C64 Game Wishlist: Uridium II / Next

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By Kodiak

Andrew Braybrook's Uridium was one of the very few games that was so refined in terms of its look and feel that it was cited - in print - as the reason why some people actually bought a Commodore 64 back in the day.


And it was, for good reason, a game that effectively sold the hardware; its smooth scrolling was sensational at the time and had very few peers beyond the equally technically refined Dropzone.

But its actual pressed metal graphical style was also quite novel (apart from the fact it took its cues from its predecessor by the same author, Paradroid), spawning a flurry of largely inferior games on the Commodore 64 with a copycat design theme.

And so it should come as no surprise to learn that Uridium remains - for me at least - Braybrook's magnum opus, outshining every game he made thereafter, both on and off the C64.

Naturally, that got me thinking... What would a proper sequel to it be like?

A "Uridium II" on the Commodore 64 (or maybe call it "Uridium Next" to avoid any confusion with the original game's Amiga version).

So the following would be on my wishlist for such a project:

  • It should have a vertical scroll element, yet still be a sideways scroller overall; so that if you fly towards the top of the screen, the backdrop scrolls down a bit (or even a lot!) and upwards when you fly towards the bottom of the screen.
  • If would have a variety of planetary settings rather than dreadnoughts in space.
  • I would have the main ship drift back a bit to allow more reflex time for baddies incoming, thus overcoming one of the limitations of the original.
  • Enemies could approach from the top and bottom of the screen.
  • It might have power-ups and maybe even power-downs, making the game harder through lesser weaponry as you progress, an idea a very good friend of mine in the C64 scene suggested.
  • It could have chase and bombing sequences, if it didn't mind stealing ideas from Parallaxian ;-)
  • It really should have extravagant explosions effects as well, with screen juddering and more of the kind of things you see in modern fare for the Steam service.
  • And it should have in-game music and come in a proper, native C128 version, not merely a unnoticeably enhanced C128 version running in C64 mode.

I would not, however, expect that Mr Braybrook could be prevailed upon to engage in such a project (although it would be amazing if he would actually do it); the task would have to fall to someone else, most likely, but in theory it would make for a wonderful modern day sequel to a legacy era classic.

You can download the original Uridium here.

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