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Cart #phoenix08-0 | 2021-09-23 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

This is my take on the 1980 arcade classic, Phoenix.

Downloadable versions at:

Thanks To

  • Finn for testing
  • Paul Niven ( @NiVZ) for creating such a cool logo

Version History

  • 0.80 - 23-Sep-2021 - Released
P#97695 2021-09-23 05:42 ( Edited 2021-09-23 05:43)


Really fun game. I never played this in the arcade but it does look very faithful.

Some points: the left and right movement of the player feels sluggish. Is this the same as in the arcade?

I found that there was a slight delay in the shield activating. This may just be because I was too slow, but fairly often I felt that I pressed shield but was destroyed anyway. An indicator for when the shield is ready might be useful.

Could you have an option to switch the control keys?

P#97696 2021-09-23 08:22

Thanks for the feedback Phil, glad you liked it.

Are you playing on mobile? On my laptop, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable delay.

I originally had a shield ready indicator but took it out since the arcade version pretty much made you count in your head 😁

Also, I allow you to move very slowly when your shield is up whereas you couldn’t move at all in the arcade version which I always found a little unfair.

Pico 8 only allows key mapping changes when running locally. I’ve put executable downloads on my itch.io site if you want to give those a try.

Thanks again for the feedback.

P#97698 2021-09-23 09:19

I am using desktop. I think I am just inept at using the shield :)

On level 2 only, the fire rate increases so the player can have 2 shots on the screen at a time. Was this intentional? It certainly makes the level easier, but I'm torn as to whether if it was implemented across the entire game it would make it more fun.

Minor glitch: the next level won't start once the wave has been destroyed if the player maintains bullets on the screen.

P#97700 2021-09-23 10:22

Hi Phil. Level 2 gives you rapid fire. Which is the same as the arcade version (no idea why). The frame rate remains at 60FPS.

Good point about the level not ending. I remember realising that and forgetting to fix it. Since it doesn’t affect scoring I won’t worry about it unless I release an update.

All good, valuable feedback. Thanks

P#97721 2021-09-23 19:17

This is one of the finest Pico-8 arcade ports I've seen, really nice work.

P#97865 2021-09-26 21:51

Really appreciate all the feedback and kind comments. Thank you.

P#97867 2021-09-26 23:20

Fantastic adaptation! I could be playing this in MAME right now, but no- I'm playing this instead! The original doesn't let you move while the shield is active, but it does allow you to continue shooting. Any chance of that as an option?

P#100787 2021-11-25 04:52

Thank you. The moving while shielded was an intentional design choice I made early on. Partly due to the lower resolution and partly because I always felt helpless in the original being frozen in one place 😂

P#100788 2021-11-25 04:55

This is a great port. I originally played this in the arcade tent at the county fair that came to town once a year. Then I played the 2600 port at a friend's house. Next I played the c64 port. And finally this excellent Pico 8 port. Well done.
Very faithful with just the right Pico 8isms to juice it up. Love the title track.

P#103804 2021-12-30 05:32

Thank you. I only ever got to play in once or twice a year when the fair came to town.

P#103856 2021-12-30 23:41

Back to childhood dreams. Great work!

P#126091 2023-02-20 13:59

Thanks @netpork. One of my earliest arcade memories too!

P#126099 2023-02-20 18:18

This port is /amazing/! I play the original a lot on my mame cab and this one is super fun on the go. I also love the extra music and the explosions.

My only wish is that the buttons could be reversed, I realize the arcade control panel was laid out like this, but it's awkward (for me at least) to do the main shooting w/ the X button on my Steam Deck.

Any chance for an option to flip the buttons?

P#139644 2024-01-04 18:48 ( Edited 2024-01-04 18:49)

Fantastic version. I had this game on 2600 as a kid and played it to death. So happy to have it in Pico-8.

P#140701 2024-01-27 14:09

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