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Champion of the Raj logo

Ein halbgares Spiel erkennt man daran, daß die Idee gut ist, das Gameplay aber mangelhaft – oder eben umgekehrt. Der Indien-Mix von PSS gehört eindeutig in die erste Schublade...

Champion of the Raj Anno 1800 ist Indien in mehrere Staaten zerfallen und wird zudem von einer Art Mafia, den Thugs, terrorisiert. Also schnappt man sich bis zu fünf Mitspiler, um als regionaler Herrscher für Ordnung im Lände zu sorgen (fehlende Fürsten übernimmt der Rechner). Vom brittischen Statthalter bis zum Gurkhaprinz von Nepal tritt allerdings jeder unter anderen Voraussetzungen an. Sinn der Übung ist natürlich, sämtliche Ländereien zu erobern und schließlich die Thugs zu zerschlagen – eine Spielrunde simuliert dabei zwei Jahre. Je mehr Teilstaaten man unter seiner Fuchtel hat, desto reicher fließen die Steuern und desto mehr Soldaten können finanziert werden. Aufgelockert wird das strategische Treiben durch sechs verschiedene Actionsequenzen, von der Tigerjagd bis zum Elefantenrennen.

So sehr sich alles nach einem typischen Cinemaware-Game anhört, so wenig wird deren Klasse erreicht: Die Bilder sind zwar hübsch und bunt, nur leider etwas grob, manche Animationen ruckeln wie ein kamel mit Schüttelfrost, und gelegentlich schleichen sich gar Grafikfehler ein. Musikalisch tönt's ebenso vielfältig wie schrill aus dem Lautsprecher, und die Maussteuerung ist zäh wie Sirup (Stick und Tastatur schaffen sogar das Prädikat "Kaugummi"!). Naja, wenn man beide Augen zudrückt, mag die Sache gerade noch angehen – nur spielt sich es blind halt nicht sehr gut... (jn)

Amiga Joker, September 1991, p.42

Amiga Joker
Champion of the Raj
Grafik: 62%
Sound: 41%
Handhabung: 36%
Spielidee: 72%
Dauerspaß: 50%
Preis/Leistung: 49%

Red. Urteil: 51%
Preis: ca. 84,- DM
Hersteller: PSS/Mirrorsoft
Genre: Simulation

Spezialität: Zwei Disks, komplett in deutsch, Save-option. Häufige Nachladezeiten (auch bei 1 MB), aber ein wirklich tolles Movie-Intro.

Champion of the Raj logo

Champion of the Raj
India: land of spices and sumptuous wealth. So full of riches that greedy nations, such as the British and the French, have been tempted to grab the spoils. Champion of the Raj is about this historical struggle for power and possession. To complicate matters, the Thugs are on the rampage, sacrificing many victims to their voracious goddess, Kali. The plot thickens, and so does the brain. Now read on...
Champion of the Raj is fundamentally a strategy game with a few arcade sequences added to pull in the punters. Choose one of the six leaders which include Sikh, Mogul or European, to fight over strife ridden India. Why not carry on the colonies and select the role of Viceroy of the British East India Company. Nothing wrong with plundering is there, pip, pip!!?

And so to the heart of the action. The Headquarters Screen has a map of India. Clicking on a territory will summon up details concerning army size, wealth, and weaponry; useful for weighing up the pros and cons of a quick skirmish. Depending on your mood, attack if you're feeling grumpy, or talk in order to negotiate. It may still come to a savage arcade contest, such as the tiger hunt or elephant race, to prove that you mean business. Or rest easy on your laurels and give the natives a taste of pomp and ceremony. Hold a Durbah (you've got to be ethnic and trendy, haven't you?). This parade of elephants will have the tourists flipping their lids with gratification. You'll just love it if you have a yen for the Lord Mayor's show or a royal wedding. Beware, though, some of the 'graphic' sections take far too long to load and to run.

So much for your efforts to keep the unwashed happy. There are traitors amongst your disloyal soldiers. You can quietly oust them, but you'll have to dismiss about 4,000 troops to be sure of avoiding an armed insurrection. But if you take on the insurgents head-to head you'll have to swordfight with a loin-clothed rascal. A sorry end awaits the loser, who is forced into the dear blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

You'll have to keep your wits about you, as the advice from the so called gurus can be very unhelpful - here's a gem: An expert is someone brought in at the last moment to take the blame'. Taking advice of this sort of calibre will make you as popular with your fellow politicians as Adolf Hitler!

Champion of the Raj is excellent trainingground for budding evil despots of the world. The crops have been destroyed and famine is rampant. What will you do? Either let the people starve or save them by giving a donation of money. Another interesting problem concerns ancient temple treasures. The national museum wants them but it's oh so tempting to melt them down for your treasury! Champion of the Raj is full of developed ideas and has a very entertaining storyline. However, the main drawback is the huge amount of disk swapping that is required and it's strongly advisable to have a second disk drive. Another tiresome feature is the time that it takes to load. Patience is something you'll need by the truckload if you're going to get into this game. The graphics aren't bad, but one of the greatest shortcomings is in the sound department. For a game of this potential, melodies consisting of what sounds like an elaborate police siren just aren't enough. An enjoyable game to play nevertheless, although Mahatma Ghandi is probably spinning in his grave.
Fiona Keating

CU Amiga, July 1991, pp.102-103

The word 'thug' originates from the Indian practice of Thugee, a form of highway robbery used by devotees of the Hindu goddess Kali. Thugs strangled their victims from behind with a cloth that had a coin consecrated to Kali knotted in one of its corners. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, more than 3,000 Thugs were arrested.

Pretty - but a bit of a slog up the Kyber...