years before David Jones and his DMA Design team brought the last
truly original game concept of the dying century (Lemmings) to the
gamers community, they developed this classic shooter for Amiga and
Atari ST. Both 16-bit versions are basically identical, but the Amiga
version features some more colours and a slightly improved sound.
The game got ported to the C64 later. Read my review
of that version in the appropriate section of the xenocide files.
Money is the official follow-up to 'Menace', which was a very (VERY)
poor shmup with ugly graphics and extremely crappy gameplay. Fortunately,
Blood Money beats its predecessor in every aspect. Unfortunately,
that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a very good game.
gameplay has absolutely nothing to do with Menace. You control a
little vehicle through four huge levels. When enemies are shot,
they often drop coins, which you should collect before they fall
from the screen. If you collect enough money, you can exchange it
in shops, which appear frequently throughout the levels, for better
weapons, speed ups, extra lives or health. The range of weapons
offered is very basic: You can only get additional up and down missiles,
a rear gun or some pretty useless bombs. The screen auto-scrolls
horizontally most of the time, but sometimes goes up or down, too.
graphics differ a lot in quality. While being beautifully crafted
in some places (like the giant pincers or the astonishingly animated
medusae), they look slightly 'amateurish' in others.
the game starts with a funky upbeat title track. Later, during the
game, there's an excellent melancholic sounding track done by David
Whittaker, but (and that's the bad news) there's only that single
one. Yep, that's right. You hear the same tune during the whole
game, which tends to be a bit repetitive. Before playing, you can
choose between music and sfx. Why there is no mode combining both
is beyond me.
levels seem to be not very much, but they tend to be VERY long.
There's not much diversity in the graphics, so it can get a bit
boring. Most enemies attack in rather uninspired formations, which
is another point that knocks the game down. But the greatest flaw
is the insane difficulty level. The game is HARD. It's so difficult
it makes you want to throw your Amiga out of the window (hoping
it might hit one of the programmers). Level one is almost unbeatable,
but it gets even worse in later levels. An unforgiving hit detection
helps spoiling the fun. You've got a little life meter, but it's
almost useless, because every hit reduces it to zero. In opposition
to the very nasty levels, the bosses are a mere joke. Getting hit
by them is impossible unless you do it on purpose.
very good thing is the mode in which two players can play simultanously.
It's fun to steal the other one's hard earned money. But apart from
that, the game is simply too hard and too uninspired to be enjoyable.
Having beaten it makes me wish that I don't have to play it ever
again. A good game shouldn't cause feelings like these, or should
it? Blood Money must be one of the most overrated games of the entire
if you like the general gameplay, check out the C64 version of Blood
Money, which, surprisingly, is very good and well playable.