Blood Money

Publisher: Psygnosis
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #51

Killing for cash on four alien worlds

Blood Money

Holidaying on the planet Thanatopla is pleasant enough, but young Spondulix wants real excitement! You know the kind - blasting aliens on the notorious Alien Safari where life expectancy is a minute at most. The Safari includes four different worlds, with prices ranging from $100 to $400. A few fibs to your parents earns $200 and you're ready to begin, with a choice of the first two planets - complete one of them and you'll have enough cash to 'party' on planets three and four.

The first planet, which you explore in a helicopter, is a metallic world heavily populated by walkers, alien spaceships and all manner of weird drones. Shoot them and coins are dropped, ranging in value from $10 to $25. But watch out for gun turrets, radio beacons which reverse your controls and when the scrolling switches to vertical! Planet two is an undersea one which you take on in a submarine. Baddies include superbly animated jellyfish, torpedo firing submarines and giant crab claws. Further into the game there's rock formations which you must blast your way through, pick the wrong route here and you'll end up trapped.

The next planet is a beautifully drawn ice world which you fly over in a spacesuit and jetpack. Flying lizards, digitized asteroids and huge, vicious ice columns are some of the baddies here. And finally there's the 'gore zone' of planet four with you in a spaceship facing floating eyes and squirming caterpillars. Needless to say, there's some pretty neat end-of-level guardians as well.

Blood Money

Each planet can be visited alone, or with a friend (particularly useful for planet one). The game's no different according to the number of players, but you can earn a lot more money on your own. And cash can buy everything from rear-ward firing missiles to an extra life. However, there is only one of each weapon at most equipment stores, so make sure your partner doesn't get there first... and if a life is lost, so is all your extra equipment!


I wasn't too surprised to discover that Blood Money was programmed by the brilliant David Jones, the man behind that ace shoot-'em-up, Menace. The sprites are all beautifully animated - the large, Star Wars style Walkers on Planet One use 18 frames of animation!

The soundtrack is also impressive, especially the amazing sampled "Blood Money" song when the game is first loaded. The four planets each have their own set of aliens, and gameplay is genuinely different for each world. There's always the desire to get just that bit further in the game to see new baddies, and eventually, the terrifying end-of-level guardians. The two-player game is even more fun - it's great to nick all the dosh from the aliens which your partner has just shot! I just can't help myself - I'm dead greedy and the sight of all those coins is just too much of a temptation.


Blood Money

Money makes the world go around, and 25 quid is a fair sum to pay for a shoot-'em-up, but Blood Money is well worth it. All four of its worlds contain some of the most stunning baddies, ranging from pulsating jellyfish to spinning rocks. The animation is incredibly smooth and the scenery is simply beautiful (reminds me of the valleys, boyo!).

Gameplay measures up to the game's brilliant looks and each world requires a totally different set of tactics in order to succeed. So you're really getting four games in one. Another bonus is the two-player option which is hilarious as the 'partners' make a mad dash for the cash. And, although the game is extremely challenging, most lives are lost through sheer greed!

Great to play alone or with so-called 'friends', Blood Money is one of the most addictive blasts I've played in ages.

C64 Update

Blood Money

The great news for C64 owners is that they won't have long to wait for Blood Money. The C64 version is due for a July release, retailing at £9.99 cassette/£12.99 disk.


Presentation 96%
An amazing intro sequence and great two-player option.

Graphics 94%
Each world has its own unique scenery and smoothly-animated aliens.

Blood Money

Sound 95%
The sampled song is astounding and there's also a great in-game tune which can be swapped for effects.

Hookability 94%
The idea of 'shoot and collect' is simple enough to make for instant playability.

Lastability 93%
The high difficulty level doesn't deter you from persevering to see more stunning baddies.

Overall 94%
Shoot a few aliens and collect the 25 quid to buy Blood Money. It's brill!