archon_logo1React! Games has released the first screenshots from the iPhone version of the 1983 classic Archon. We first reported that the port was underway back in January after React! had announced that they had secured the licensing rights from Free Fall Games.

The game was a huge hit in its time and was ported to a countless platforms. The game, itself, resembles chess but taking another player's piece is not as simple as just moving onto their square. Instead, the two pieces enter a full screen combat mode where they must face off in a battle arena to determine who takes the square.


Chad Lee, founder of React! Games, provided these early screenshots as well as some notes about the game. Archon Classic is currently undergoing final debugging and is expected to be submitted to the App Store in mid-May. Lee reports they've worked hard to make the control system "perfect" and fun.

We've worked in a nice virtual D-pad, since most people are used to that, but we also have the option to play it (at least on the Combat Screen) with the accelerometer. It is really fun to play it both ways and the response is quite fast. For the Combat Arena, we've worked in what we call, "Smart Fire" which is a little AI to help players aim and shoot in the proper direction, since it's really hard to get a fast twitch response on the iPhone. It works out great and makes the game really fun.

The battle area itself can be zoomed in or out to compensate for the relatively small size of the iPhone's screen.


The first version of the game will include the Classic game with several difficulty settings and a ranking system. Future plans, however include Campaign mode, Multiplayer mode, Worldwide leaderboard, Achievements and Stats recording. Some features such as Achievements and Stats are expected to come as soon as the next update which should be released shortly.

Lee concludes:

We are very excited about this's not a simple port from another platform, but a game made specifically for the iPhone, taking advantage of it as a console. This game really plays a lot bigger and better than most other games and will definitely be a favorite of all who actually play it.

Additional screenshots (click on thumbnails):

React! Games is planning on organizing give-aways and prizes to their registered forum users in the lead up to the release with free t-shirts, posters and even custom skinned, limited edition iPod touches.

Read more about the game at React!'s Archon Classic website.

TouchArcade will, of course, take a closer look at the game when it is released.

  • GlassJoe

    I can't wait for this one. I wish someone would remake/port Star Control to the iphone, though.

  • Marc

    Looks fun, and well updated rather than just a rehash!

  • Eric

    This game rocked back in the day. Many many hours lost battling my brothers. ahhh good times good times. i hope this version does this classic game justice

  • TKO

    wait.. a d-pad for the chess map? Are you fricking kidding me? If you can't just tap the piece and tap where you want it to go, that's braiddead. Accellerometer use in the combat screen sounds good, but I ain't fricking using no d-pad on my iPhone.

    Digital d-pads just don't work well on a touch interface. Check Carmack's article on iPhone Wolf3d if you don't believe me

  • Blake Patterson

    Archon is one of the best games I've ever played. I hit the Apple II version first, followed up by the superb Amiga version. I cannot WAIT.

  • Acidbottle

    this game is mint, and for those who are expecting a chess game .. nah πŸ˜‰

  • mek

    I am very excited for this to be released
    I loved the original

    the D-pad will be just like it was using the Joystick in a sense...

  • Outstanding

    I loved the C64 version, spent many hours playing multiplayer.....

  • Domch

    I'm really looking forward to this, but a tad disappointed by the screenshots. The colours look kind of faded...and...a blue manticore just seems a little wrong somehow...

  • Aaron Sullivan

    I am wondering why you'd use the dpad to select pieces and movement.
    Squares too small?

  • sticktron

    I used to play the Apple II version as well. Classic.

  • Beezle

    I also think that the chess map should NOT use a D-pad. Just point and click.

    I'm also curious: Will the (future) multiplayer be Wifi or internet? The most interesting part of Archon was to play it with and against friends.

    Interested fans should also check out the upcoming 'Good vs Evil' game. I hope this is not canceled due to licensing reasons...

  • Peej

    Great stuff! All these Apple II / C64 games making a comeback gets a serious thumbs up from me. Can't wait! Do H.E.R.O next πŸ™‚

  • Pug

    Awaiting this eagerly as well.

    But i have to add my 1+ for Starcontrol :worship:

  • Chad

    To clarify, you can also use the touch screen to select and move characters on the Strategy Board as well as use the D-pad. Log onto the forums and let your voice be heard...that's why we've made the forums, to let the fans help shape the game.

  • Adams Immersive

    Thanks for the clarification, Chad πŸ™‚ Can't wait to play Archon again!

    To avoid buyer confusion and mistaken bad comments, you might want to didtch the D-pad from the map screen, even if its use is optional.

    • TKO

      Yeah, that's what I was thinking. The d-Pad does kinda dominate the UI a bit. Would be nice to be able to remove it if you don't want to use it. (I'd rather click on the board, and use accellerometer in battle.)

  • donnyk


  • Billy's StarCON.....noobs calls it star control........
    and please bring Starcon II, don't even waste time on the first one or the strategy part of it. Just the space melee mode, that's all we want.

  • richmlow

    I never thought that I would see the day when Archon would be ported over to a modern computing platform! This is great news and I hope to see more companies porting over some of the classics to the iphone.

    Now, all we need is Tempest!

  • Kith

    In a german interview, Chad talks about some more details about the game. For example, there are 3 modes in the game. The Classic, a 3D-optimized and a Retro-Version (with the originial 8-Bit-Sprites and Sounds from the good old one). Also, there will bei LevelUps for Chars, Combat-Combos, new skills for each figure, and an up to 4 player gameplay mode!

    Whooaah! πŸ˜€


  • Chad

    The Dpad was left in there for consistency sake. We felt like if we removed it during strategy, but had it for Combat would be a bit confusing (thumb placement)...also, you can use the accelerometer for combat mode, which (I think) is the best way to play it.

    ...and Replicant...quit posting links to Evolution. It's not yours to share.