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
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
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.
Graphics: 9 Playability: 10 Value for Money: 10 Lastability: 10
Overall : 10
Reviewer: 7GE Matthew Price