This version (1.0) plays really well, which we’re really excited about! The combat is fast and fun, the characters are more evenly matched and the Phoenix KICKS BUTT! The Easy setting is VERY easy so everyone can get used to the controls on the iPhone (if you’re not yet) and win a few battles fairly easily. The Hard setting is pretty challenging, even for the veteran player. There is a ranking system that works nicely and in subsequent versions, we’ll be able to upload to a server for global scores and global rankings…it keeps track of your total game time, fastest combat time, how many pieces you’re won/loss, etc. In combat, you can control the characters by using the Dpad (which works excellent) or the Accelerometer.
They've also posted this first gameplay video from the iPhone version. The video starts off with scenes from the original 1983 version and then later shows the iPhone gameplay:
If you haven't played Archon before, it plays like chess but the characters actually do battle to determine who wins each square.