DescriptionArchon: The Light and the Dark
is a strategic board game with some similarities to chess. Two sides, a light one and a dark one, consisting of 18 pieces each compete on a board divided into (9 by 9) squares. You win the game by having one of your units on each of the five powerpoint squares, by removing all opposing pieces from the board or by imprisoning the last remaining creature of the opposing side.
However, you can't just remove a piece from the board by landing on it. When two pieces clash, the outcome is decided in the battle arena during one-on-one real-time combat. If the real-time combat takes place on a dark square, the dark monster gets a health bonus (longer life bar). On a light square the light side gains an advantage. There are also some squares whose color changes over time (from afternoon, to dusk, to night, to dawn etc.), which adds an extra layer of strategy to the game.
Unlike chess the two sides are not identical. Both sides consist of mythological creatures. For example the light side has among others unicorns, valkyries and a djinni while the dark side features basilisks, banshees and manticores. The differences are not just cosmetic. Two special pieces are the light wizard & the dark sorceress, they can both cast magical spells like: imprison a unit on the board, shift the flow of time (change day/night cycle to your advantage), bring one unit back from the dead etc.
The different pieces have their own movement restrictions regarding the number of squares they're allowed to travel on the board and whether or not they can jump over other units (like the knight in chess). Units also behave different in combat; some units are faster than others, some use melee attacks while others fire projectiles.Archon
can be played with either one or two players.
The NES version, which was released a few years after the other versions, has improved graphics for the real-time combat part. Each type of square has it's own colored background and the unit sprites are larger.
Part of the Following Group
There are no reviews for the Atari 8-bit release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.
The Press Says
A pair of 13 year olds worked on a game they called Archon III: Exciter
for a while, never completing it, and the beta version widely circulated the internet, until eventually myth mixed in with fact and it was wrongly believed to be a genuine unreleased official follow-up.
The game's striking and distinctive cover artwork is apparently an homage to the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher
, combining his typical preoccupation of repeating and inverted tessellated patterns of animal silhouettes as well as a rendering of an exotic polyhedron. Though it is not a direct adaptation of any of his works, it is evocative of the 1948 wood engraving Stars
As of 2001, one of the four large meeting rooms on the first floor of the "Mission Control" building of Electronic Arts Redwood City, CA campus is named "Archon". The four meeting rooms are named after EA's first four games.
This game has been ported to the Palm OS (Palm Pilot/Handspring Visor).
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15h anniversary issue) - #20 on the "150 Best Games of All Time" list
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 03/2013 – One of the "Ten Best C64 Games“
- Happy Computer
- Issue 04/1985 - #5 Best Game in 1984 (Readers' Vote) (Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit version)