This game was provided by the publisher, Kasedo Games, for review. Thank you!
IXION is a city-building survival game with a heavy influence on exploration. Authorized by DOLOS, you will take full control of your space station to hopefully find a new home for humanity. You will have to manage your people, build, expand, and advance to prepare for the dangers that you will face in your journey like hull breaches and electrical fires. Encounter a multitude of threats and opportunities, including other factions that escaped Earth's fate, and navigate to the best of your abilities. With everything going against you, will you be able to find a new home?
IXION is a really awesome game and one that I had been looking forward to a lot since its announcement. While the mechanics and premise are really cool, the game unfortunately has some issues running on the Steam Deck. On our recommended settings, which are a mix of low and medium, an uncapped framerate and TDP gave me around a 35-36 FPS with a drain of 22W.
I elected to keep a TDP of 8 and a 30 FPS cap. There are some drops I have experienced, like the framerate going to 25 or 26 when viewing the entire station from the outside, but it still felt smooth enough. You can also push TDP to 9 or 10 for increased stability, but I kept at 8 since the drops so far have not broken the immersion at 30 FPS and keeps battery lower. With the drain sticking between 12W - 14W, I am able to get around 3 hours from it. You may need to increase TDP as you grow more too.
IXION doesn't feature controller support, so I actually decided to use one that was made by Steam user Gadget8Bit just called "IXION Layout". The layout does the best it can, but with some limitations from the game, controlling isn't as easy. Compared to another management game without controller support, Dwarf Fortress", controlling with the gamepad and utilizing virtual menus felt much better to me. You will need to use the right trackpad to control the mouse cursor, so be prepared for that.
Other than the frame drops, there was one other issue I have encountered so far. When looking at the system map, to see the planets, it was completely black. While you can still interact with the map and see the planets and such, it's a bit of a let down. I tried with different Proton versions and settings combinations, but nothing worked.
The screenshot with the map that is visible (left) was taken from my Desktop computer running Windows 10. This was shots taken from the same exact save at the same location.
I wanted to enjoy IXION on the Deck, but it just felt there was too much going against it. Right now, I would say it needs a bit more optimization. Native controller support would be a wonderful touch, but being able to bind keys to more actions would allow Steam Input to work magic with a controller layout. The blank system map is another big hit and, while it is playable, ruins a chunk of the experience. IXION is playable, but with so many compromises and the system map, I would stick to the desktop for now.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for news, tips and tutorials, game settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!
IXION is an awesome looking game with a great premise that really captures attention, but with some graphical issues, framerate that can't go above 30, and lack of controller support, I would stick to desktop as of now.
Proton GE 7-42
Torus Anti-Aliasing Type: FXAA
Shadow Quality: Meidum
Texture Quality: Medium
Texture Filtering: On
Ambient Occlusion: Disabled
Motion Blur: Off
Building Lights Quality: Low