(Wii Virtual Console / Commodore 64)

Uridium (Wii Virtual Console / Commodore 64)

Game Profile

15 Super-Dreadnought ships have invaded your galaxy, each looking to steal a different precious metal. Destroy the dreadnought's defensive forces, then land to finish the job.

Fly your Manta fighter across the screen, speed up, slow down, perform a 90-degree roll and shoot lasers to destroy both ground targets on the dreadnought, and enemy fighters.

When the dreadnought's defences are gone, the message "Land Now" flashes on screen. Fly to the right side of the dreadnought and fly your ship across the run-way, left to right. This brings you to the fuel rod chamber, where you finish the job. Time pressing with the flashing pyramid of lights until time is about to expire, then select "Quit" and press to make your escape before the ship is destroyed. You will be taken to the next enemy dreadnought.

Game Review

Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Kelvin Green

15 Super-Dreadnought ships have invaded your galaxy, each looking to steal a different precious metal.

Uridium is a much loved classic amongst Commodore 64 enthusiasts. Well known for its fast-paced gameplay and unique game mechanics, at least some of that reputation is deserved. Designer Andrew Braybrook was known for his idiosyncratic but eminently...

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User Comments (25)

CobraCommander

#1

CobraCommander said:

It must be 20 years ago since I have played this game. At that Time it was great . But now the gameplay is a little bit boring because every level looks similar. But it will be a great nostalgic feeling to play it again after a long time.

SKTTR

#3

SKTTR said:

It's a standout 8-bit shmup evergreen. One of the best 8-bit shmups in many regards.
A 6/10 is not acceptable for us hardcore game masters, sorry.
It's not just a cult game, this one is outright classic.

ICEknight

#4

ICEknight said:

Nice C64 game, but I'm personally more used to the ZX Spectrum version...
Either way, this being the original version as programmed by its designer, I might give it a shot.

Objection

#5

Objection said:

this looks boring (and i like this type of game) and the sounds woud make me kill myself...or the TV

aphexbr

#6

aphexbr said:

I used to have this on the ZX Spectrum and it was a decent shooter at the time. But... 500 points? I'm sure it only cost 2.99GBP when it first came out. Maybe reduce it to 300 points and I might buy it but for that price I'd rather save for Super/Mega R-Type...

J_K

#7

J_K said:

I played this as a DOS game back in 1990 as it came for free on this CD with an old 386sx16 I got for Christmas (first PC.) I used to play the hell out of this along with a few other gems on there like Into the Eagles Nest, Infiltrator(1 and 2), Skyfox and more. It looks bad, even by that time it didn't look good all that much, but the gameplay was one that kept one playing and that's what is important...the desire to keep going.

GingerMonkey

#8

GingerMonkey said:

Mua haha for the first time in about 20 years my name is on the title screen of a game and not just tucked away in the instruction manual. Back of the net!

DazzaAdmin

#10

Dazza said:

Kelvin (or kelvingreen as he is otherwise known) is latest addition to the VCR team :p

Betagam7

#11

Betagam7 said:

This is great, so addictive. It's making me consider downloading IK but I've learned my lesson with the SF2 shenanigans and will wait for IK plus.
Getting back to this though, once you get past the initial shock of just how primitive the once state of the art graphics are you start to really appreciate the tight addictive gameplay. So far the Earth's Zinc supplies are in safe hands at the very least!

thewiirocks

#12

thewiirocks said:

A fun fact from the original Uridium manual is that the inventor of the name, Robert Orchard, was highly confused about his elements when he named the game. He was quoted as saying, "I really thought [the element] existed."

Another great game in the "little ship takes on the big Dreadnought" genre was "The Dreadnaught Factor" by Activision. (Note the subtle spelling difference.) Originally created for the Intellivision, the game had players making multiple passes on a massive ship that could throw dozens of bolts of fire at him. The player had to knock out enough cooling vents to destroy the ship before it reached Earth!

Unlike Uridium, the player could not turn around. Rather, the player had to choose his targets as he passed by the dreadnaught. He could choose to go straight for the vents and risk being blown away, take out some of the guns and come around for another pass at the vents, and even knock out engines to slow the behemoth down! This gave the game a great strategy element that kept its replayability high.

A port was made for the Atari 5200, but it was rubbish. Better graphics, but they managed to lose the charm of the original.

Back on the topic of Uridium, I recommend tracking down a C64DTV unit rather than paying $/€5.00 for it. The C64DTV can often be found cheap, plays Uridium, IK, Impossible Mission, Pitstop, Summer Games, and other favorites, and actually contains REAL C64 hardware! (Jeri Ellsworth, a wonderful lady who I have had the pleasure of meeting, invented the hardware because she missed the simplicity of the Commodore 64.) With a bit of hardware hacking, you can make that little joystick play nearly ANY old C64 title. You can even attach a keyboard!

Even without the hardware hacking, I highly recommend you wait for games that aren't easily found on the inexpensive C64DTV. That will be a much better use of your money.

Hope to see some of you classic gamers at the Midwest Gaming Classic show tomorrow, and the die-hard Commodore fans at the ECCC this September! :)

Betagam7

#13

Betagam7 said:

Worth mentioning that this game does actualy have a 2 player mode, accessed by one of the F keys on the C64 virtual keyboard so someone may want to change its 1 player status

SepticLemon

#15

SepticLemon said:

I downloaded this game mainly because I didn't have in on my C64 back in the day. I started to play it and I didn't like it at first, but giving it a few extra chances it started to grow on me. Defiently a C64 Classic, in fact I'm making my own remake using Games Factory, but the controls are a little off though.

Betagam7

#16

Betagam7 said:

Havn't checked but it seems to indicate you can have a 2 player co-op with one person controlling the guns and one flying the ship as well as the standard take turns.

tovare

#17

tovare said:

This is a blast from the past. I remember the awe when I saw this reviewed in Commodore User back in the day. 500 points seems overpriced, like many has commented. There isn't much variety in the game, but since I purchased it I actually have fired it up a few times... The game has a different feel compared to other shoot'em ups available on the VC, so it would probably be worth a shot for fans of shooters, but there are a lot of games to get before this one. You are often killed quite soon in this game, so you can switch over to this one during commercial breaks when watching TV.

Mr_64

#18

Mr_64 said:

I consider Uridium to be one of the gems of the C64 back catalogue. It is a truly innovative take on the shoot 'em up genre, with speed and obstacles being an equal threat to your well being as the on-screen enemies. Some people have taken a dislike to the artistic theme of the game, but I quite like the bas-relief style of mid 80s Andrew Braybrook games and the graphics really fly - it's like being on an 8-bit white knuckle ride at times!

I think it's well worth 500 points as I've still not cleared it and I've been trying on the C64 since 1990!

That_Guy_from_Faxana

#19

That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I can´t recommend this. Being able to change directions on the scrolling unfortunatly don´t feel so thrilling today. Uridium gets repetative after just a few minutes of play. I never owned a C-64 back in the days, but I enjoy games like Impossible Mission, Maruder and Califonia Games anyway.

Uridium is neither worth 500 points nor 50 units of storage. Buy one of the other C-64 classics instead, you´ll have more fun with any of them.

Mr_64

#22

Mr_64 said:

It's also worth noting that the video doesn't do justice to how smooth the scrolling actually is. You'll never have seen anything like it on an 8-bit game!

stephen_c

#23

stephen_c said:

C64 games are very varied and this one stands out as being very addictive and frustrating. The early levels are easy, getting you used to the controls, but you need to have a good eye to get past the obsticles on later levels. This game is recognised as being ground breaking on th c64 and got high scores from all the magazines that reviewed it.

CorbsAdmin

#24

Corbs said:

It's like a combination of Xevious and Defender. It somehow just works. Sure it's not perfect, but I still like this game, even all these years later. There's just something about it.

SKTTR

#25

SKTTR said:

This is as much an 8/10 as all the other C64 classics NL rated a 8/10...

Uridium blowed my mind back in the day. I was just a kid/beginner at that time and this game was way too fast, I couldn't handle it... never liked Xevious and Defender that much, as they were slow, dull, and much more repetitive than Uridium. I don't see the comparison either as Uridium is different from any shmup out there.

That said, the quality of Uridium lies in its incredibly fast pace, the challenge of getting through the 15 stages, and the perfect responsive controls thanks to the amazing coding of a smooth framerate that the one-man-team behind Uridum was capable of developing. The game is peppered with random enemy attacks, so it stays exciting all the time.

I need to note, it took me a long time to appreciate Uridium (almost 22 years) - it's a difficult hardcore shmup after all - but now I love it just for being that what it is. It's not a frustrating game either. A hundred Game Over's? That's normal! Haven't beaten all stages? Don't worry - there's no real ending (just a message) and after stage 15 the game will loop endlessly. You wouldn't miss too much. Pure game.

I got to stage 11 and have a decent highscore and that's what old arcadey shmup games are about today: Being still playable and exciting; providing a challenge and eventually it has the highscore-hunter bonus. Yes, today's standards are higher and Uridium could be polished up with an EASY MODE maybe to make it more accessible to the Wii crowd.... but that would take away from it's hardcore charm... Hmm... Making a proper ending? Not really needed as most people won't ever see more than the first few stages.

Wait, yes, I found something to improve Uridium. It needs a soundtrack! The C64 is famous for its music, and Uridium just has a single (but cool) title track. If every stage had its own music, or just one good track throughout, now that would be awesome. On the other hand, how much of the soundtrack would you hear in such an excessive triggerfinger shooter?

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