They said it couldn't be done! But Hewson programmer Dominic Robinson has done it. And done it extremely well. What has he done? Only converted the classic space zapper Uridium on to the Spectrum, that's all.
Andrew Braybrook's original on the C64 has spawned a billion imitators on many different machines. But there's nothing quite like the original - and this Spectrum version is destined to become an instant classic.
The basic idea remains the same - you zip among the mobile defence forces of an alien fleet of super-dreadnoughts, blasting everything and anything that comes your way.
Your Manta fighter is amazingly aerobatic - you can loop back on yourself and spin sideways in order to squeeze through tight gaps on the dreadnought's superstructure.
Don't think that, just because you've played the C64 version, you're going to find the Spectrum game a piece of cake - 'cos it isn't. The dreadnoughts are different. As are the attack waves.
In fact, the dreadnoughts seem to be longer than on the C64 version. This may well be an optical illusion brought on by all the extra hazards Dominic has built in to the super structure, which makes flying the length of the ship a real challenge.
The Spectrum version includes all the features of the original - including the lethal space mines which are fired from the dreadnought's glowing generator ports.
If anything, these mines are more deadly than the C64 versions! Very fast and they very seldom miss unless you're quick to stop one emerging and escape from that sector of the ship extremely quickly.
The Manta fighter is very manoeuvrable and has built in inertia which means you can slow down by throwing one of the essential 90 degree loops. You can use this manoeuvre to avoid on-coming missiles.
You get bonus points for destroying a wave of alien defenders and for zapping destroyable bits on the dreadnought's surface.
Score 10,000 plus points and you get a replacement Manta - you'll need as many as you can get.
Like the C64 version, you'll see a "Land Now" message flash when you've scored so many points. Land on the master runway and you'll get a further bonus for destroying the dreadnought totally.
Graphics capture all the feel of the C64 original - solid and metallic-looking. The animation of the Manta fighter is excellent and action is as fast as the original.
Dominic has even managed to fit in the Uridium tune and a nice hi-score chart complete with glowing letters and numbers.
Don't bother with imitators - there's only one Uridium. Get it.