1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£8.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

58,59
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

At the last count about twenty-seven people had explained to me, why it would never be possible to convert Uridium to the Spectrum.

I almost believed them. A mistake. Here is Uridium on the Spectrum and its a closer conversion than anyone could have ever dared hoped.

Uridium was No 1 game on the Commodore, and proved that, done correctly, there was photon power in the old zap 'em up yet.

More than life - freshness, excitement and exuberance.

The plot: destroy a giant space aircraft carrier (that's what it looks like), by first destroying all of its defensive forces - waves and waves of variously shaped ships that hurtle along its length. At the same time blast various gun emplacements, shields, blocks and other features built on the fuselage.

Now, aside from the problem of not being shot down by the increasingly vicious defensive ships there is another problem - it is very easy to hurtle straight into any one of a dozen or more obstacles on the ships surface. This causes you to explode into a ball of flames, generally a bad thing.

Actually, if you think about it, the above description would do for any one of a thousand arcade games. So what makes Uridium so special? Not easy to say but I think it's the slickness of the presentation and the speed and smoothness of the movement.

The only other program around at the moment to compete with it as far as making the Spectrum look like an arcade machine is Lightforce.

The sprites are elegant and sharply defined, the scrolling is very smooth (17 frames per second it says in the blurb) and virtually flickerless.

Maybe my favourite section to the whole game is the way your attack fighters turn in a tight corner - executing a perfect 90 degree roll combined with a half turn. And on later levels, you'll need to fly edge-on to swoop between narrow channels on the ship's surface.

What doesn't it have? Well it is mostly two-colour to prevent attribute problems and the sound is, well, limited.

Uridium is going to generate vast numbers of letters to our John Riglar pleading for infinite lives Pokes, tips and tricks. Things will get very het up and competitive - what does that all prove?

That Uridium is wonderful.

Label: Hewson
Author: Dominic Robinson
Price: £8.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

*****

Superb arcade game. Smoother faster, slicker and more challenging than almost everything else you can currently buy.

5/5

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HINTS AND TIPS

Learn the space carrier layout carefully.

Don't fly over the generator ports because they dispatch homing mines.

Remember to do a ninety degree flip when flying through narrow spaces - ie, between serial masts.

For the safest result attack alien waves from behind as they always fire forward.

Destroy complete alien waves to gain bonus points.

Shoot all ground targets to gain bonus points.

Avoid areas on the earner with long shadows - this denotes higher level surface you could crash into.

To gain height to fly above alien missiles change direction using flip.

After the Land Now message appears on screen, land on the master runway of the carrier as soon as possible to avoid the extra-nasty aliens.

Screenshot Text

Ground based fighters obliterated. You're under attack. Get behind them to wipe them out.

Some sharp joystick work necessary to get through the gap and around the aerial mast.