Cholo (Firebird) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

By Firebird
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #25

AA Rave


A vector graphics masterpiece from the British Telecom software house, but will it be as big a success as Elite? The instructions are comprehensive and include an attractive sci-fi story which explains the history behind the state of the planet Cholo. I won't spoil your enjoyment by describing it to you. Suffice to say, it adds atmosphere to the game. Let's jump in where the game itself starts.

The object of the game is to save the millions of people trapped in a high security bunker beneath the city. To do this, you have to blow the top off the bunkers cap which is not at all easy.

You start by controlling a robot called Rizzo. He's a RAT type robot with the ability to fire and paralyse other robots and to interface with robots and computers.


The screen shows the level of damage to your robot, a map, a message area, a view screen, a compass, the state of four program holding areas (explained later), and a radiation meter. Some robots have weapons and your screen will show a sight if the robot you're controlling has one.

The purpose of interfacing is to download programs from other robots and computers. For instance, there's a computer in the Central Computer Building which is always connected with a computer called Cyber 1. On this computer is the Password program. When run, this shows all the twelve passwords known which you can use when you interface with another robot.

To interface with a robot, you first have to paralyse it by shooting it a few times. Shooting it too much will render it useless and in some cases will blow it to pieces. Once it's paralysed, you just bump into it to connect the interface. You're then asked to enter the password of this robot. You only have three goes but you can try interfacing repeatedly if you don't get it on the last three attempts. Once you have found the correct password, you can now control that robot. Only one robot at a time can be under your control but you can switch between the ones you've interfaced with at will.


There is also a flying eye robot which you can interface with. Unfortunately, it's in the air most of the time but sometimes it comes down to ground level. There are security guards running around the city and they're real tough guys which should only be messed with when your robot is fully operational. Also dotted around the planet surface are two types of transporter systems, land to land transporters and land to ship transporters.

The playing area is massive and the speed of drawing the vector displays is very fast. The main disappointment about the vector graphics aspect of the game is the fact that there is no hidden line removal, so that you see buildings which are really behind another building. This makes life very confusing at times.

The complexity of the game is relative to the amount you get into it, so there's no real trouble in starting off. I've never known a time yet when there hasn't been a robot ready for me to paralyse as soon as I get out of the Central Computer Building.

This lets you get into the problems of finding the passwords straight away. It baffles me how they have got so much data into a game which isn't 6128 only. It's enough to make me drop my assembly language programming book due to "never gonna be able to do that anyway" thoughts filtering through the gentle waves of my brain.

The sound effects are nothing to write in about, but this does not detract much from the game. I suppose there was no space left for music, which is a shame. It might have made life a bit less boring while searching the city for other robots. A massive playing area, difficult task, easy and quick manoeuvring, make this game appealing to everybody. If you can afford the price, you may well be able to save the world.

Second Opinion

Similar to Elite in same ways but this time there is more thought needed. Great fun going around interfacing with the other robots. Vector graphics are a little slow but this doesn't stop Cholo from being a great game.

First Day Target Score

Interface with Hacker.

Green Screen View

Everything is clear in green.


Graphics 67%
P. Quickly drawn vector buildings and robots.
N. No hidden line removal.

Sonics 48%
N. No music, just effects.

Grab Factor 82%
P. Easy manoeuverability.
P. Instructions include directions to Cyber 1.

Staying Power 85%
P. Massive playing area
P. Difficult mission.

Overall 80%
N. Expensive on both cassette and disk.


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