Developer: Firi Games
With so many IOS games on the market it can sometimes feel a little crowded and frustrating to find the worthwhile titles out there.
For me the perfect mobile game is one that I can literally pick up and play for 5-10 mins and then put down again until next time. The bigger, more in-depth games are reserved for the consoles.
Phoenix HD pulls no illusions, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is. A fresh, clean shmup that fits perfectly onto the iPhone screen. There’s no storyline or reason for your mission, you just take control of your craft and set about blowing the waves of enemies to smithereens. You start with one craft, the Phoenix but for a bit of cash via micro transactions you can take control of other craft such as the Corsair, the Mirage, the Shogun, the Trinity or the Phantom. Each have their own little tricks and abilities.
The Phoenix is an all round fighter with a diverse arsenal of weapons. The Corsair is a missile cruiser with the special ability to lock on to turrets for an extra deadly barrage. The Mirage is a laser frigate equipped with the nightfury laser which activates when the ship does not move. The Shogun is an advanced ship for elite pilots. Its weapons are powered by flying dangerously close to enemy bullets. The Trinity is an experimental ship that slows down time and can teleport over short distances. The Phantom is a fragile ship with high firepower and the ability to go into ghost mode. The Phantom is the most recent addition to the game which was introduced in June 2013.
Each of these extra ships other than the Phoenix cost 99p or $1.57 (currency exchange at time of writing) to use. There is no push to buy them and you can easily play and get your full enjoyment out of the game by just using the Phoenix ship but the others are there for you to play around with and try out if you so wish. I personally really like the Corsair. Its missile barrage works well for me.
As you get into the game you see a top down scrolling shmup like many others. This one feels and looks really smooth and clean. The colours are bright and clear and the enemies are varied. As you progress thought the game you pick up a range of power ups ranging from weapon upgrades to shields, health regeneration as well as a variety of apocalyptic attacks that can wipe out many enemies at a time or cause serious damage to the many bigger ‘boss’ enemies you encounter. You are able to store on of these power ups to use when you like and any subsequent ones you pick up get used instantly so you can use this to your advantage, maybe keep a health regeneration close to hand to use when you need, which you will.
The further you progress in the game the bigger and more deadly the enemies become which is what you would expect. The screen becomes covered in enemy fire which you have to dodge and avoid while trying to get in position for your own attacks. Firing happens automatically so all you have to worry about is keeping out of danger and getting as far as you can.
As you progress you also pick up coins which can be used to buy special abilities in games. These range from more power ups being dropped to point defence lasers to help you out etc. These are well worth playing about with. You can of course pay real money to get more of these coins if you want to but they again never push this and you can play quite happily without having to. I found that the game drops enough coins on its own to not need to buy any extra. The choice however is purely up to you.
Scoreboards are featured in the game and link to your facebook and twitter if you so wish to challenge you friends as well as checking your scores with other players in your town, city, country and continent. This adds real replay ability as you want to become the highest scoring player where you are.
Phoenix HD is a game I have had on my iphone now for a while and love it. It’s one that has stayed there while other games have come and gone. It is that perfect blend of simplicity and addiction with the pick up and put down ease of the mobile gaming world. I highly recommend this title as its exactly what you want in a mobile game. Short, simple, loads of replay ability and no pressure to pay for extras. You don’t even get any adverts to annoy you which is a personal bugbear of mine.
Overall I would say pick this up. It’s well worth it for any shmup fans out there. Great one to have on you to pass away the time while on the bus or train or as we all do, those sneaky trips to the rest rooms while at work to get away from it all!