Blood Money

Moby ID: 6173
Amiga Specs
Included in See Also

Description official description

The speech in the introductory sequence probably sums things up best - "the biggest unanswered question is 'where is the money?"

The player has 4 missions to take on, in each case trying to kill baddies for the money they have, which can be spent in the shop rooms to upgrade their craft. Energy is depleted by contact with enemies and the walls, although there are some baddies who simply hover on your ship and steal, rather than physically doing damage.

The game is a shoot 'em up which scrolls both horizontally and vertically, while being viewed from an R-Type style sideways perspective. Navigating the levels sometimes requires the player to duck through gaps in scenery.

Groups +



Credits (Amiga version)

7 People

Code, design, and concept by
  • DMA Design
Coded by
Sound Effects
Cover Picture by
Booklet conceived and produced by
  • Partners In Publishing



Average score: 84% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 3 reviews)

Technically innovative and highly entertaining at the time

The Good
The graphics are superb, with the four levels each having a distinct style and the enemies all having distinct character and being brightly drawn. The introduction sequence is one of the best seen at the time. The gameplay is exciting, with a real incentive to progress through. the power-up system works better than most.

The Bad
The pace seems strangely sluggish, and it was harder than it needed to be. Sometimes there wasn't enough trigger-finger mentality either.

The Bottom Line
One of the R-Type style action games of the day, involving you shooting at a diverse range of bad guys, with the screen generally scrolling horizontally. As well as the alien enemies you must avoid contact with the walls, for fear of damaging the ship. Most enemies give off money, which can be spent on the usual range of upgrades.

Amiga · by Martin Smith (61) · 2003

Where's my money? Blood Money that is!

The Good
OK, let's give my own personal back story with this little game. It is 1990, I'm a small kid the family and our dad gets us a new computer to replace the aging C64 we once had and then instead of learning all the neat stuff that adults could do on a PC, we use it to play games.

Seriously, why is it that the strongest memories I ever had of games I played always seem to be the very first I ever got? Just playing Blood Money gives me that shot of nostalgia that makes me smile of those good times I had as a kid.

But I digress, enough of that, on to the actual game. So what's the story? Well the whole story of Blood Money is only apparently revealed at the very end... which you have to win for yourself to actually see. ;) It is an arcade shoot em' up featuring multiple environments and rather long stages with tons of challenges and surprises along the way as you take off in a helicopter, a submarine, rocketpack and a rocket ship. Just the typical run of the mill stuff actually, with the graphics actually being pretty darn good for a 1990 game, with much of the enemies and animation still being fairly impressive and superior to even semi-professionally made flash-based shooters of today. Also the challenge level, while difficult, won't really put off anyone from the game despite some annoying parts. The only power ups in the game come from shops (with very creative names based on each level) that you get money from that you pick up from nearly every single enemy killed. While it seems like cash might be abundant, the fact that you will die often means you will often lose everything every time.

So while it looks like a coffee break game, it would actually much longer to finish and due to the challenge, it would probably be a lot more satisfying in the end (and strangely enough, I found the finale to be amusing enough to make it worth it all for some reason). It's a nice arcade classic for the PC. The only other thing being so memorable was the very nice opening title screen. As a child, I once opened a book in the school library during a class there... and found the original painting by Peter Jones for the game there, leaving quite an impression at that time.

The Bad
Well there's nothing really bad or wrong about the game. It's very hard, but that's not really a negative point. It is intended to be a simple shoot em up that's enjoyable to play (and is very comparable to coin-op games that were extremely common at that time) and it accomplishes that task completely.

But if you're pushing it, there is one teeny tiny bit that might need some work... no music, and no soundblaster support for the PC version. However, the PC speaker beeps and bops are actually pretty tolerable and do have a charm to them anyways.

The Bottom Line
In 1990 I would have said 'hey look, this game is as good, if not better than some coin-ops at the arcade, except you don't need to waste your money on those'.

In 2009, I'm gonna have to say 'you can't call yourself a retro gamer without having Blood Money on your system. It's classic, it's fun, and it defines side-scrolling shooters of the era'.

DOS · by Salim Farhat (69) · 2009

A great shoot-em-up with excellent graphics and animation but very difficult

The Good
Blood Money was one of the best shooter games at the time, along with Xenon 2 (which incidentally also had the money collecting element). The pixel art graphics have lots of detail and surprisingly smooth animation considering it was released in 1989. The planets are huge and each of the levels take about 20 minutes to complete. There are lots of different enemies with different attack patterns and there is lots of variation in the backgrounds. Playing in two player mode made the game more fun and a little easier, but the downside was that you had to fight over which player would catch the money.

The shops are placed carefully throughout the levels and collecting the money to buy power-ups adds a subtle element of strategy to the game. Each planet has an entrance fee, so you have to make sure you have enough money left when you are about to finish a planet.

I would always start on planet 1 (space) and stock up as many extra lives as possible, then planet 4 (fire) as it is the hardest, then planet 2 (water) to stock up lives again, and finally planet 3 (ice).

The Bad
The collision detection is a bit tricky. When you hit a wall or an enemy you just move through it and your health bar will drain very quickly until you move out of the wall or enemy. The energy bar is essentially useless because most of the time a hit will just kill you instantly. Also, it's not always clear which parts of the background you can and cannot hit, this makes navigating through the levels feel like playing an electric wire loop game.

The game seems like it moves a bit too slow, especially compared to newer shoot'em-ups. The screen scrolls at a fixed pace and you can't move around the screen very quickly.

The Bottom Line
An amazing shooter back in the day and a beautiful relic of a computer game, but it's probably too slow paced and difficult for today's audiences.

DOS · by BdR (7207) · 2011


Subject By Date
Title song sample sources (continued) BdR (7207) Jun 20, 2014
Title song sample sources leilei (343) Mar 15, 2013



The artwork used on the front of the box and on the intro screen is called "Protector" and was made by the well-known British illustrator Peter Andrew Jones. Like a lot of his art, the piece has appeared on sci-fi book covers: it was first used for a 1979 British paperback release of Larry Niven's Protector and depicts Phssthpok the Pak, a main character from the book. It also appeared on a Dutch edition of Niven's Ringworld Throne and is featured in Jones' art book Solar Wind.


David Jones wrote the game inspired by an arcade game called Mr. Heli. He wrote it at home, in his bedroom, in his spare time.


  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #3 Best Action Game in 1989
  • ST Format
    • Issue 01/1990 - Included in the list 50 Games of the Year
    • Issue 01/1991 - #2 Best Shoot-'em-Up in 1990* Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne / Phil King)


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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 6173
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by gilgamex.

Atari ST added by paul cairey. Commodore 64 added by mike dailly. Amiga added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Roedie, Martin Smith, xxxxxxxxxxx, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added April 16, 2002. Last modified January 23, 2024.