In ION ASSAULT players wield thousands of Ion Particles to blast, fry and disrupt anything on screen as you see fit! GAMEPLAY WITH A TWIST: By centering its gameplay around its unique fluid and particle physics system, ION ASSAULT adds a twist to arcade style space shooters!
User reviews: Mixed (128 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 17, 2010
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Recommended By Curators

"Asteroid particle hell! Clever weapon design but little tricky in use, responsive controls, hard, fierce action & chain combos yet lacks content/modes."
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About This Game

In ION ASSAULT players wield thousands of Ion Particles to blast, fry and disrupt anything on screen as you see fit!
GAMEPLAY WITH A TWIST: By centering its gameplay around its unique fluid and particle physics system, ION ASSAULT adds a twist to arcade style space shooters!
ANYONE CAN PLAY: Utilizing its dynamic level intensity, ION ASSAULT is both accessible for the beginner as well as challenging for the skilled gamer. The faster you destroy obstacles, the more enemies the game will throw at you, so play it safe and clear one obstacle at a time or go crazy and see how many enemies the game can throw at you for a maximum score!

Key features:

  • Classical Shoot’em up with tactical depth: Ion Particles are limited for each level
  • Wield thousands of Ion Particles.
  • Use your space ship to fight against enemies and to destroy asteroids by absorbing and blasting Ion Particles.
  • Collect valuable power ups to improve your ship, your defense or your fire power.
  • Blast 30 different enemies using a variety of patterns to attack.
  • Fight through 4 large sectors, each guarded by a huge boss!
  • Over 20 levels, 5 levels in each sector
  • Conquer the leaderboard by mastering the innovative multiplier-based scoring mechanic.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB Video Card (GeForce 7800 GT / ATI HD 2600 XT)
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB space free
    • Sound: DirectX-compatible soundcard
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
It's visually insane, which would be fine if the ♥♥♥♥ that killed you wasn't impossible to see. The particles are pretty and everything, but the gameplay suffers as a result. For this game to really be playable, you'd have to either reduce the vibrancy of the ions, which would probably kill the aesthetic, or come up with some creative way to make dangerous things stand out from the background of moving particles. If the projectiles and enemy ships interacted more with the particles, it might be easier to deal with. Finding wakes would allow you to judge threats inside the cloud. As it is right now, it's just too hard to see, and I don't think that should ever be a factor in the difficulty of a game.

The achievements are kind of ♥♥♥♥ty, by the way. The 500k points in survival was really hard for me to get--I can't imagine getting some of these score achievements. There's evidence that more than half of the people that have them cheated (i.e., with the steam achievement program thing), since the ingame leaderboards and the percentage of players who have them don't match up. A few of the people who show up on the leaderboards may also have cheated, since their scores are insanely high (1.9 billion, as an example). I don't know. I don't consider myself a ♥♥♥♥♥ for achievements, but I do consider them part of a game. When they're chosen arbitrarily or carelessly, they can easily become impractical or flat-out intractable. That makes the achievements unfit for purpose, which makes the game much less attractive to me. It would be a better game if there were no achievements and just in-game leaderboards.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
This game is not what I expected at all (in a good way). I thought I was playing a confined space shooter. I was, but there is an interesting mechanic. Inside your confined space are small tiny "ion particles". By holding down the mouse button, you collect these particles to use as your weapons. Your bullets are around you, and you are as powerful as you are willing to collect these particles.

My only complaint is that every seems to be a bit dark. It can be easily fixed, but the default being brighter would have been better off.

In the main menu I saw a button titled "graphics". I clicked on it and was met with about 20-30 different graphical options. This included, "Modern, 8bit, Hipster, VGA, Mac 2, etc." You could relive your old arcade experiences in this game with an excellent mechanic. I do recommend this game, wholeheartedly.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Ion Assault is an arcade space shooter that has not really a lot in common with the typical arcade shooter. The beautiful art and level design is the best special feature in this game.The graphical effects for the Ion Particles are excellent. The game is a small, independently developed affair, and the graphics largely reflect that. Many of the effects, however, give Ion Assault a real vibrancy. The game's soundtrack is made up of techno and dance music. Your appreciation of this will be very much down to personal taste.Ion Assault is worth a look if you are a fan of the genre or space arcade shooters in general. It combines two well established formulas and adds some extra mechanics to make a rather interesting game.Ion Assault is a well polished, frantic and addictive little game. Unfortunately it comes with plenty of little frustrations, not least of which is that if you want to play, you have to be able to dedicate enough time to make it to the end of the campaign, else you'll lose your progress.Overall 6/10.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I loved space shooters back in the '80s arcade days, but this just isn't fun imo. Terrible music, simplistic controls, and muttled, erratic gameplay don't make a good space shooter, imo. A space shooter is about clicking the heck out of the fire button! Not holding down the left trigger button, picking up particles, then release. Glad I got it in a bundle. 2/10
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
It's not a bad concept, and it DOES work in practice, but it's unfortunately too lacking in actual substance and what makes shooters fun to be a good game
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Horrible tutorial and even worse visuals - there isn't any gameplay - don't waste your money on this garbage
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
Actually I like it! You collect gallactic "dust" to kill stuff :D 7/10
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
The basic premise is the classic arcade shooter Asteroids with tons of awesome particle effects. I found it to be quite enjoyable, with the different levels becoming more difficult as I went along, even as I learned new tactics and techniques for manipulating the particle cannon mechanic. Overall, a very fun game!
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
fun shooter thats not as easy as it looks and actually requires pretty good accuracy. casual, but always keeps you on the edge of your seat
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 28
Nice particle effects
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Sweet. For casual gaming. Like, play it a few minutes before doing work on the PC or something.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Great game, highly recommended!
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Love this game !
Great game for relax.
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1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Found myself enjoying this game, somewhat surprisingly, as I purchased it in a bundle and wasn't expecting much from it. I gave it a try just to see what it was like and got caught up in the simple mechanics of the game and found the difficulty curve just right as I am not all that good a game player.

Would certainly recommend this game as an enjoyable diversion!!
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24 of 33 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Pretty Asteroids-type shooter with lovely particle effects and graphics. Sadly, the novelty of the particle effects soon wears very thin and each stage becomes a chore of gathering particles and killing asteroids - not very challenging or deep at all. The add-on weapons, such as seeking drones or mines add very little variety to your shooting arsenal and are nowhere near as powerful as a full ion blast, so you end up just sticking to hoovering up particles and shooting them at rocks and enemies.

To make things worse, the music is terrible. I mean, just terrible. Each sector (consisting of 6 levels each) has its own music, which consists of the same 30 seconds looped over and over again. Its not bad enough the gameplay is so awfully repetitive, the music makes things worse by adding to the monotony.

Get this if it comes with a Humble Bundle, or you REALLY want a shooter for a buck or so, but you probably wont get much more than 30-60m gametime out of this before you hit the unistall button.

The Good:
- Decent Boss fights
- Lovely particle graphics

The Bad:
- Extremely repetitive gameplay
- Extremely monotonous music
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2013
I have this game for PSN as well. On the surface it looks like a new school version of the arcade classic Ateroids. It is a simple mouse and arrow key game with a few special weapons. The objective of each stage is simple.... blow up all of the asteroids. There is an option to use the X-Box 360 controller, but there is no menu support for the controller which leads you having to use the mouse anyway. To top that off, the targeting is literally rotating the ship instead of just aiming at something.

Ion Assault has a few twists that make the experience both better and worse. The improvements to the experience are simple, variety of enemies and boss fights in the story mode. These are the only good things about the game that add to the old Asteroids formula without taking away.

Now for the negatives, lets start with the fact that you need to absorb ions to shoot. This means you need to hold down your mouse button and fly around the single screen stage to collect ions. The more ions you have, the stronger your shot will be from your space ship. Its not just enough to hold it down, but having to collect the ions seems like a chore. Your ion blaster doesn't feel impactful at all even when fully charged with a screen full of ions.

Another downside is having these ions EVERYWHERE means the screen is covered in blue and for the most part the enemies are blue... a brighter blue, but a blue nevertheless. It just makes it more difficult to see. This is a game about precision, having to shoot in a direction with your mouse, all while piloting around a single screen. To make things worse, if you knock the screen border, your ship will bounce off and most likely hit something and make you die.

This is not a fun game, but it is a challenging one. Every level / stage feels exactly the same as the previous. Destroy asteroids. Shoot them and they split in pieces which then need to be shot again and again until they are no more. Eventually your screen will just be full of enemies, with your weapon too weak to kill anything. If I could shoot without having to collect ions, then it would feel better.

I cannot even justify this game for $2 even if the Steam version is superior to the PSN version in ways that seem inconsequential. Oh and to top it off, Beat Hazard is just a lot more fun and you can see what you're even doing without having to charge a beam.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2013
At first, it can be visually overwhelming, there are particles flying everywhere on the screen.
But soon, as you start sensing about where your ship should be, and master the control, that stops being a problem, and you're free to fully enjoy drifting through the "cosmic supper", in an exceptional visual spectacle.

It is fairly challanging, but it's about right, just enough to give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
It never went overboard to becoming stressful.

I just wish it had more diversity. Maybe an upgradeable ship, other challanges, skills / other power-ups, more remarkable locations, etc.
It is an OK formula, but it can't keep you for long, given what today's gaming has to offer.
The later stages don't add anything new, it's just more of the same, with some visual changes, and as a result, the campaign is very short.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
44.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2011
Neat Asteriods clone updated for the 21st century with intense close combat & relentless 'bullet hell' gameplay. Visually very detailed, great particle effects & animations, & good replayability as you keep pushing for better combos & scores.

It won't take you long to get through the Story mode (honestly its pretty short), but its still fun to replay trying different techniques & master the control of your particle weapon to get the bigger chain combos. Your weapon works by sucking in the surrounding particles then shooting them out at high velocity. More particles the bigger the shot & they can also rebound for bonus damage. They can be used in defense too. Can be a bit tricky to get the hang of it but once you do you'll find yourself smoothly clearing the arena inflicting maximum destructive force!

The game arena itself is not much bigger than a single screen (there is some minimal scrolling), a confined busy space, which enhances the fierce action!

For me, the real challenge came in the Survival mode, where endless waves keep coming & you must last as long as you can - I found this the most enjoyable part of the game. Difficulty in Survival scales quickly & may be frustrating for a casual gamer, but personally I found it addictive.

One thing I wish they would update though is to have controller support in the menus - currently unsupported (works in-game not in menus!), but besides some limited content & the controller menu support this is a cool & rather unique little shoot 'em up.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
This is a unique and enjoyable little shoot-em up. Whereas most shmups are about precision movement with wildly imprecise shooting of bullets everywhere, this changes it up with it's mechanic wherein you need to gather up enough matter from the map to shoot out. The result is that you have to get skilled at shooting precisely, because if you waste a shot, you have to gather up particles again for the next try. Often if I wasn't sure if I could be precise enough, I would opt to move in really close before taking the shot. It's very fast paced and challenging. At first it was a bit overwhelming with so many particles moving on the screen, but I got over that quickly. They made good art choices which kept the enemies or shots from getting drowned out by the particles, so it was very seldom that anything snuck up on me in the chaos. All around, I was very impressed with the art for this game. Often 2D shmups are made with far less eye candy.

The one bad thing I'll say is that I was rather frustrated by their level progression system. There isn't really a save file that you can continue from. Instead you just permanently unlock levels by beating them, which would be fine except that it doesn't do it by stages, it does it by the larger chapters, of which there are only 4 in the game. This means you have to beat 25% of the game at a time to make any permanent progress. If you call it quits for the night on stage 3-5, then next time you have to start again at 3-1. On the bright side, while you're in a playthrough, you can keep hitting continue when you die, so you don't get sent all the way back for that, just for closing down the game session.

Don't let that flaw stop you from getting it however. It's a great game, but you just need to make sure you have a chunk of time to devote to it if you want to make progress.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I got this game for pretty cheap and I enjoyed my time with it. To be honest I thought I was going to be playing Nano Assault ha whatever this purchase was a happy accident.

It's very different from most smhups in that it is like Asteroids with a twist instead of firing infinite ammo you gather Ions (LOOK AT THE PARTICLE EFFECTS!) which are all over the field and aim them at asteroids or enemies to break/destroy them. Now this is very easy in the beginning but once enemies start spawning you have to be quick to destroy them for they can move and harvest ions which is your ammunition meaning you can't gather any ammo to take a good shot at them if they have opened spawning gates and have ships tailing you to the point where you can't go get ions to shoot them. Things got hectic fast!

Ah well anyway if you liked games that involve space ships and shooting space rocks and enemies I think you will enjoy this game. Also some people say it's a bit on the harder side I think it's just right though.
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