Feb 25, 2013
Arkeon is an interesting one.
The first thing that came to mind when getting the game was Tron. And why not? The developer of this game was able to meld bright graphics with chess-like gameplay to create an unexpectedly fun (for me at least) game for Android devices.
To understand Arkeon is to play it. This ain’t your grandfather’s chess… no sir. In fact, it almost does this game a disservice to describe it as a form a chess. But the game takes some admirable design cues that would make both Gary Kasparov and Big Blue proud.
The game consisted of fixed grid. I defended one side, as did my opponent/physical opponent. Each contestant (in this case, the game engine and myself) had a set number of pawns of suffering abilities. My job was to repel attacks while creating my own, with the capturing of the opponents home base being the ultimate arbiter of success.
The diversity of pawns was what made the game a true challenge. You had basic pawns, which had single, fire that I could point in any of eight directions. There were a special three-pronged pawn, a peacekeeper piece, a repellent piece and rotational piece. ech piece had special powers that, if deployed correctly, could assist me in taking out opponent pawns or prevent them from over-running my home base. There were rules with regards to placement, upgrading and downgrading, as well as attacking. Whichever side made it to the opposing home base first won the game
Thus, strategy was a significant consideration. I had to think several moves ahead, and run contingency scenarios to account for potential counter-moves. The game helped with a tutorial, and the undo button helped as a teaching tool as well.
Arkeon is a game of numerous identities. The parallels with chess are unmistakable, but there is enough stuff included to mke it feel new. I give the developer props for adding same device multiplayer, but would have truly loved remote multiplayer functionality. Still, this is a very, very fun game to check out.