Title Champions of Krynn Game Type RPG Company SSI Players 1 Compatibility Most Amigas Submission firstname.lastname@example.org (Ronny Cook) Review Champions of Krynn was one of the earlier "Gold Box" AD&D role playing games from SSI, set in the "Dragonlance" world. Its interface shows a great deal of improvement since Pool of Radiance, and the graphics are also a bit sharper, but neither point has ever been the strong point of the Gold Box games. The display, as with the other Gold Box games, is broken up into a small "3D" view ahead of your party, a party summary, an area for display of text messages (and occasional images) and a row of buttons for basic functions. The party moves step-by-step, which makes mapping easier; in most areas, it is possible to replace the 3D view with a (very) rough map on a 16x16 grid. The party summary is very useful, indicating who is in your party and how healthy they are at any time. The text area is only large enough for fairly short messages but works around this by occasionally referencing "journal entries" in the included documentation. Clicking on the 3D view will move or turn your party but typically the keyboard is much easier to use. The buttons at the bottom of the screen also have keyboard shortcuts. Eventually you will find yourself largely ignoring the mouse. Unfortunately there are only ten save game slots and they are each identified only by a letter from A to H. One problem with the 3D view is that monsters and features of interest are usually not shown until you actually encounter them. For example, you may be walking down an apparently clear street then be informed of an encounter with a group of monsters holding a barrier. On the other hand, all movement and combat is turn-based, so there is no time pressure. The game's plot is fairly straightforward and usually you are led by the nose from place to place. There is enough freedom of action within each location, however, that you don't feel hemmed in. As with the other Gold Box games, Champions of Krynn is at least as much a strategy game as an RPG; the larger encounters require a careful balancing of hit points, available spells and positioning. Character building is nicer than in the Forgotten Realm games as non-human characters are not restricted nearly as badly as in the alternative series. Most races can reach quite high levels in their chosen professions before they are blocked from advancement. This means that passing characters along to the next game in the series (Death Knights of Krynn) actually has a point. If you are a fan of Dragonlance you will occasionally encounter characters from the books (assuming that sort of thing is important to you). If you encounter a Non Player Character (NPC) who joins your party and then have an encounter (usually a fight) your knight's leadership abilities may allow you to control an NPC as if it were one of your own characters. This can be a godsend given the typically braindead artificial intelligence (sic). The interface is much improved over Pool of Radiance; the need to laboriously re-memorise every spell has been eliminated. The mapping scheme is still very iffy but better than nothing. After you win the game, all your best weapons are taken away from you (supposedly in order that they may be used in fighting the war; actually to avoid grossly unbalancing Death Knights). This is an... interesting way of rewarding someone for winning a game. :-) Overall, I found Champions of Krynn to be absorbing and fun. It may not look good compared to more modern titles, but the gameplay remains solid.