Last weekend we took a look at a preview release of React Games' Archon Conquest and, as fans of the 25 year old EA original, we liked what we saw. The game has since gone live in the App Store [link] and we've spent a bit more time with this variation on the studio's remake of the chess-like action strategy game.
Back in June, React brought a revamped take on EA's 1983 classic Archon [App Store] to the iPhone. Archon is an action / strategy game set on a 9x9 chess-like board arrayed with a variety of Light and Dark game pieces, each with its own set of battle attributes. When two pieces come face-to-face on the same board square, action turns to the battle arena where the enemies do battle, arcade style. The winner takes the square.
Archon Conquest stays close to the original formula, but in place of the chess board setting is a variety of different environments in which to play -- four maps or campaigns with 60 different quests or puzzles to complete in all. As mentioned in our preview, Archon Conquest looks visually closer to EA's 1984 sequel, Archon II: Adpet, but the similarity ends there. It's still a matter of controlling power squares or wiping out the enemy wholesale, but in new, obstacle-laden environments.
Archon Conquest allows the player to earn medals on each quest, depending on overall success and tracks skill through (Plus+) online leaderboards. Power characters can cast spells, including new spells as compared to the original, and characters can level up and collect various power-ups in the combat arena.
The differing available characters through the game's various quests, along with the need to negotiate the new board environments, mixes the game up tangibly from the more ordered gameplay of the original. It feels very much like the new take on Archon that it is, and as a big fan of the original, I find it pleasantly refreshing. There's definitely more long-term playability here than in the classic title. In fact, the full play time is estimated at 16 hours to complete all four maps.
Those familiar and fond of the original should find the variety that Archon Conquest brings a welcome twist on a solid formula. And, thanks to the variation that the game brings (not to mention a lower cost of entry), those who've never commanded the Light or the Dark before might just find React's latest to be more appealing than classic Archon.
Wherever you fall, if a well-balanced fusion of action and strategy sounds appealing, you'd do well to give Archon Conquest a try.
App Store Link: Archon Conquest, $0.99