Phoenix Review

By , on October 27, 2010

  • Publisher: Firi Games
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Released: 24 Oct, 2010
  • Size: 18.3 MB
  • Price: $0.99
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Intense, non-stop shooter action.
  • Automatically scaling difficulty.
  • Dense, complex bullet patterns.
  • Updates include deeper mechanics for competitive gamers.


  • Limited replay for non-shooter fans; variety in gameplay low.


While abstract shooters may have a limited appeal, Phoenix by Firi Games is a no-nonsense shooter that challenges players to dive in again and again to reach new heights by beating the odds that are stacked against them.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

UPDATE: Sometimes it only takes a small change to make a big impact and the updates released for Phoenix have made it a definite must-have for shooter fans; providing a polished level of skill-based gameplay that's appealing thanks to its dynamic difficulty system. Changes to the power-up system add a new layer of depth for hardcore gamers to master and at this point it's safe to say Phoenix is definitely focused on appealing to this crowd instead of a broader audience. With this in mind, Phoenix is a great grab for action gamers after a challenging and competitive 'arcade' title.

Firi Games' previous SHMUP  title for the App Store (Flare Elite) was an interesting experiment that may not have hit home for everyone, but it showed that there's still plenty of innovation left to be explored in the genre. Their latest title, Phoenix, changes things up once again and joins other abstract SHMUP  like rRootage in exploring endless gameplay that evolves with players over time.

Phoenix is a sparse game and players are welcomed with a basic title screen that leads almost immediately in to the game itself after setting your minimum difficulty level. Swiping the screen moves your ship around smoothly and firing is handled automatically. Power-ups drop regularly from fallen enemies and range from health to keep you in the game a bit longer, weapon level ups to help speed through smaller enemies faster and super weapons that grant a temporary boost to your damage.

The purity of the gameplay feels great and the better you are at avoiding damage, the harder the AI gets in an attempt to reach a balance that feels right for you, resulting in matches that can go from a handful of seconds to minutes at a time depending on the challenge you're after. Scores can also be submitted to leader boards that match you against players in your city, state, country and region as well as around the world.

Phoenix isn't for everyone and the simplicity of the gameplay can get monotonous for some quite quickly, but if you've ever enjoyed your time with other abstract shooters like rRootage or ISUD then Phoenix is another great addition to your collection.


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