If there's a breed of games that never, ever gets old, it's the “bullet-hell” aerial shooter. The simple formula of a fighter-jet (or a fighter-flying-something) battling hordes of enemies and gigantic bosses that fire their guns in every direction, is as addictive as ever. Now, owners of Windows Phone 8 handsets can have an early peek into Phoenix Force – an aero-shooter in the making, exclusive to the Windows and WP8 platforms.
Essentially, Phoenix Force is a nod to retro aerial fighters which delivers a super-sized meal of everything they are known for - ridiculous enemy types and sceneries that defy explanation; swarms of colorful, deadly ammunition that sometimes fill the entire screen; and dozens of upgrades after surviving a level. However, unlike the garden-variety aerial fighters which are set in military or sci-fi settings, Phoenix Force is based in a fantasy realm. We don't know for sure what the background story is, but at some point you will be able to fly a “Cryophoenix” which fires ice shards, and battle the ghost of the Frog Warrior, so it's shaping up to be quite the trip.
The final game is expected to feature at least a hundred levels, and will also modernize the experience with social integration - at the end of the level, you will be able to compare your performance with that of your friends. While a release date hasn't been announced yet, its makers from Awoker Games are organising a free beta-test for WP8 users.
If you want to get an early taste of Phoenix Force, follow the links below. All you have to do is specify your handset, submit an e-mail, and wait for a chance to join.