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Archon takes a new and different spin on the idea of chess. Rather than simply having pieces capture each other by moving onto the same square, pieces that occupy the same spot actually battle for control. Attacking doesn't necessarily mean that you will win the square, and in defense, you can slaughter your enemy's incoming army.
Even more, this battle between Light and Dark takes place on a magical playing field. Each army has a spellcaster capable of powerful magical spells that can shift the tide of battle. As the game plays, certain squares cycle from white to black and back again. Dark pieces are much stronger on dark squares, while Light pieces are more powerful on lighter squares.
You can win by slaughtering the entire opposing army or by capturing the five power points that exist on the board.
Each piece in the two armies has strengths and weaknesses. No piece is so strong that it is invulnerable to everything, and no piece is so weak as to be useless. Every piece can move a certain number of squares on the chess board in any direction. Flying pieces are able to move over both friendly and enemy units.
The main game takes place on a black and white chess board, which is nine squares by nine instead of the normal eight by eight. The spellcasters each stand on one of the power points at the start of the game, while the other three are lined up along the middle of the board.
When two pieces occupy the same square, the view shifts to a battle screen where the two can fight for domination. Victorious pieces claim the square for their army. Wounds are real, however, and a weakened piece can often be easily killed by another attack. These wounds heal slowly over time.
Archon was one of the first games to play with the basic idea of chess and turn it into something different. Whether you play for Light or Dark, the challenge is real. ~ Steve Honeywell, All Game Guide