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What an absolutely brilliant shoot em up!
Uridium is surely the best arcade game yet to hit the 64. The game plays excellently and the only niggling point is the fact that the playing area on each screen is a little small. The superlative graphics set new standards and are truly arcade quality -- some of the alien craft are superlative. If you want to bring a mini arcade machine to your 64 then trundle down to the shops, buy this and amaze yourself.

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The most impressive thing about
Uridium is the incredible graphics. They are quite stunning and easily arcade quality, with amazing smooth scrolling and bas-relief used to sensational effect. The sprites are superbly defined, the use of colour is exceptional and there are some brilliant special effects throughout the game. Sound is also put to good use as well, with a neat tune on the title screen and some whizzo effects within the game itself. Uridium isn't just amazing to look at and listen to -- it's great fun to play and is one of the most addictive and spectacular shoot em ups yet seen an any home computer.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Uridium
1986 Hewson Consultants/Graftgold
Programmed by Andrew Braybrook
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eleventh issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: February 9th, 1986).
 

URIDIUM
Hewson, 8.95 cass, 12.95 disk, joystick only


'Emergency ... Fleet of fifteen enemy Super-Dreadnoughts Sighted ... Entering this Galactic Sector ... Now orbiting our planet ... Draining planetary core of all mineral resources ... Request assistance ... We are under attack ...'

Once again our solar system is under the threat of extinction from an unknown enemy and once again it's up to you to prevent such a cataclysm. Uridium, the follow up to Andrew Braybrook's previous offering Paradroid, puts you in the pilot seat of the latest Manta class Space Fighter and straight into the action with a press of the fire button. Your objective is to destroy all fifteen Dreadnoughts by disrupting their interstellar power units, thus causing a chain reaction which eventually vaporises them. However, things are not so easy (are they ever?), since the enemy's defence systems must be successfully avoided, or disposed of if the situation arises, before you can land on the Dreadnought's master runway, enter the engine room and prime the ship destruction sequence.

Ship 3 (Copper) -- the Manta Class Space Fighter
under pressure from the Dreadnought's defence
system in the form of five aggressive alien
craft just passing overhead.

Each Dreadnought is viewed through a horizontally scrolling window which follows the movements of your craft left and right. Aliens of varying description sneak in a variety of different formations and should you prove competent enough to completely annihilate a wave, a bonus is awarded after successfully landing. Points are basically acquired by simply killing the nasties, but your score can be further increased by taking out certain ground targets. Some scenery such as meteor shields and communications aerials, cannot be shot though, and must be flown around as they are too high to fly over. The height of an object can be determined by the length of the shadow it casts.

Ship 6 (Gold) -- retribution from the fighters is
fierce after cratering the Dreadnought's deck.

Homing Mines are occasionally unleashed from the Dreadnaughts flashing generator ports and some deft manoeuvring is required to avoid them as they cannot be shot. Thankfully, they self-destruct after four seconds.

Super satisfaction and great effects as the
Dreadnought dissolves under you.

If you skilfully survive a set number of alien attack waves, the message 'Land Now' flashes up to indicate that you should land on the runway at the far right end of the ship. Failure to heed this warning results in a high speed attack from even deadlier alien craft, which get progressively meaner the longer you refuse to land. On docking with the Dreadnought the display splits and is replaced by a representation of the fuel rod chamber -- a sort of futuristic fruit machine. Here you determine the size of the bonus you are to receive for destroying the battleship and this must be done within a short time limit or a life is lost.

This is the Fuel Rod Chamber, dubbed the
'futuristic fruit machine bit' where you determine
the bonus (at the moment 3,600) to be received
after destroying the Dreadnought.

As the attacking alien battleships require specific metals to be converted into energy for their interstellar power units, they are identified accordingly. For example, the first ship is called Zinc, the second Lead, the third Copper and so on, right up to the fifteenth ship which is called . . . Well that would be telling, wouldn't it.

     

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Uridium is truly an impressive game, immaculate in both its execution end conception. The totally amazing graphics are the first thing to strike you; they really are excellent. The game itself is impressive as well and even though I'm not a great fan of shoot 'em ups, Uridium is still great fun to play. The Manta is very responsive indeed and is a pleasure to control, skilful handling providing a similar sort of joy to that on Defender. Using software sprites for the ship's laser fire means a lot of bullets. Even so, the game stays super slick and smooth throughout. Some of the effects used are very clever indeed, especially the boiling away of the ship at the end of the wave. Despite Uridium being a shoot em up, it's not all mindless violence; knowing the maps of the various Dreadnoughts is essential to get anywhere of note. Overall, an excellent game that should be on every 64 owner's software shelf.
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Presentation 99%

Slick in every aspect and many useful options.

Graphics 99%
Incredible high speed, smooth scrolling backgrounds, superlative sprites and exceptional use of colour.

Sound 94%
Great title screen tune and highly effective FX
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Hookability 98%
Highly addictive due to breath-taking graphics and simple but rewarding gameplay.

Lastability 92%
Fifteen Dreadnoughts may prove monotonous to complete due to little variation in play, but still an enjoyable game to come back to time after time.

Value For Money 92%
Slightly more expensive than previous Hewson releases but definitely just as worthy.

Overall 94%
Visually awesome, sonically sound, technically stunning and a brilliant shoot em up to boot.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (25 Nov 2004)

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