Uridium (Hewson) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Hewson Consultants
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #30


This is it, a shoot-'em-up so good you feel as if you should be inserting two ten pence pieces into your C64 before each game.

It really is just like blasting away on a coin-op. Programmer Andrew Braybrook in happy to acknowledge that Uridium has its roots in pay per play arcade games.

"I suppose it's a derivative of Defender, Scramble and half a dozen other arcade games all rolled into one."

The aim of the game is to destroy sixteen space fortresses that are cruising slowly towards your home planet. The fortresses are called Super Dreadnoughts - each one taking its name from a different metal.

They are all at least sixteen scrolling screen long and each is protected by dozens of smaller fighters.

Paradroid fans will spot an instant likeness as Andrew Braybrook's trademark - shiny metal, is very much in evidence on each of the Dreadnoughts.

When you see the quality of Uridium, it is difficult to believe that less than a year ago Andrew didn't even own a C64.

When you press to begin you are treated to an excellent piece of animation as your Manta fighter emerges from the interplanetary transporter, flips around, showing its wing span and then - zoom - it bursts forward and homes in upon a Dreadnought at full speed.

In seconds a wave of fighters sweeps past you. You fire like crazy, but are lucky to down any of them on your first few attempts.

Bonus points are awarded for downing the Dreadnoughts protection fleets so you about turn and give chase. It becomes clear that manoeuvring the Manta is not easy. Pretty soon you are swaying back and forth in your seat as you struggle to turn in time to blast the enemy.

But the Dreadnought's Protection Fighteers are not all the Manta pilot has to worry about. There are also the deadly homing mines which come at you from the flashing generator ports. The only way of dealing with these is to beat a hasty retreat.

To destroy a Super Dreadnought, first of all, you have to land on it. To do this, you have to wait for the "Land Now" signal to flash and then fly to the extreme right of the SuperDreadnought where you will find the runway.

When you touch down you pass into the fuel rod chamber where you can select 'Quit' or your bonus. Either way, you have to leave the chamber before the countdown reaches zero.

When you take off you fly as quickly as possible away from the vaporising Super Dreadnought - strafing any remaining surface craft as you go.

On later Dreadnoughts there are certain ships that can only be destroyed after the Dreadnought starts to vaporise. This means that you will have to be extremely sharp on the joystick to earn bonus points at that level.

The shoot-'em-up was the last type of game you would expect to make the running in the Best Games league at the beginning of 1986. But here it is - a shoot 'em up better than anything that has come before that your collection will be pretty dull without it.

Eugene Lacey

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