Computer Gamer

Archon II: Adept

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer Gamer #14

Archon II: Adept

Archon II is the long awaited sequel to the superb strategy game from Electronic Arts that was released in the UK last year, by Ariolasoft. Once again the forces of light and darkness do battle but this time they are called Order and Chaos and the chesslike board of Archon is replaced by one representing the plains of earth, water, air and fire as well as two void squares.

Each plain is colour-coded and is formed of squares with six being crucial to the outcome of the game. These are the power points and apart from their control being the object of the contest they are also the source of magic power. Without magic power you can't play Archon II.

Each player begins with just four pieces. However, each of these is a powerful adept that can cast spells to heal, weaken, imprison, release, banish and summon other creatures. The creatures that you can summon vary considerably from low level elementals (one for each plain), the heavy duty demons. Obviously since a demon has more potential destructive power it costs more magic power to produce. Overspend your magic and it's game over time.

Archon II: Adept

The fun really starts when two opposing pieces want the same square. Then the action swaps to a battle screen where the background reflects the plain you are in and the two pieces do battle to the death. The piece's relative strengths are displayed as energy bars on either side of the screen which are reduced as they are hit. The battle rages until one piece loses all their energy and dies.

Very few of these battles are the same as each side fights with a completely different set of demons and elementals, each with a unique fighting style, speed that they can move round the battle screen and how long they have to wait before they can re-use their weapon!

In the Chaos corner there is the firebird that bursts into flames, a siren that sings its opponents to death and a particularly nasty Behemoth that pounds its opponents into dust. Up against them are a Giant that hurls rocks, a sea monster (Kraken) and a fireball hurling Salamander. Add to that lot demons that can paralyse and drain anything that stands in their way and the missile-guiding adepts themselves and you have an intriguing contest that will last you for months.

Unfortunately, cassette owners will have to wait until May before they can get their hands on this excellent game. Until then, wither find a friend with a disk drive or buy one yourself. You won't be disappointed.