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Moby ID: 1112
ZX Spectrum Specs

Description official description

Your home solar system of 15 planets has been attacked by a horde of Super Dreadnoughts, from a race who wish to harvest your universe's minerals for their own use.

You must pilot your craft through some of the hardest levels ever created, shoot down enemy space craft and ground weapons, and avoid the many indestructible hazards. When a sufficient number of enemies have been defeated the player can then land on the Dreadnought and proceed to destroy the ship's reactor.

The innovation is that you do not simply travel in a single direction, but instead move from left to right or right to left depending on where the current targets are, in a manner more similar to Defender than most shoot 'em ups.

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Credits (ZX Spectrum version)

4 People (3 developers, 1 thanks)

Original design and concept by
Programmed by
Spectrum version designed by
Music written and programmed by
Name created by



Average score: 85% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 44 ratings with 3 reviews)

Another Great Andrew Braybrook game

The Good
many different targets to shoot at, and some interesting dreadnaught ship designs. This is a classic game that should have got a bit more attention on the market (compared to others)

The Bad
Some times things happen too quickly in the game, like you'd have an enemy ship come by you so fast and shoot you (and your ship destroyed).

The Bottom Line
If you've never played it, give it a shot, it certainly kills a few minutes if you want something to do.

Commodore 64 · by Scott G (765) · 2005

A defining moment for shoot-em-ups.

The Good
Graphically Uridium was in a league of it's own. Running at a consistent silky smooth 50-frames per second - Uridium's crisp detailed metallic stylings looked like a coin-op, and was every arcade loving C64 owners dream come true. Aside from the varied and detailed enemy ships, Uridium gave you huge dreadnaughts to carve up and ultra-rapid fire with which to do it, leaving detailed craters and debris in your wake. Being able to flip the ship on it's side was inspired design also - giving some of gaming's most heart-stopping moments. Once you'd landed the craft and triggered the destruction of the dreadnaught (via a simple yet brilliant mini-game) You got to fly over it one last time as it melted beneath you satisfyingly, giving you a few seconds to relax and compose yourself for the next stage. Sonically the game excelled too, with a great title-screen tune and wide range of memorable sound fx.
The presentation, balance, gameplay, style and downright fun this game offered were unique. Often copied - never equalled. Andrew Braybrook's genius oozed from every pixel.

Just awesome.

The Bad
Not a thing - It was perfect.

The Bottom Line
Amongst the greatest shoot-em-ups of all time.

Commodore 64 · by RUSSELL HUGHES (8) · 2004

A new direction in shoot'em-ups

The Good
What Braybrook did had never been done before. Shooting games are either horizontally or vertically scrolling, but even though Uridium seems like another horizontally scrolling shooting game for the first few seconds, you will soon notice that you may turn around on the spot and hunt down the enemies which just passed you by. You turn around once again, and notice that you may raise your speed several times. Uridium is a fast game, but not only that. When you've passed the dreadnought, all the while dodging not only enemies but also obstacles installed on the ship, you are forced to turn around. This is not a horizontally scrolling game, it's a game where you strafe back and forth across a giant ship, destroying it piece by piece, until you are required to land and "destroy the core". Surprisingly, few other games have taken this style, preferring the traditional forced scroll format.

The Bad
The original Uridium is a very difficult game. It's very fast, so fast that you need lightning reflexes in order to avoid the obstacles on the dreadnought. It is very frustrating, to the point where even an experienced shoot'em-up player struggles to complete the first level.

The follow-up on the Amiga, Uridium 2, is a much more approachable game, much thanks to its radar which warns you in proper time of both enemy waves and obstacles.

The Bottom Line
This game must be played, it's a C64 classic and more than that. It is an entirely new "direction" in shooting games.

Commodore 64 · by Игги Друге (46151) · 2006


Subject By Date
MSX Version RetroArchives.fr (708) Oct 20th, 2021



Robert Orchard believed that there was an element called Uridium when he named the game - it is thought that he had heard a mispronounciation of the real element Iridum. The game's title was seemingly later referenced by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in which it is a volatile element used by the Cardassians in spaceship construction. 'Uridium' has also been incorrectly given as an answer on the British TV gameshow Pointless, in which obscure (but correct) answers are required, on rounds requiring the name of a chemical element that fits certain criteria (such as beginning with a vowel or ending 'ium')

Spectrum joystick issue

Initial copies of the Spectrum version only supported the Kempston joystick protocol, rather than the Sinclair system which was the only one available to users of the then-new +2 models. After complaint from several people who'd bought the game and only been able to play it using the keyboard, Hewson altered the code.


  • Commodore Format

    • July 1991 (Issue 10) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • January 1992 (Issue 16) - Cf's all time Top Ten Essential Mega Games
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #46 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Happy Computer

    • 1986 - Best Action Game of the Year
    • Issue 04/1987 - #4 Best Game in 1986 (Readers' Vote)

Related Games

Firelord + Uridium
Released 1986 on ZX Spectrum
Uridium 2
Released 1993 on Amiga
Uridium Plus & Paradroid: Competition Edition
Released 1986 on Commodore 64

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. iPad, iPhone added by Sciere. BBC Micro, Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. Atari ST, ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Wii added by gamewarrior.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added March 21st, 2000. Last modified August 30th, 2023.