Although I actually play them with what can only be described as garish, butter-fingered ineptitude, I love SHMUPs, and so I’m really excited to take Firi Games’ new $0.99 shoot-em-up Phoenix for a spin.
Not only does the graphics and action look absolutely fantastic — a throwback to some of my favorite SHMUPs like Cho Ren Sha 68k — but Phoenix boasts one nifty little trick to separate itself from competition like Cave’s Espagaluga II: while most SHMUPs are all about pattern recognition, Phoenix is totally random, piecing different enemy ships and bullet patterns together on the fly so that no game is ever the same.
Since it’s random, there’s no real campaign to get through in Phoenix: instead, it’s an endlessly scrolling SHMUP, and the only goal is to beat your last high score. Touch Arcade says that the endless nature of the game — coupled with just one scrolling background — can make the game feel a bit repetitive, but I’m hoping that’s something that Firi Games might fix over time, given enough support.
If you love SHMUPs, Phoenix looks like a real winner… and at $0.99, even if it isn’t, you won’t have much to beat yourself up about.