When Icons ATTACK !

(c) 2007 Scott M Baker / SB-Software, http://www.sb-software.com/wheniconsattack/

Something's wrong with the icons. They've become self aware. They have their own agenda. They've cannibalized parts of your computer and augmented themselves into iconized killing machines. You must stop them before they seize control of the desktop. Once the desktop is lost, everything is lost.

Overview, Requirements, and Installation


When Icons Attack! is the game where you defend your computer against an invasion of renegade desktop icons. The game features animated rendered graphics and requires microsoft directx version 9.0 or greater. You can control When Icons Attack! with the mouse, joystick, or keyboard.


This game requires Windows XP and Microsoft DirectX version 9.0 or greater.

This game requires a decent video card with 3D acceleration.


The automated setup program will install When Icons Attack!  to your hard drive, and place an  icon on your desktop. Click the icon, start the game. It's as simple as that.

Getting Started

Launching the game:

The game is launched, unsurprisingly, by clicking the desktop icon labeled "When Icons Attack!" on your desktop. This will bring up a dialog box where you can configure game options, graphics settings, difficulty, etc.

If you want to jump right into things, then go ahead and click the <Play> button.

If, on the other hand, you want to study the full range of exciting configuration options available to you first, then continue reading...

Accessing the options menu:

The options menu is accessed by clicking the <Options> button on the main window (no surprise there....) When you do that, the splash screen of the game will be replaced with an options tab control. You can click a tab to select the options on that tab.

Windowed vs Full Screen:

You can choose to play the game in a window, or on your full screen. Personally, I recommend full screen mode (who ever went to an arcade and played a game with windows and dialog boxes in it...)

Windowed mode is useful if you still  want part of your windows desktop visible. For example, if you're waiting for an important email message or some such nonsense.


The difficulty levels range from a complete and total wimp level, to unreasonably difficult.

Acceleration Effect:

The acceleration effect controls how responsive your ship is. Generally, I recommend setting it to the lowest setting. Raising it makes the ship a little less responsive, and game play much more challenging.

Playing the Game

The game is played using the keyboard, joystick, or mouse. To select an input device, use the "options" button on the main window, and select the "controls" page.

Keyboard commands:

Left-Arrow Rotate your ship left  
Right-Arrow Rotate your ship right
Ctrl Fire a energy bolt (you have an unlimited supply of them, so you have safely hold down the ctrl key if you wish)
Alt Fire a special weapon, such as Starburst
ESC Pause (or quit) the game
Shift Engage shield, if you have shield power available (you must collect power-ups)


[Note: By default, keyboard support is selected. To use your joystick, use the options button on the main menu and select the controls page]

Joystick support is self-intuitive. Pressing left or right moves your ship to the left or the right. Moving the joystick up or down has no effect. Weapon, Starburst, and Shield are controlled by joystick buttons 1, 2, and 3. You can also use the keyboard to fire the weapons and activate the shields.


[Note: By default, keyboard support is selected. To use your mouse, use the options button on the main menu and select the controls page]

Using the mouse is a very efficient way to control your ship, and with practice can be even better than using a joystick. Moving the mouse left or right will move your ship in that direction. The mouse's left button fires your primary weapon, and the right button will fire alternate weapons, such as the starburst weapon. The middle button (if your mouse is so equipped) will activate shields.

You can also fire your weapon, starburst, or shield with the keyboard.

Icons Invaders:

Your icons have crafted themselves into several different ship designs, each design more challenging than the last. Each wave is unique and starts with a a group of icon invaders that will fly around the screen. You blow them up. it's as simple as that.

Hull Plating:

Your ship is equipped with a limited amount of hull plating. If an invader's zigzag bullet hits you, then your hull plating will be reduced by exactly one (this is due to highly predictable quantum effects). When you run out of hull plating, your ship is extremely vulnerable, and any hit will destroy it. That would be bad.


Sometimes when you blow away an asteroid, it will leave a "power up" behind. Power-ups are equipment, materials, and treasure that were hidden by space pirates inside of the asteroid. Chase down the powerup with your ship and you will get a bonus. Here are some power-ups:

Hull Plating Adds to the existing hull plating rating of your ship.
Starburst Adds to your available starburst inventory. A starburst fires multiple energy bolts in multiple directions, and is usually fired with the alt key.
Extra Energy Bolt Launcher This will add an extra energy bolt launcher to your ship, allowing you to fire two energy bolts at once. It will last a while, and then eventually burn out, leaving you with just one energy bolt launcher. If you already have two energy bolt launchers, and you pick up this power-up, then you will be able to fire three energy bolts at once.
Extra Ship Add another ship to your inventory. Useful. Very useful.
Shield Picking up a shield powerup will increase your shield reserve. Shields are activated by using the Shift key


Revision History

Contacting the Author:

website: http://www.sb-software.com/wheniconsattack/

email: smbaker@sb-software.com