The Digest: Providing a simple but fun experience. IonBall is a steampunk style game that looks and plays as the best of this classic genre.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2011
DEVELOPER: Ironsun Studios
Price: 240 MS Points
Product Overview: : IonBall is another take on a classic genre, but this one puts itself ahead of the rest of the pack. 35 levels of play and many boss fights to go along with one of the best production values for an Indie title.
- 35 levels of play
- Great Production value
- 3-4 hours of fun
- Several boss fights
- Great use of sound
Ionball is set in a Steampunk era, it looks like its something that is some-what similar to a gothic type of surrounding. There also seems to be a classical feel to how mechanical objects look and feel. Some visual elements such as your level indicator that is always displayed on the right side of the screen almost has a Fallout look to it. There is also a gothic type of background used for all the levels; which is a scene that climbs up higher with each level you pass revealing big windows and the dark night outside that looms in sight.
In the 35 levels in Ionball you’ll encounter numerous boss battles along the way. The boss fights are all pretty simple and you’ll beat most of the battles more quickly than you would a regular level. The boss fights although simple, are affective as you wouldn’t want to have complex boss battles for a game of this nature.
Throughout the 35 levels you’ll encounter drones, mechanoid’s as well as bricks which provide you with a way of using the physics of the ball to travel towards and eliminate the enemy. Enemies and obstacles are varied. Not only do you face motionless targets, but certain areas will have objects shooting back at you, and some even disappearing and suddenly re-appearing again.
The game uses an XP progression system which allows you to make certain upgrades that enhance certain aspects such as: making your platform last longer, giving your ball more force, a chance to obliterate every object in one instance, as well as a few others. You’ll also come across items that enhance or stall your progress. These items drop down the levels as you hit certain objects. One item will have your ball morph into a flaming ball that goes through objects with ease – almost like a flaming asteroid. There is also the popular multiple ball item where you’re controlling two balls at once. Other upgrades are a little less of an impact with a few rare items that are a determent to your progress.
The games graphics look fantastic. The menus are very detailed. Backgrounds and other visual elements will portray the steampunk atmosphere. You’ll see a ton of attention to detail in the presentation: The particle effects of bricks and objects being destroyed, the sound effects as the ball bounces with intense velocity, and there isn’t all that much loading from going to one level to the next. It would have been nice to have more backgrounds, but it’s a small nitpick in what otherwise is a great package. Few Indie titles have blurred the line between Indie and Arcade game, this is one of them that I think does.
Ionball has a lot going for it, but it’s not without its faults. The game puts you back a few levels if you quit the game, If you quit the game you lose all upgrades, and if you lose on the last boss fight you go back 7 levels back to level 28. These are pretty annoying issues I had with the game.
Conclusion: Ionball has a lot to offer for just 240 Microsoft Points. It will give you roughly 3-4 hours of play, and is one of the best Indie games released yet. If you have the points it’s definitely recommended. And if you don’t, go and get points and purchase this.
|- Top notch presentation
- 3-4 hours of play for $3
- One of the best in the genre
|-Could have used more backgrounds
- Some annoying saving functionality
Single Player: 4/5 | Multi-Player: N/A
Special thanks to Ironsun studios for providing us with a copy of the game for review.