Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32
Phoenix was a commonly seen machine in arcades in the early 80's. First manufactured by Centuri (licensed from Amstar) in 1980, it wasn't particularly revolutionary, but was one of the first games to introduce a 'boss', in the form of a giant mothership in the final level.
Playability is one of the features of Phoenix: the difficulty level wasn't too high, owing to relatively predictable enemy flight formations. In addition, Phoenix had a highly colourful playfield and exceptionally smoothly moving sprites (for the time). I think this may have been the first Invaders-style game to feature shields, which had been seen in some Asteroids-style games. The shield button gets a lot of use in Phoenix, usually offensively to clean up 'low flyers'.
There's a few basic tips to help you out if you choose to spend some time enjoying this great old game. For a start, remember shields take about 7 seconds to recharge so use them sparingly. Once you've built up familiarity with the shields you'll find them highly useful, placing yourself squarely in the path of enemies. During the 'bird' levels you'll find it easier to shoot them from the left or right edge of the screen, where they slow down to u-turn. They also have difficulty shooting you when you're at the edge. And when you're faced with the mothership, move to it's side so you can shoot a hole through it's moving shield quicker. Then move to the centre and keep shooting straight at the alien leader; it'll just be a matter of time until you hit it to complete the level and start over. Judicious use of shields is needed in this final level, in a more defensive method than previous levels. Also, try to not shoot too many alien ships, you'll just get even more coming at you. Keep your eye on the prize.
With a little practice you'll find yourself putting up some big scores, I'm sure arcade operators weren't too fond of Phoenix, it took very few games to become pretty expert! Phoenix can be found in your 'Classics' folder in GPMame and played with no frameskip.
Reviewed By: Alyinsanfran