Archon: I Bet You’ve Never Played Chess with Lasers

What if I told you that there exists a game which plays like chess, but has magic spells, mythical beasts, and every capture is contested by a shootout? Is everybody on board? Now what if I told you that this game was released 30 years ago?

Archon is amazing, and I bet you’ve never even heard of it.

The forces of light and dark line up at the starting positions and vie to take over 5 power points or completely destroy each other, whichever comes first. Wizards cast spells that summon elemental assassins, teleport units around, and change the flow of a night and day cycle that determines battle advantage. It was released for the Commodore 64, and requires only one button on a joystick.

The thrill of Archon brings my friends together to eat and drink (mostly drink… a lot) and watch tense PVP laser chess matches on a big-screen TV. This description barely does it justice, so I’m providing a Let’s Play where a few friends and I demonstrate just how awesome Archon can be. Look at this game and tell me that you don’t want to challenge your friends to a match.

Archon was made by Electronic Arts for the Commodore-64. If you’re in the handful of GeekParty readers without a working Commodore-64, a number of fan remakes exist for modern computers.