Commodore User1st May 1987
Published in Commodore User #45
Well, well. Those wiley old dogs at Tynesoft have gone and done Uridium on the C16. And it's not half bad you know, In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the hottest May game since records began.
Do I really need to tell you about Uridium? It was released on the C64 last autumn (a pretty cool time in the software charts) and was so brill it was no less than a CU Screenstar, nuff said.
"Battlestar," it says here, "is sophisticated combat zapping game - the best yet seen for the C16 and Plus/4". I'd go along with that. There's more, "Whilst on patrol over the watery planet Nuljai" (sounds like some kind of gel for mouth ulcers) "you encounter an alien construction ringing the planet".
The "construction" is the work of the evil Cyfrots (sounds like a brand of over-ready crinkle cut chips that are golden brown and crispy yet melt in your mouth). The Cyfrots are out to steal the water from Nuljai, and the giant construction is in fact a cosmic water tank in which they plan to transport the life-giving liquid back to their home planet Bonjela (it's not actually called Bonjea - I made that up).
The construction is pretty huge by C16 standards. It occupies 100 screens and forms the backdrop for the action, scrolling supremely smoothly across the screen as your patrol fighter cruises in either direction.
The object is to fly from one end to the other, a task which would be all the more easy were it not for the alien bombs which zigzag their way towards you.
While you are keeping an eye open for the bombs you might also have a go at avoiding the water pulses. There are stationary as they are attached to the construction, but there are lots of them and often their tactical alignment makes them difficult to avoid.
Bombs and water-pulse mines can be dealt with by a quick (or long, depending on what kind of mood you're in) blast on the ubiquitous laser gun. If you don't blast them or get them out of the way you can kiss goodbye to anything between one and all of your five shields.
The biggest problem of all, however, is the construction itself, or to be specific, the encasements. Encasements are bits that stick up from the surface of the construction. Graphically, like the rest of the game, they are superbly done. The structure looks like a giant 3-D metallic spacecraft from which project the encasements, casting a shadow over the background.
As you gawp in silent admiration at the beauty of it all, you will smash into the aforementioned encasements, lose all your shields and have to start again from the beginning. Good job you get five ships.
Instrumentation provides you with scores (There's two-player option), and the distance remaining to the end - 100 screens equals 2,000 Bonjellan miles. If you get so good that you can go the distance with your eyes closed to can make it harder on yourself both by flying faster and by turning around and going back to blast the bits you missed.