Kill for Profit in Blood Money
By Lawrence ArmstrongJune 7, 2005
Erm... Not the actual title screen.
Reminds me a lot of R-Type.
Buy some upgrades!
Blood Money from Psygnosis is
definitely a classic for the Atari ST. The game comes in a sturdy, box,
with excellent box art. It even comes with a nice poster you can hang on
your wall. The box also contains two floppy disks. Once you put in the
disk, you will see a really vibrant, high-color image of the character
on the box and the poster. Then a short speech in a ďmenacingĒ digitized
voice introduces the game. In fact, this game is intended to be the
sequel to the game Menace.
The options screen that comes up uses animated tiles to gradually fill
the screen with the menu. Luckily, you are provided with the option to
turn this off to make going through the screens much faster. Also, you
can choose to have sounds effects or music. You can also choose one or
two players. On the next screen, you are confronted with a choice of
four planets to visit and wreak havoc on. Each planet has its own theme.
For example, on one level you are underwater and your character is a
submarine. On another you are a helicopter. And on the other two
planets, you are a man in a space suit or a rocket ship. These last two
levels cannot be chosen at the beginning of the game. You have to earn
enough money to get there.
When you shoot an enemy a coin appears. You have to collect as many
coins as possible to buy new weapons. The coins vary in size and value
depending on the enemy you kill. The weapons you can buy range from
extra missiles that shoot in various directions to bombs. For example,
if you want three forward missiles, you have to purchase a missile that
shoots above your standard missile that you start out with, and then you
purchase another missile that shoots from below your default missile.
This way, after purchasing the two extra missiles you have three forward
The graphics in the game feature lush environments and are a big
improvement over Menace. My favorite is the underwater level. The
sprites are highly detailed and most enemies have lots of frames of
fluid animation. The backgrounds are some of the best Iíve seen on the
ST. The scrolling is smooth, but I swear it is the slowest scrolling
Iíve ever seen in a game. The game crawls along at a slow pace but the
enemies arenít slow and they are everywhere! The screen is often filled
with a variety of annoying enemies and gun emplacements at the top and
bottom are firing away at you. I find this game to be more difficult
Next is the sound. You have to choose between music or sound effects.
You cannot hear both at the same time. This is not really the
developersí fault. It is probably due to the limitations of the STís
cheap sound chip. Other games have both music and sound effects, so I am
not sure why the programmers couldnít have both at the same time.
Neither the sound effects or the music are anything special, although
the music is kind of catchy. The sound effects are really plain and the
explosions are very unspectacular and shallow sounding. This is mostly
due to the limitation of the STís sound capabilities.
The playability and the control are average, although sometimes I wish I
could fire faster. An auto fire adapter or something would be a great
benefit. As mentioned before, the game has an unusually slow pace. It
should be a little faster. One of the worst game play features, which is
quite common in shooting games, is after spending all your hard earned
money on weapons, you will loose them when you take a hit (assuming the
hit consumes all of your energy bar).
This game is definitely a must-have for any ST collector. The poster
alone makes it worth something and the game is definitely challenging
and fun. The graphics are among the best on the ST and the variety of
levels, each with its own theme, should keep you entertained for a
while. Although the sound effects and music could have been more
exciting, and the pace of the game a little faster, I recommend this
game without hesitation.