XBLA Review: Ion Assault

Is this a blast to play?

Ion Assault is one of those simple and quirky arcade games that although is good fun, never manages to reach it’s full potential. The idea of the game is simple…suck up particles in your spaceship and unleash it to destroy enemies and asteroids. It’s essentially Geometry Wars meets Asteroids, it’s a good combo and it works well for the most part.


You can play the campaign either through co-op or solo, but it’s on the short side and for the price tag, it should have been a tad longer. The controls take some getting used to as you use the left trigger to suck up the particles and you release it to fire them. You also need to move around to pick up bigger areas of particles, as well as power-ups that will help you through each level.

Perhaps Ion Assault’s greatest flaw is that it feels a little one-dimensional. After about 5 minutes, you have a basic idea of what else to expect throughout the entire game in terms of gameplay. It’s perhaps a bit too simplistic for it’s own good and it can become repetitive quickly. It’s not a game that you can play for hours and hours, but more one that you can play for a little while here and there.

Visually, Ion Assault isn’t bad for an XBLA title but it could have looked a bit better in places. Sound effects are decent and the music matches the sci-fi feel of the game well.

The Verdict

Ion Assault is a decent game that mixes up the arcade space shooter genre, but the campaign is short and the gameplay is a little too simple to be enjoyed for long periods of time. It’s a good attempt, but it never manages to meet the high standards of arcade blasters.