Cholo (Firebird) Review | Acorn User - Everygamegoing

Acorn User

By Firebird
BBC Model B

Published in Acorn User #056

Successful Recipe

Take a large amount of Elite, mix well with the strategy of Castle Quest, the reflex actions of Zalaga and the puzzles of Snowball. Stir well and add some very fast graphics to taste.

What do you get? Easy, the new Firebird release Cholo. This is not some kind of space-age mint, but a post-nuclear attempt to save humankind from the domination of robots.

Before the war, man hid in nuclear bunkers and programmed robots to patrol the surface of the earth until it was safe to come back up. However, the robots have had ideas of their own and want the planet to themselves, hence even though the fallout has gone they won't tell the humans.

Initially, you control a rebel 'Ratdroid' with which you must capture other robots and work out how to penetrate the fortress the robots have built over the humans' bunker. Any robot can be captured if you have the correct password. Once captured, you can then control that robot as well as the Ratdroid. You can select the robot you control from a menu that shows a picture of the robot rotating Elite-style.

Different robots have different abilities: some can fire, some can fly, some can fix other robots and some can 'hack' and find passwords. There are also 'passive' robots such as video cameras and Coke machines.

The view from your robot is displayed with 3D wire frame graphics and, thanks to the very high update rate, gives an excellent sense of movement. The city you explore is made up from 2,000 structures including buildings, trees and pyramids.

The only niggles in the game are when a very large building suddenly disappears because the drawing routine doesn't think it's worth drawing! Also you can see through solid objects (like Elite's planets), but the extra processing needed to correct this would slow the game down too much.

One of the most impressive features is when you 'park' a robot in front of another, select the second robot from the menu and then turn round - you'll be able to see the first robot sitting there!

I won't give too much away, but you must work out how to cross the bridge, fly the plane, explore the science complex, avoid high radiation and get to Logic Island whilst on your way to rescuing the human race.

Overall, the game is very well put together, the graphics are excellent and the idea original. It should appeal to everyone who likes both arcade games and adventures - well done Firebird.

David Lawrence

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