Review by KFHEWUI

"Addicting and fast paced gem from the arcade era"

Phoenix tells the tale of a crew on a spaceship fighting against a race of alien birds.

The game starts out with a beautiful background that is black with yellow stars, and as the background scrolls there are a few planets that are visible from time to time like Saturn with its rings. The spaceship and enemies look nice, and the space fortress at the end of the game is pure eye candy.

Screen one involves shooting birds that swoop down similar to Galaga and the controls are crisp and responsive. The birds will do one of two things which are shoot the player or they will dive down and hover above the player allowing them to be killed with ease. The second screen is just like the first one except the enemies are a lot easier to kill.

Once screen three loads up, an awful ear piercing sound effect plays that sound like an ambulance siren screaming. This is a game that I wish there was a mute button for because the music plays through screen three and four, and it is irritating to say the lease. Also screen three has a shift in the background (which is solid black) and in the game play, and when the screen loads up, eggs will fly down from the ceiling in a spiral formation. Once the eggs hatch, blue bird will pop out of the egg in either large or small size. These birds will fly back and forth and swoop down while trying to shoot the player. Shooting the bird in the wings will destroy the wing which is a nice effect, and a shot to the body will kill them. Sometimes the birds will turn back into eggs. Screen four plays just like screen three.

Screen 5, the final screen, features a nice space fortress that is pure candy for the eyes. The key to destroying the fortress is shooting the yellow blocks under it to open a path to the reactor, but there is one last hurdle which is a purple barrier. With the barriers gone, a single shot will destroy the fortress however the fortress does not go down without putting up a fight. The reactor will fire three burst shots, and there are green birds that will dive down and try to hit the player. With the fortress down the game will start over again at screen one.

The player starts out with five lives even though it says six at the top of the screen; the game considers one as the final life instead of zero which is strange. Why is it that it says I have one life left if I am on my final life? Extra lives can be earned by gaining certain amount of points.

Phoenix is a solid and addicting arcade game.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/02/12

Game Release: Phoenix (US, 12/31/80)

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