MobileInfocenter
Developer: The Price:
  • $15
The Pros:
  • Difficulty increases until you canít handle it anymore
  • Compact file size

The Cons:
  • AWFUL in grayscale!!
  • Chews through batteries

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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Big Money Review
By Pepper
5/22/2002


Overview
Big Money is a fast-paced action game by Astraware combing logic and speed with a capitalistic theme

Game Play
The object of the game is to tap on groups of three or more colored coins so they disappear. While you're getting rid of the pieces, new rows keep forming underneath. You have to keep removing coins so the columns don't reach the top. If any of the columns do reach the top and there is no room for a new row, the game is over.

Not only are you trying to keep the columns from reaching the top, you're also trying to boost your score and gather money bags so you can reach the next level. The bigger the group of coins, the more points you get, and the closer you are to earning a money bag. The money bags drop down when you remove groups at a rate steady enough to fill up a bar along the left side. To remove the bag, just clear the coin directly below it.

Occasionally dollar signs appear as well, and they are removed in the same way the money bags are. When a dollar sign is removed all of the coins of the same color as the one it was resting on are removed from the board.

There are three difficulty settings: easy, normal and hard. Each level starts with a different speed and is set to give a different amount of points for each combination.

Graphics
Although the graphics don't make anyone gasp in awe, they certainly aren't bad . . . in color. The color version is clear, easy to see, and nonabrasive on the eye. In simple, it's great in color.

Now, on a grayscale device, it is a completely different story! The pieces are very difficult to read, and it makes your eyes hurt just to play it. The pieces are actually filled with dollars signs, yen, and the like. A very cute idea, but much better in theory than in practice.

Miscellaneous
As all other Astraware games do, Big Money has the option to display the time and the battery level. Small factors, but really useful when you are deep in the middle of the game and need to make sure you're not late for a 4:00 meeting.†

Big Money also has a high score board, and a rather cute series of titles for various point brackets. The program is quite small, just a smidge above 100k.Unfortunately, the program chews through battery life, so you'll find your Palm spending more time in the charger.

Conclusion
Big Money is a fast-paced game and provides a lot of fun, even when you have a little bit of time. If you have a color device it is highly worth it. But if your Palm is monochrome, don't even bother!

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Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before

escobar @ 5/22/2002 12:04:11 PM #
Isn't this just like the "Collapse"-game from Astraware, other than the fact that it's now called "Big Money"?


RE: Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 12:15:40 PM #
For playing games, people really should get a color device.
B&W is just not much fun.


Color is why I upgraded to the Prism...
C @ 5/22/2002 12:26:23 PM #
I did not want to be limited. I have an eyemodule2 and I just wanted color movies. That and the gaming is why I bought a color device.

RE: Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 1:00:45 PM #
Why can't we get better quality games isntead of another millionth permutation of tetris?
RE: Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 1:56:57 PM #
I have to say I am a little surprised the reviewer
picked this game.
I just checked on palmgear and it seems
there is very little interest in this game.

On the other hand, I would say it is hard to make a good game.

Right now, there are thousands of games for Palm.
But most of them are not done professionally. Poor quality. I can say 90% of the Palm games belong this
class.
This is due to a fact that it is hard to get a decent return on your investment on game development.

Most of Palms already in the market are B&W, poor sound. Not good for gaming. It just wasts developer's
effort to develop good games for this kind of machines.

ted

RE: Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 2:12:50 PM #
Well, we're not likely to get better games until we get a Palm-OS based handheld with a configuration more conducive to game playing! It sounds like my eternal plea for a D-pad equipped Palm will continue to fall upon deaf ears...B/W and poor sound are not as detrimental to gameplay as unorthodox control schemes and practically unusable button layouts are. The original Gameboy, in all of its 14 year old glory, contains better ingredients for producing a fast-action game than the latest NR-70 Sony.

Right now there is not a _SINGLE_ device on the market catering to "mature" portable gamers. By this I mean a unit with a proper button layout, largish screen, decent battery life, and a backlit color screen. PPCs have their dismal battery life and IPAQ-multiple-button-inputs-not-registered issues, Palms have the usual shortcomings listed above, GBA has an atrocity of a screen (not counting backlight mods) and everything else has been put out to pasture (Nomad, Lynx, Turboexpress, Game Gear). I see an opening in the market ripe for a Sony PSX-branded unit engineered by the Clie team.

Oh well, I can at least continue to hope that Astraware will stop recycling Columns and Tetris type games and produce something in the vein of Zap! 2000 again. I'd also not mind seing a Shadowgate clone/port!

RE: Hmmm.. think I've seen a game like this before
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2002 5:51:02 PM #
Try the "Magic Drop" series of games released on a number of Consoles and the Neo Geo system...

15 DOLLARS????

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 2:01:24 PM #
This is 15 dollars? You can buy Quake III in a box for that.

These games cost too much. For tetris with money bags?

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 2:10:48 PM #
How much it would cost? $5?
It is either worth your purchas or not.
Software companies do need to their software engineers.
And it is not cheap.

I remember PC game software used to cost a lot more.
But now the number of PCs are huge. So the price
comes down.

Put it that way, with the current Palm market,
it is hard to make money on Palm games. That is why
there is so few good quality Palm games.

ted

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 2:25:53 PM #
Who are you Ted? Hopefully not from MS. :)

Anyway, where are you getting stats about Palm from? You seem so certain about Palm market sinking and not getting enough sales to warrant software developers... especially games.

I think you should double check some figures. If Palm is a bad platform, other PDA markets are worse. Do you mean don't do it for handhelds then? As far as I know 90% of handheld software sales (at least retail) is for Palm.

Also, the Palm games are pretty good quality. Unless you mean Nintendo Gameboy games are lousy too. Quite a few of the games emulate those games very well, or even allows you to run those games on your Palm.

B&W with poor sound can still be used for games. The Gameboy was B&W... and with poor sound. True, it is not good for all games. But still usable.

If (using your stats, which I doubt) 90% of Palm is using B&W, that's still 10% of the Palm market using Color. If 90% of WinCE/PocketPCs are color, and only 80% of them are PocketPC 2000/2002 (games/software for these platforms usually won't run on older OS without a lot of development time... don't forget that!), and WinCE/PocketPCs only has 4-5% of the market of PDAs (note, in total sales from advent of the devices, not current monthly sales)... I still think 10% of the Palm market is bigger than the PocketPC 2000/2002 capable machines. As a software developer... which would you pick? I think I know which one I would pick...

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 3:32:29 PM #
"Also, the Palm games are pretty good quality. Unless you mean Nintendo Gameboy games are lousy too..."

Gaming in Palm is beyond dismal. No sound, OS is too limited to support complex API, not enough power to do popular platform emulation, etc etc...

I mean take a look at what is possible in other handheld platform, and stop making apology. Age of Empire is about to be ported to PPC for gawd sake, and we are praising a tetris variant as "great game"?

http://www.pocketgamer.org/homeindex.php

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 3:45:06 PM #
"I mean take a look at what is possible in other handheld platform, and stop making apology. Age of Empire is about to be ported to PPC for gawd sake, and we are praising a tetris variant as "great game"?"

You're talking about P O R T I N G man !
Try porting WIN32 source to PalmOS. I can tell you this that's next to impossible.
At least A$traware built something ground up. Pity they don't seem to be able to come up with anything original anymore...

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 4:48:10 PM #
they have done doom and quake engines on the palm os. They have even done real time simulations. Isometric view role player games.

They want $15 for tetris.. not $10.. not $5. $15. 1/6 of 100 dollars.


The pricing on this stuff is crazy. It totally isnt worth it for a tetris clone.

It's cool. there are a ton of free games, and puzzle, action and adventure games that are quality with a ton of support and are sold for a reasonable price.

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 5:14:35 PM #
The $15 is there for you to pay if you want to play. If you don't want to complain, become a programmer and programme your own games. Or support the freeware community. I support both freewares and commercial titles. Jeez..
RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 6:31:56 PM #
i buy **** and i prgram for free and for pay.

$15 for tetris clone is too much

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 10:56:45 PM #
"Gaming in Palm is beyond dismal. No sound, OS is too limited to support complex API, not enough power to do popular platform emulation, etc etc..."

No sound, too limited to support complex API? Where have you been? I checked out your link and am already familiar with most of the games since I have friends with PPC. Main difference is that you guys seem to prefer Snake knock-offs over Tetris knock-offs. Here is a sample of clones from PocketGamer:

Breakout, Asteroids, PacMan, Tetris, Breakout, Snake, Missle Command, Xonix, Breakout, Breakout, PacMan, Defender, Frogger, Pipe Dreams, PacMan, SFCave, Snake, Missle Command, PacMan, Columns, Breakout, Snake, Snake, Space Invaders, Snake, Missle Command, Lunar Lander, Space Invaders, Pong, Tetris...

We hear a lot about a handfull of PPC games, but no one goes around showing off the dozen Breakout clones for PPC. I've yet to see one Breakout clone for PPC top Ababall for Palm OS. I also know there is no 16 bit Zap!2016 for PPC, especially for Jordana which only has 12 bit color (despite being advertised as 16 bit). Try taking a look at the 'un-lame' games like 3D StarFighter, Joust, Monopoly, or some of the other upper end games instead of complaining about the clones, which are just as abundant on the PPC side. Only one PPC owner I know even HAS doom, but does not play it much because of the battery drain. By the way, I still have a 90% charge after 3 hours of runtime today, which included a few rounds of Tennis Addict, Bejeweled, and Pocket Chess.

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2002 2:06:16 AM #
You can get a chance to win "big money" by entering www.pdaavenue.com contest.
RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2002 2:14:44 AM #
Has anyone played the palm version of 'Spy hunter'? I've only played the demo - but a very well done port of the arcade game. Although Zap is nice - you folks should check out Siberian Strike - this is an amazing game for Palm OS! It may have already been mentioned on PIC (if so, forgive what im saying) by why do we keep hereing about the 1000th tetris clone from Astraware?? Who cares. At least give us decent reviews of the above mentioned games.
RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2002 8:32:00 AM #
"Main difference is that you guys seem to prefer Snake knock-offs over Tetris knock-offs. Here is a sample of clones ..."

are you sure you are not referring to "Palm" gaming, where all there are only Tetris and asteroid knock off? Or are you afraid to click beyond arcade category on pocketgamer site? The biggest game out in PPC right now is actually "Argentum"
http://www.ionside.com/argentum/

Palm gaming has not moved beyond the 80's arcade shot them up, simple word game, and tetris clone. There is no RTS in palm. FPS is only reaching early DOS level of sophistication. Emulator are almost non existance beyond GB.

"...3D StarFighter, Joust, Monopoly, "

Those are the BEST of gaem in Palm land? oh gawd...
For single title of 3D Starfighter, there are about 4 similar titles of frespace shoot them up in pocketpc. (TurjahII, X-ranger http://www.pdabuyersguide.com/games/xranger.htm)

The biggest gaming news in pocket pc world right now is the race to port PSX emulator.

And finally one word: "QUAKE"

nice for you to join the game, but please try again with some real game next time.

RE: 15 DOLLARS????
htomlinson @ 5/23/2002 8:36:57 AM #
Tetris clone ? We've never written a Tetris clone! -)
(You could argue that some of our games are similar in style, and use similar kinds of skills, but by that token, you could argue that almost all games are the same)

Just a note about the price - if you find the individual price too much, we do put games into packs to sell which work out at a much better value per game.

(The pack with Collapse is available now, a second PopCap pack with Big money in will be available shortly)

Regards,

Howard Tomlinson, Astraware.


RE: 15 DOLLARS????
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/5/2002 1:08:06 PM #
You tell'em Howard.

Josh
PopCap Games.

Collapse Redux

sandbuck @ 5/22/2002 2:43:18 PM #
Since everyone ignored the first poster's comment, I will repeat it. This game is EXACTLY like collapse.

RE: Collapse Redux
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 3:21:11 PM #
Maybe it's not so much that everyone ignored it but that no one cares.
RE: Collapse Redux
escobar @ 5/22/2002 3:54:51 PM #
Thanks for noticing my post! It's not the point of I.M. Anonymous cares about this or not, all I wanted to point out is why Astraware makes to versions of a very similar game!

I just wondered why, and if anyone else had noticed!

RE: Collapse Redux
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/22/2002 5:15:58 PM #
people notices, just no one cares...
RE: Collapse Redux
htomlinson @ 5/23/2002 8:11:15 AM #
Coo - I wasn't expecting a Big Money review to come out - this was a bit of a surprise to find!

Just for explanation (from the horse's mouth, so to speak...)

I completely agree - Collapse and Big Money are *very* similar games indeed. There are subtle differences, and those who enjoy the games tend to prefer one over the other because of them, but I won't argue that the differences are more than superficial. I wouldn't expect anyone to buy both - but they're both available with a number of trials, so everyone is free to try both, and choose whichever they prefer, or neither!

These aren't games we've designed in-house - they are both fully licensed from GameHouse (for Collapse) and PopCap (for Big Money).
We work closely with both companies, who direct a lot of web traffic our way. A customer who reaches us from GameHouse will more likely try and buy Collapse - and similarly for PopCap traffic and Big Money. Hence for us, it makes a lot of sense to write both, even though we don't expect many customers to buy both. (some do!)

Both games are very popular in their own right - and I hope people would agree that each is a good, entertaining, and playable palm version of the web game. Whether the games are original (or distinct!) isn't in question - they're not - but they *are* each popular.

Its true, Astraware have done a lot of puzzle games and licenses recently. We're continuing to do licenses and work with other companies, but you can expect more of a variation in the types of games you'll see from us in the coming months :-) (Perhaps back to some of the types of games we became famous for...)

Regards,

Howard Tomlinson (CEO, Astraware)

RE: Collapse Redux
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/23/2002 11:52:42 AM #
Thanks for the comments Howard, I agree that Collapse and Big Money are pretty much the same game, but that's fine with me. I like having LOTS of games to choose from. However, I'd have to agree with others that $15 really is a bit much for such a simple game as these are. I tried them and enjoyed them, but not enough to pay $15. $10 would be much more reasonable. I believe the only game I've registered from Astraware is Bejeweled and I've tried almost all of them. They are just too overpriced for me, for games that I believe I would get tired of fairly soon. Yes, I know you have packs that allow the user to save money, but they always have at least one or two games that I would not care to play, so not really any savings. There are just too many other very good games at a lower price cost out there for Palms.
RE: Collapse Redux
ardee @ 5/23/2002 5:59:14 PM #
On the other hand, I doubt the folks at Astraware are buying mansions and Rolls Royces. Compared to software for most other platforms, nearly all Palm software is pretty darn inexpensive. And programmers are not free. :-)

RE: Collapse Redux
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/24/2002 2:44:52 PM #
Actually no, for what it does, Palm software is quite expensive. You could get a WHOLE CD full of games like the one Astraware does for about $10 for the PC.

I agree with the other posters, Astraware games tend to be overpriced for the value.

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