atari game phoenix

Since I recently found a gigantic box of old video games in my basement, I decided that I am going to talk about the Phoenix Atari 2600 game. This is the supposed first arcade game ever to have a boss battle. It took me several tries to get there, but it turns out it’s just some crappy spaceship where you have to shoot the alien by breaking down the hull. It’s also one of the first arcade games to be in full color!! I mean, all the other games I’ve come across had color too, but… um… full color!!

The video game Phoenix, developed for the Atari 2600 gaming console, stands as a remarkable achievement in the early gaming era. Released in 1980, this groundbreaking arcade-style shooter captivated players with its engaging gameplay, challenging levels, and stunning visuals for its time. The game takes place in outer space, where players control a spaceship tasked with defending against an onslaught of enemy birds and a formidable mothership. As one of the first games to feature a boss battle, Phoenix for the Atari 2600 not only left an indelible mark on the gaming community, but also contributed to shaping the future of video games.

Even before discovering the history of the Phoenix game, I found it to be pretty good. Now, why does “pretty good” matter? Because nine out of ten Atari 2600 games belong in the garbage. I feel terrible for the people who had to buy Atari games brand new. You think some recent video games are bad? You have no idea what bad is until you’ve seen some “games” that exist for the Atari 2600. But Phoenix is not one of those games.

phoenix boss
atari 2600 phoenix

Like many others, the premise is basically a tiny spaceship (or something) that shoots a line at other moving things. But the speed and challenge makes it stick out and worth owning. (affiliate link) If you come across it, it belongs in your stack of games. You can throw out Asteroids to make room; you weren’t going to play it again anyway, were you?


Any fond memories of this game? Comment below!