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iPhone: My game is out: Ion Charge

06-12-2009, 02:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13
My game is out: Ion Charge

Just wanted to announce that my new game, Ion Charge, just came out:

Here's a highlights video:

Here's the first review, which I think is hilarious:
"Ion Charge: Somewhere between 'ridiculously addictive' and 'throw your iPhone across the room'"

I've been playing it for months now, so I was afraid it's too easy. Hope people enjoy it.

It was made using the Unity iPhone engine, and developed in beautiful Portland, OR (if anyone cares).

p.s. I'm a developer.
06-12-2009, 02:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,278
welcome to TA! looks very interesting, i'll have a look at it tonight when i get back from work.

06-12-2009, 02:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
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you think you can describe this game? Right now I'm looking at a video that makes no sense at all, you have to remember this is the first time most people are seeing your game and first impressions count, yet there is no info on what the purpose is?

From the video, you roll a ball around and collect stuff and somehow lines shoot out of your ball off the screen.

I don't get it.

Artist | Designer
06-12-2009, 02:56 PM
Bought. What sold me was the app store blurb's focus on how the control scheme was tested.

There are lots of otherwise fantastic games on the app store that are ruined for me by lousy controls, or lazy ports of control schemes meant for other hardware.

If the controls are satisfying, even an average game can become excellent.

(The game mechanics sound fun, too.)

I have other things to do this afternoon, but I'll see about putting in some playtime and first impressions this evening.
06-12-2009, 03:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: California
Posts: 505
Looks pretty cool!
Ill grab this later as well.

App Store description:

Slide to unlock. Slide to play.

Iíve heard stories about a famous game designer who used to test the interface for his games by seeing if he could play while smoking a cigarette with his other hand.

My test for the interface of this game was seeing if I could play with one thumb while lying on the couch and watching ď30 RockĒ reruns. Success! You can play this game with either intense precision in search of a faster time, or casually while waiting in line at the supermarket.

Slide your thumb left and right across the bottom of the screen to change the polarity of your ion. If the ion is negative you'll be pulled towards positive towers and get pushed away from negative towers. If the ion is positive the force will be reversed. The closer you are to a tower, the stronger the force.

You've played with magnets before; you know how this works.

Your mission:
Use this magnetic force to collect the chips around the level. Once you have enough chips the exit will open. The faster you can do it the higher your score will be.

Sounds simple, right? It is at first. Then you have to start catching moving chips, navigate narrow passages, ricochet off angled walls, and more.

Oh, I almost forgot: you can keep listening to your iPod music while you play!

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06-12-2009, 03:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Posts: 1,085
Looks pretty interesting. I'll check it out.

Oh and welcome to TA from me also. Hope you stick around.

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06-12-2009, 03:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by dogmeat View Post
you think you can describe this game? Right now I'm looking at a video that makes no sense at all, you have to remember this is the first time most people are seeing your game and first impressions count, yet there is no info on what the purpose is?
Yeah, sorry. Obviously I'm too close to the game, I assume everyone knows what the f is going on in that video.

You are the "ion" you slide the slider at the bottom of the screen left and right to apply a "charge" the ion. If you're positive you are pulled toward negative towers, and vice-versa.

The goal of each level is to pick up the chips and get out of the exit as fast as you can. If you make it under the "par time" you get a time bonus to your score.

The gameplay is inspired by an indie game called "Strange Attractors." That game used gravity as it's force instead of magnetic polarity. Both games can be really difficult, but eventually you start to understand how to manage the forces to get where you want to go.
06-12-2009, 03:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
I've been playing this on and off and I like this one. It's different, certainly off the beaten path, and manages to be simultaneously simple and challenging, which is a good combination. It takes a little bit to get the hang of, but there's a fun game here the likes of which the iPhone hasn't seen yet.

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Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
06-12-2009, 08:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
Review: Ion ChargeÖfrustration and punishment lead to addictive gameplay

Have you ever played a game that was so painfully frustrating yet still addictive enough that you would go back for more punishment? Thatís exactly what you have with Ion Charge, a unique game that involves polarities, angles, and most importantly, patience. Just as magnets are attracted to each other, you may find yourself strangely fascinated by this well-designed game.

The game is about understanding and using the laws of physics as you control an ion and its magnetic forces in order to move around various obstacles to collect chips. Once all the chips in that level are collected, the exit opens, and thus you can proceed to the next torture chamber, I mean level. Presented in a progressive game mode, Ion Charge consists of 20 levels which may not sound like many, but once you get into the gameplay, those levels will take a while to master. Nonetheless, more levels would be welcome.

The game levels look great in a 3D industrial view and can only be played in portrait mode. What would be helpful is the addition of zoom and pan functionality because in its current format, itís hard to tell where everything is located when starting a new level. Each of the levels has unique obstacles which really arenít obstacles per se, but more like maneuvering challenges such as automatically closing walls, narrow corridors, oppositely charged towers right next each other which can impact the level of attraction.

The controls look rather simple: a slider where you can adjust the polarity from negative to positive charge is located at the bottom of the screen. Within each level, a number of towers appear each with either a positive or negative charge. Based on how the polarity is adjusted via the slider controls, this will change the charge of the ion that will move it towards or away from towers. The game controls and figuring out polarity takes some getting used to and honestly, I was sarcastically shaking my head when I read the app description about playing this game with one hand. Donít get me wrongÖthe game can be played that way, but you better be a grand master of Ion Charge before attempting that.

To further add challenge to the game, each level has a par time and by beating or matching the par time, additional bonus points are awarded. I can tell you that most will be happy just being able to complete the level and getting out of dodge. But, this adds to the replay value since you can never the same level the same way twice.

In the game screen, the timer is located in the upper left corner with the chip counter on the opposite side. Something I feel is missing is the par time which I think should be located underneath the timer so I have an idea of where I stand. As of right now, you only see it after completing the level. Of course, if you donít want the pressure from a timed game, simply ignore the timer, and the game will be just as entertaining.

The physics in Ion Charge are pretty solid, and most of time, itís about using angles and ricochets in addition to slight tweaks to the polarity to get where you want to go. Literally, Iíve been right next to the exit, and because I tweak a little too much, Iíll wide up far away which costs me time. Thatís not the fault of the game. Ion Charge is well designed and well presented. The graphics run on the Unity engine run smoothly with no lag on my iPod Touch 2g, and the sound effects and voiceovers offer just the right touch.

Overall, Iím surprised by how much I enjoy Ion Charge, and while I donít come close to the par time in most cases, the game offers something very different from the usual iTunes games fare. Be warned: this is not a game for people are not well-versed in patience. Even while I was completely POíd, I kept playing, and if youíre willing to take a chance, Ion Charge provides an addictive experience for those not afraid of a little extra challenge along the way.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (terrific mechanics along with smooth industrial-looking graphics; offers addictive gameplay)

Last edited by Big Albie; 06-12-2009 at 09:02 PM.
06-12-2009, 08:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: us of a
Posts: 2,824
You're on a roll today with those BARs.

I might just have to pick this up now.