Phoenix - 40th Anniversary

Something terrific happened 40 years ago. In 1980, a company called Centuri released an arcade game called 'Phoenix'. Phoenix was the very first video game that I played, and I began playing it in 1981 at Kroger in Morristown, Tennessee. I put a quarter in the machine and when I started playing it, I fell in love.

The player controls a ship at the bottom of the screen. The ship moves left and right and fires lasers at enemies. The ship also has a force field that can temporarily protect itself.

Phoenix has five screens. On the first two screens, the player must shoot about 16 small robot warbirds. The warbirds on the 2nd screen look identical to the warbirds on the 1st screen except they're a different color.

On the 3rd and 4th screens, the player must shoot larger Phoenix birds. The Phoenix birds begin as eggs and hatch into birds. Like with the robot warbirds, the Phoenix birds on screens 3 and 4 look identical except they're different colors. On the 5th screen, the player must battle and destroy a Mothership. The Mothership has a fleet of robot warbirds to protect it.

I loved this game in 1981 and I still love it nearly 40 years later. I even own a Phoenix machine but sadly, it no longer works. I honestly believe that the world would be a poorer place if Phoenix hadn't been made.


More by :  Randy Johnson

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