Achron requires a little explaining in terms of how it works. The core of the game is a pretty standard RTS fare, with three playable races and a variety of units for each. Where Achron really stands out, however, is it's primary gameplay element: fully-funtional time travel. In addition to the mini-map and controls on the game screen, there is also a timeline displaying all the actions taken by the player the last 8 minutes or so, extending about a minute into the future as well. At any point during gameplay the player can jump forwards and backwards on this timeline, allowing them to change their actions in the past and have these changes then affect the timeline ahead of them. Players are also able to send units forward and backwards through the use of Chronoporters, resulting in battles where a unit may find itself fighting alongside itself. Naturally, these elements result in a variety of interesting strategies - for example, you send your units to defend against an attack from the north when the timeline changes and you find those same enemies now attacking from a different direction against your unprotected base.
So how fun does this turn out to be? In short, very. Although the idea of free-form time travel sounds a little confusing at first, the concept is quite easy to get to grips with and you will soon find yourself managing changes in the timeline with ease. Paradoxes are not a problem, as the model of time-travel used by the game resolves these impossibilites in an effective manner - the two or more states of a paradox will alternate between each other until one falls off the end of the 8-minute timeline.
As the game is not yet complete single-player gameplay is currently restricted to the tutorial levels and AI players, although the developers have promised an extensive campaign spanning all three playable races. The multiplayer community is well-established, if a little small; the users in the official IRC channel are always willing to play regardless of how new a player is.
Overall, gameplay gets a 7/10.
The in-game HUD is sleek and well-designed, with an easy to understand layout. The quality of the graphics for levels is largely dependant on the level itself - although a large number of textures and scenery are available it is mainly up to the creator of each map to determine how detailed the level will be. In terms of units and buildings, however, the game could use some work: most of the models are uniquely designed and clearly distinguishable from each other, although the textures are rather bland and repetitive.
Graphics gets a 5/10, though with a little work to the textures this could easily be increased.
Since the game is still in development and the single-player campaign has yet to be released, not much is currently known about the storyline of Achron. The website hints at an interesting plotline, if somewhat generic, though until the campaign is released it isn't clear what quality the storytelling will be.
For the time being I won't assign a score to storyline, though once the campaign is released this will be revised.
The sound of Achron can be separated into sound effects and music. The sound effects of the game are fairly average, though limited at the current time (again, Achron is still in development so additional sound effects may be added in the future. The music of Achron is all custom, and features a distinct ambience - the majority of songs are quite peaceful, with a few faster paced songs. The music isn't anything amazingly spectacular, but it definitely adds to the feel of the game.
Sound gets a 6/10.
Overall, I give Achron a 7/10 - it definitely shows a lot of promise and the concept of free-form timetravel is a unique idea that has never been implemented as well as it has in Acron, though there are several areas where development is still needed. I highly recommend pre-purchasing it - you will recieve every alpha and beta build, the full version of the game when it is released some time this year, and any updates and add-ons to the game after that.