8-Bit Software Online Conversion

8-bit Software Disc Magazine (c) Duncan Webster 1991 7 Ashdale, Thringstone, Leics, LE6 4LW Issue 12 May 1991 UIM review was published a few months ago, but has been published again in 80 column format as many members complained that the mode 7 text screens were irritating and difficult to read. Also included this month is Matthew Price's SIM CITY review. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Review: UIM - Ultra Intelligent Machine Price: 19.95 (5.25in) 21.95(3.5in Compact) Supplier: The Fourth Dimension, P.O.Box 4444, Shelfield. Tel: 0742 700661 Requirements: Model B and B+ with 16K sidways ram, Master and Compact UIM stands for Ultra Intelligent Machine. It is set in the future where the greenhouse effect has caused the polar ice caps to melt and plunged humanity underwater. Now in the ocean depths there are ports and networks. There are 256 ports in every network and 256 networks - quite a big one eh? Now comes the problem, back in the good old days, when the first pioneers went into the ocean, they built machines called Replicators. These machines were able to explore the depths of the ocean which the pioneers could not reach themselves and were able to reproduce copies of themselves. Unfortunately something went wrong, the machines mutated and guess what, their out to destroy humanity. The solution to all of this is the UIM, which apparently knows the answer to everything, but where is it? Your quest is to find the UIM and at the same time make as much money as you can. You are equipped initially with a submarine called a BLACK SATYAR and a low power generator (weapon); three out of four missiles, a flare, a sea mine, low grade shields and $400 Network dollars. There are a number of ways of earning money; buying and selling on the commodities market, share dealings, currency exchange, industrial manufacturing, bounty hunting, piracy and missions. You must build up your cash reserves to buy more equipment for your ship to enable you to survive and find the UIM. One of the most important pieces of equipment is the central computer which allows you to load helpful modules such as navigational aids, mission module etc. The layout of the screen is intresting, split in two, the upper half containing the actual game area and the bottom half radar display, energy bars, etc. The graphics used are vector and are certainly very good, without any flicker I might add. But the general control of the craft is more difficult, it tends to jump around instead of flowing like ELITE. Travel between ports is a bit strange at first but you soon get used to it. After leaving the port press H and you are sent on a sub-orbital trajectory into the atmosphere, this is called re-entry. You have to keep your craft on target using the control keys, if you don't your heat shield disintegrates and you get the 'end of game message'. You can buy another heat shield after yours has been worn away but preserving it saves money. There is a re-entry module which I found to be extremly useful in keeping my ship on target, its not perfect but its better than me. Once you re-enter the water head for the marker buoy as fast as you can, you can engage in combat but if you have only just started playing the game you won't last very long. Once you are close enough to the buoy you will be docked automatically. The amount of equipment that is available is quite amazing, all together about 31 pieces, plus there is other unlisted equipment you can get for doing missions. The mission module is perphaps the most important piece of equipment. The missions are vital in the hunt for the UIM, these enable you to get on to the next network. The missions are of the fetch and carry type. You can get rewards for doing these such as money or special equipment and sometimes nothing. But always on completion you are moved on to the next network. Combat is much the same as ELITE but you have more ways of defending and attacking. There are 4 different types of generators ranging from the most powerful down to the weakest. There are flares are which are supposed to distract enemy missiles, sea mines which you drop - you can blow yourself up if you're not careful. The radar display is a bit difficult to understand at first but you soon get the hang of it. ELITE and UIM are much alike, but there are some distinct differences, UIM for instance has a lot more going for it, the variety of equipment and so on. The shear amount of work put into developing the game shows and the potential for it is enormous. Having said all that I feel that certain things cannot go unmentioned, the manual is not always as clear as it could be, the general display is much more coarser, colours used are at times a bit sickly. And I am afraid that one of the most essential qualties for me is missing - addictivness. The game doesn't have you coming back for more as other games would, just to get that little bit further. After about a month or so of playing I have given it up as it no longer holds any intrest for me. But that is only my opinion and I dare say a great many others will disagree, as for me its back to ELITE. Reviewer: 722 Andrew Black ---------------------------------------------------------------------- REVIEW: Sim City Price: 9.95 (tape) 12.95 (disc) Supplier: Superior Software A couple of months back, I went to visit an Amiga owning friend of mine, and saw he had a copy if Sim City. For those who don't know, Sim City is a unique game in which you have to build a town, and manage such problems as taxes, earthquakes and floods etc. Now I had heard about this game, so I loaded it up, and after playing for half an hour I was totally hooked. Then a couple of months later, I heard that Peter Scott was programming it for the Beeb! I immeadiatley placed an order, and it arrived at my house 5 days before Christmas. I loaded it up and started playing. I was delighted. Basically the only difference between the Amiga and Beeb versions is that the Beeb version has no Animation in it. For example on the Amiga game if you build a road, you see little cars going up and down on it, or if you add an airport you see planes flying around it. However this takes nothing at all away from the actual game itself on the BBC Micro, but it was a nice touch on the Amiga. You start the game with 20,000 pounds, and your task is to construct the ideal city. You get money back in the form of taxes, the exact amount decided by yourself. You can build houses, industrial estates, commercial zones, police and fire depts., power stations, bridges, airports, docks ... the list is endless. Sim City is one of my best games and well worth the money. It compares with such classics as Revs, Elite etc and is the best Beeb game I have played in 1990. Buy it!! Graphics: 9 Playability: 10 Value for Money: 10 Lastability: 10 Overall : 10 Reviewer: 7GE Matthew Price