I'm not sure if this site is the right place to ask.

I am looking to find an old video game I was playing as a teenager, about 20 years ago. It was an online-only board game, similar to chess, but with a fantasy style. There were several teams to choose from, something like fire, water, forest, etc. Characters could attack other characters on the board with different kind of attack or spell.

At each move, when an attack was made, there was an animation of the character at the top-right of the window. I have a clear memory of an elf-like character, bare chest swinging 2 sword in a X looking towards to camera.

Anybody have an idea what I'm looking for? I really have no clue where I found that game or what its name was. It really was not a popular game, nobody around me knew about it, not even the local video game store. It was found online only, probably made by a single person or a small unknown team

edit I'm adding few info I got from a relative. Spells would cost mana. At the beginning of a game, we could build our own team/army based on the available character from the specie we would take. It was also possible to install lighter version of the game with no animations.

I remember there were french speaking players.. so maybe it was originally a french game.. I can't tell.

  • 1
    Archon comes to mind.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 19, 2023 at 2:49
  • 1
    Thanks. That's not it unfortunately. The checker board was vertical. Aug 19, 2023 at 2:59
  • Were the combats animated but the outcome was fixed (like in Combat Chess), or did you actually have to fight the other piece to defeat it (like Archon)?
    – DavidW
    Aug 19, 2023 at 3:35
  • The outcome was fixed. It was sequential. Pick an attack, animation plays at the top, outcome showed on the board. Aug 19, 2023 at 3:44
  • Archon Ultra has a vertically oriented board. Although 20 years ago suggests a game that came out in the early 2000s, unless it was an older game when you played it. Aug 20, 2023 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


This sounds like Sanctum, which was an online collectible card game first released in 1998 which featured a digital board and pieces. A player used spells represented by their cards to summon creatures on to the board to fight for them, and they moved and attacked their opponent’s pieces. The objective was to destroy the other player’s “sanctum”, their base at the opposite end of the isometric board. Players could choose one of twelve “houses”, each of which specialised in two of the six kinds of mana spent to cast spells: Clarity, Mystery, Order, Strife, Will and World. These factions included ones based around themes of nature, chaos and so on.

I played it on and off for many years, and have quite fond memories of it. It was originally created by the unfortunately named Digital Addiction, but when they closed down the player base created a non-profit company, Nioga, to take it over and continue running it for the community until 2010. It was resurrected again in 2012, and the website playsanctum.net still exists.

  • 1
    Hey, thank you for your answer. Although there are similarities, that is not the game I'm looking for sadly. Maybe something related though, I will look into that direction Aug 19, 2023 at 22:47
  • 2
    @Pier-YvesLessard: Can you point out areas where it matches or differs? It's a good way to elicit more details.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 20, 2023 at 14:08
  • 1
    Sure thing. The board was not isometric but vertical. There was no base to destroy. The team were (I think) : air, water, fire earth & forest. There was an animation pane in top right of the window. Apart from that, I would say just the aesthetic of the game is different. Aug 20, 2023 at 14:50

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