Atari 2600 – Phoenix


It’s like “Birds” but directed by Ridely Scott.

This shooter was developed by Amstar Electronics and it seems to be their only game.
Of course, Atari was quick to publish it since it’s a port of the popular arcade hit and because it’s a lot like Space Invaders.
Sure this was a big success, right?
Yep. No surprise here.
Atari later sued Imagic because their game Demon Attack resembled Phoenix.
What a humble bunch.

You are the commander of Phoenix and you have to reach an alien spaceship which has been draining your planet’s resources.
The game consists of four waves of enemies who all look like birds and a boss battle (the mothership).
The first two stages are fairly easy.
The small birds move all over the place but leave you with enough space to avoid their shots.
The next two waves are harder.
Enemies are bigger and you have to hit them in the center. Shooting a wing isn’t enough. You can activate a shield by pressing down but keep in mind that you can’t move while doing so and the shield only lasts about two seconds.
You can activate it again after a recharge time of three seconds.
Lastly, the boss.
The mothership almost takes up the whole screen.
You have to kill the alien inside of it by shooting a hole through the bottom of the ship.
All while avoiding numerous projectiles.
The game loops after that with faster enemies.

Phoenix is a pretty game.
Enemies are nicely detailed, come in different shapes and larger ones have multiple colors.
I would have loved some stars in the background but Arcadia sadly wasn’t the developer.
The sound is god awful tho.
Not as bad as the arcade version but everything is still too high-pitched.
Really makes my ears bleed.

While the gameplay is very solid and engaging, I got bored rather fast.
The difficulty switches aren’t used and there are no gameplay variations
ou’ve basically seen it all after one round.
If you’re into high score hunting and don’t mind playing the same game for the millionth time then give it a look.
It’s alright.
Try It!




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