CHOLO / Ovine Soft / PC

No, it's not a game about Mexican gangsters with bandannas tied around their eyes (though that might have been even more entertaining). Cholo is actually a classic 1980s computer game, one of the first to use wireframe graphics to create a three-dimensional world, which has now been given a serious freeware overhaul thanks to the good folks at Ovine Soft.

You play as one of the last survivors of a holocaust caused by computer AI run rampant. What's left of humanity is sealed in a bunker beneath a giant city, and their last hope for escape is to remotely control a small robot on the surface which they have hacked into, and use it to gain access to other robots with different abilities, with the ultimate goal of blowing open the seal holding the survivors in the bunker.

You begin as a 'Rat' droid with only the ability to move and fire a small laser, but as you explore you will encounter both equipment upgrades, and other types of robots that can wield more powerful weapons, hack computer systems and even fly.

The game graphics are a simple polygonal affair, but very nice-looking, with a stripped-down cyberpunk aesthetic. There's some very neat effects like rainfall in the outdoor areas, and the player's camera encountering increasing levels of static due to bumps and electromagnetic interference.

The game is a bit intentionally obfuscated from the outset, and gamers with low patience might get frustrated quickly as you are not really told what to do, or how to do much of anything. If you make a little investment in exploring and trying different things, however, it pays off with a pretty great experience, especially if you like futuristic techno-cyberpunk settings and atmosphere.

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