Sci-fi city builder Ixion gets a much-needed difficulty update

(Image credit: Bulwark Studios)

I was impressed by the atmosphere and detail of last year's sci-fi city building sim Ixion, but it was undoubtedly a game with a few scorch marks seared across its hull. One of the bigger issues was its unpredictable level of challenge, something Alexander Chatziioannou noted in his review: "The way Ixion stealthily slides into doom-spirals of unsustainability makes reloading preferable to redesigning."

Developer Bulwark Studios has clearly been listening, as the game's latest update introduces a suite of difficulty options. In a press release, Bulwark detailed the three primary difficulty options as follows:

  • Journey: For players who want to enjoy the game's narrative and is recommended for those unfamiliar with the city-builder genre.
  • Default: The intended Ixion experience and is recommended for players familiar with city builders.
  • Challenge: An unrelenting fight for survival; this mode is for Administrators who really want to test their skills.

Alongside these is a fourth option which lets players customise the difficulty specifically to suit their desired challenge. Bulwark doesn't specific which parameters can be adjusted, but the studio does point out that these setting can be tweaked "mid-game", letting players find the sweet spot as they hop across the galaxy.

Ixion's difficulty update is live right now. But Ixion isn't the only intriguing twist on the city-building genre to arrive lately. In the last few months, we've seen games that let you build cities underwater, in the sky, and even one that lets you build on the back of a giant space turtle. The genre is truly having a moment, and that's before Cities: Skylines 2 launches later this year.