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iON Bond Review

By , on May 29, 2014
Last modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago


iON Bond
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Great idea
  • Calming audio and visual design
  • Layers of mechanics work well together

CONS

  • Control issues ruin the later stages
  • The tiny menu make restarts hard on small screens

VERDICT

While there is a real attraction to iON Bond's simple magnetic formula, you may find its unreliable controls and crude presentation pushing you away.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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The goal of iON Bond is to bring together pairs of coloured ions across black and white mazes. At its most simple, this involves tracing a line between positively and negatively charged spheres. Once connected, the respective charges - positive or negative - take effect, and they are either repulsed or attracted. Successfully fuse all the ions onscreen, and you're on to the next level.

It doesn’t take long for iON Bond to pile on more complex elements. The first big change comes the moment you encounter an uncharged ion. Suddenly, you can't rely on attraction alone to make the orbs meet, and must instead nudge and cajole other ions into position.

The rules of the game become more complex, but are dolled out gradually in a manner that is easy to grasp. However, while the deep mechanics have you planning the right moves to make, the controls don't always allow you to execute them.

Though forming a bond is consistently accurate, breaking a bond by slashing through it is more hit and miss. Even on early stages it is clear the slash does not work every time, but by the time you have three or four bonds formed at once, reliably severing the one you want is near impossible.

This is especially infuriating after carefully orchestrating a manoeuvre to reach a target surrounded by dark matter. After linking three ions in order to get the right angle and momentum to carry one of them to its goal, you will want to scream as your slash severs the wrong bond and sends it into the lethal dark matter, forcing you to restart the stage. 

We're also a little disappointed by the plain and unrefined visuals, with each maze's nasty, pixelated edges reflecting a distinct lack of polish.

There is a simple attraction to iON Bond’s charged gameplay but, despite its calm relaxing pace, the repulsion its frustration causes you in later stages is likely to polarise players. A nice idea, but ultimately one which leaves us feeling quite neutral.

Screenshots

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