Electronic Arts' Archon was one of the best games ever released. A lot of you may remember playing the game on his/her 8-bit home computer in the eighties.
There have always been a lot of efforts to re-implement the game on the home/personal computers (including PDA's) that came after the 8-bit computer age (the original 8-bit versions were ported to almost all 8-bit home computers), with varying success. Archon Ultra
for the PC, released in 1994, for example, was a disaster.
Now, there is only one port for PDA's; the Palm OS port available at http://www.emperor-studios.de/
. It's, unfortunately, is a total breakdown graphics-wise - the color version is non-HiRes (read: has the resolution of 160*160 only) and is, therefore, hard to play with (it's pretty hard to even recognize the shapes at this resolution). It seems to be a decent port/reimplementation with a decent AI, though. There seems to be no-HiRes PalmOS version of the game, which is a real letdown. (Just tested on my Zire 71.)
For the Pocket PC, on the other hand, there is no native Archon port. Under Pocket C64 2.0 (the one I've tested with), the c64 version of Archon works just great:
Needless to say, the game was one of my favourites at that time (along with other titles like Impossible Mission; Hewson's Uridium, Paradroid etc.). This is why I downloaded the trial version of Pocket Adventures' new games at once as soon as I saw the thread (which also emphasizes its Archon roots) at PocketGamer.org.
Where should I begin?
Yes, the battle is indeed pretty similar to that of Archon (albeit the lack of the animation in melee - for example, swords - attack is pretty ugly - even the 8-bit version was better at this).
What was so great in Archon, though? The strategic
part. To be able to attack the right dragon at the right time, just like in chess. To be able to plan
what to do even some steps before it actually began. Fighting is not as important in Archon as wise planning, just like in chess. This seems to be completely missing from this game.
The game is much more based on random stuff (typical RPG) than on careful pre-planning your next moves.
Unfortunately, it seems only the fighting scenes bear some similarity between the game and the original Archon, so, Archon fans, don't hope for much else. Stick to Pocket C64 instead.
Nevertheless, the game is indeed good and is definitely worth a check, especially if you don't expect to see a REAL Archon-clone.
Memory consumption: 2.5M; can be completely installed on memory cards/File Store. Doesn't install anything in main memory.
Compatibility: ARM version only. No MIPS (too bad - this game does require a good D-pad - read MIPS Cassiopeia).
Compatibility tests done: Works flawlessly on both my VGA Pocket Loox 720 (WM2003SE) and my QVGA iPAQ 2210 (WM2003). Has no problems with SE VGA; has no real VGA resolution (that is, it's "only" anti-aliasized).
Music: great! Too bad it's monophonic only (unlike that of, say, Pocket UFO). Still, Jaybot has again written a great soundtrack. As usual, the main music is in a FastTracker .xm mod, so you can listen to it even if you don't play.
Some cool Archon-related links
: Archon, from a bird's view.
Interview with the Creators of Archon
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/A/Ar/Archon_(computer_game).htm : another article on Archon and its sequel
is another project, but without any downloadable stuff. The current (private) betas don't even have AI.
Downloads for C64:
Archon II: http://www.c64.com/detail.php?gameid=129
The PocketGamer.org thread: http://www.pocketgamer.org/showthread.php?threadid=4813