there was a healthy mix of stuff to be get getting on with at any given moment. I can also imagine that keeping on top of six of these enormous hangars (rather than just the one I was dealing with in my demo) will be quite the tall order in the game’s later stages, but I’m looking forward to giving it a go.
Luckily, we needn’t wait much longer, as Ixion will be out in full on November 16th on Steam for £30 / €35 / $35.