Big Money was an excellent pop band from Sweden. They released two albums; 1992's Lost in Hollywood and 1994's Moonraker. With clever lyrics and a rich, polished sound, it's surprising that Big Money didn't make much of an impact in America.

Big Money consisted of two members, Big and VASA, and was produced by Michal B Tretow, who is best-known as a producer for ABBA.

Lost In Hollywood
1.  Rich and Famous
2.  Dining With Alice
3.  Flying Fish
4.  Why Do I Care
5.  Ruby Slippers
6.  Not Into It At All
7.  Without You
8.  Amazing
9.  Space
10. Still Missing
11. Snowman

Moonraker
1.  Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away (20-second intro)
2.  Give'm a smile
3.  Ugly
4.  Million Dollar Mouth
5.  Flabbergasted
6.  Eye of the Beholder
7.  The Last Man on Earth
8.  Pretentious Brat
9.  Braindead
10. Rich and Infamous
11. Silverscreen
12. Don't Let It End

The best website I've seen on Big Money is: http://www.angelfire.com/pop/bigmoney

Big money
A coloquialism meaing "lots of cash". Maybe short for "Big piles of money". Also, a hopeful mantra spoken by gamblers as they prepare to roll dice or pull the crank or whatever: "Big money, big money, big money, BIG MONEY! ... Ouch, snake eyes."


I walked briskly down the sidewalk, on my way crosstown to my apartment. As I rounded the corner onto Christopher Street, spotted him. Short, dirty, run down, dread locks. One of a breed. I didn't know which species and I didn't want to. I tried to evade his notice, to avoid him completely, but I failed.

He turned, making eye contact a split second before I looked away. "You there! Hey, my man," he projected engagingly.

A beggar? I kept walking, but he had me on the hook, and was going to land me or snap his line trying.

"You look like an intelligent young man," he sidestepped along with me, without directly getting in my way. "How would you like to make some Big Money."

A hustler obviously. I wished I were already home.

"No really! Look here. I know a sure-fire way to turn just a little money, into big money. And I mean, really big money."

I walked faster. How do I get rid of him?

"Like I said, I know you're smart guy. I know - I know - you won't let this opportunity go without at least finding out how you can do it. Anyone can do it, did I mention that? Anyone can make big money like this!"

I noticed he held a folder in both hands at chest level. We were half-way down the block by now.

"Stop for a second and let me show you how to make big money from a little money."

"Yes, please," I said turning to him impatiently. "PLEASE! Show me this 'big money' you keep talking about."

He turned the folder flat and opened the top. Inside lay a pristine full-color print of a one hundred dollar bill - only three times normal size. I shook my head as my scowl softened into a wide grin. "How much?"

"Well, for a fine young man like yourself, " he said, turning the print over to show the full-color reverse side as well, "only five little dollars for this one hundred dollars of Big Money."

I held up my bill in one hand, plucking his from folder with the other. "Sold. But you said you could tell how to make it," I teased.

My cash disappeared into some hidden pocket on his person, as he bowed and began to drift away. "Well, my dear friend... if you ever find a way to shrink the one you're holding back to normal size, we might make a deal." And then he was gone.

Greed is good!

Big Money is a windows game that you play using the mouse.

Aim and Game Types

The aim of Big Money is to rise to as high a level as you can. Before you start a game of Big Money, you must choose your Game Type. The two options are 'Action' and 'Strategy'. Both games begin by presenting you with a wall of multicoloured coins. These coins can be 'collected' by clicking on adjacent coins in groups of three or more. If a group of coins can be collected they will glimmer as you hover the mouse over them. As you collect more and more coins, a 'money meter' (displayed on the left of the game screen) begins to fill. When this meter is full a money bag is dropped a coin at the top of the wall of coins.

In the 'Action' game, a line of new coins is added to the base of the wall, every few seconds. The new line of coins pushes the wall upwards. You must collect the coins before any column touches the tops of the screen, or it is game over. This game type is fast paced and requires quick mouse skills. The early levels are quite forgiving, but the game speeds up as you progress and gets more and more difficult.

In the 'Strategy' game a new line of coins is added after every three clicks. Initially this may seem like an easier option as you are not racing against the clock, but as every single click counts you cannot need a careful game plan as you cannot save yourself from defeat by clicking like a madman- an approach which can work in the 'Action' game.

The game can be paused at any time by hitting the space bar.

Levels

In order to complete a level, you must collect the specified number of money bags. This number starts low (only two are needs to complete the very first level) and increases. At the end of each level the game displays a screen confirming:
  • Current Game Time
  • Levels Completed
  • Biggest Coin Combo
  • Biggest Bonus
  • Coins Cleared
  • Your current rank

Your rank begins at 'Pauper' and rises with your score. Other ranks include: Fry Cook, Minimum Wage Slave, Ditch Digger and Entrepreneur.

Bonuses

Bonuses occur throughout the game and include extra points for:
  • Column Clearing
  • Coin Combos
  • Money Bag Combos
Occasionally a burning dollar sign drops onto a coin in the same way as a money bag. If you collect the coin that it rests on all coins that match the colour of the dollar sign will disappear. This is really useful, and can often save a level that seemed doomed.

Also to encourage you, the game barks congratulatory comments at you like "Excellent", "Good Job", "Level Up" and "Go!"

Tips

Practice makes perfect seems the best advice to give, and it certainly gets easier to spot the groups of coins that can be collected the longer you spend playing Big Money. It is worth bearing in mind that collecting coins from the base of the wall will alter the order and arrangement of the coins above, while starting at the top and working downwards - especially at the beginning of the game - may leave more moves open to you without you having to wait for the new row to be added.

Try it and see if you enjoy it. And if you manage to complete it (I haven't discovered if there is an end to it all) then please let me know!

Big Money is available from www.popcap.com. The web version is free to play. The deluxe version, with an extra game type entitled 'Puzzle' and new graphics and sound, must be bought and downloaded.

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