Eon Player Guide

Objective

The prevailing objective is to reach as high a level as possible before getting eliminated by an opponent.

Within a given level, the objective is to eliminate all opponents from the grid, transitioning to the next level. This may be achieved in one of two ways:

  • By occupying all cells on the grid as your own until no unoccupied cells remain
  • By destructively eliminating all opponents via sacrifices

Gameplay

Gameplay centers on moving a magenta-colored cursor, using either the mouse or keyboard, within a 7x7 cellular grid.

The cursor location indicates where to plan one of two actions:

  • Take a cell (Space bar or Left click on the mouse)
  • Sacrifice all occupied cells (Enter key or Right click on the mouse)
Either of these actions may be planned contiguously by holding down their respective keys and/or buttons while moving the cursor.

For mouse users, the movement is a familiar click-and-drag motion, and is the recommended way to play Eon as it's much quicker.

For keyboard users, arrow or WASD keys move the cursor.

Note that if too many plans are being queued forming a backlog, Eon will sound an alert and discard the excessive plans. The backlog limit increases significantly as levels progress, but starts low to help new players avoid the confusion of actions becoming far disconnected from on-screen events.

Taking cells

Taking cells is the primary means of expanding a player's domain on the grid. When a cell is vacant, indicated by a dark purple empty tile, it may be freely taken by any adjacent occupied tile.

There is one exception to the simple adjacency requirement: when a player occupies zero cells on the grid. In this genesis condition, the player is free to take any vacant cell. But when a player occupies a cell, they may only take neighboring cells.

Vacant vs. Occupied

The requirements for taking adjacent occupied cells from other players are slightly different from taking vacant cells.

Taking an occupied cell requires at least two adjacent cells to overpower the target. The adjacent cells must both belong to the player taking the target, and must be contiguous on a common axis.

Lone occupation rule

When a player's lone occupied cell is taken, all unoccupied cells are immediately made obstructions.

If there are no unoccupied cells, there is no effect.

Taking a player's lone occupied cell is a valid method of finishing a level, but it must be done as the final take filling the grid.

Sacrificing cells

Sacrificing cells is the only means of destruction on the grid. All that is required for a sacrifice to succeed is that the player occupy where the sacrifice was planned when it executes.

The result of a sacrifice is all of the player's cells become vacant, and any opponent-occupied cells immediately adjacent to the newly vacant player cells are also made vacant.

Unlike taking cells, when a sacrifice is successful, it affects all of the player's cells via a single plan executing at a single cell.

Obstructions

Adjacent obstruction cells, represented by shiny black tiles, are affected uniquely by sacrifices. Rather than being made vacant, they become occupied by the sacrificing player.

Planning contiguous sacrifices across contiguous obstructions produces some interesting and often desirable results thanks to this powerful mechanic.

Elimination

When all remaining cells occupied by a given player are made vacant as a consequence of another player's sacrifice, that player is eliminated permanently from the level.

For an AI player, this means the AI is knocked out from the level.

For the human player, this means game over.

Heads-up display

In the early levels, a heads-up display (HUD) is provided to help new players internalize the rules governing what's allowed at any given moment:
  • Animated arrows indicate takeable cells, pointing from the qualifying adjacencies
  • Stationary arrows indicate threatened cells, takeable by an opponent, pointing from the qualifying adjacencies
  • Animated spheres indicate destructable obstacles, nearest the qualifying adjacencies

Plans

Outstanding plans are indicated with green and red overlays of flashing concentric rings.

These overlays individually vanish as executed.

When a plan is executed unsuccessfully, feedback is provided both visibly and audibly:

  • Beep sound and white flash of a cell: attempted to pointlessly take a cell already occupied by the player
  • Knock sound and red flash of a cell: failed executing plan due to unfulfilled requirements at the time of execution