Among trashgame fans, Phoenix Games are one of the most infamous game publishers of all time. They’re famous for making games of the lowest possible quality for the lowest possible price; their most infamous “games” were just poorly-animated movies on a PS2 disc. They’re the kind of fascinating bad you just can’t help but love for their own sake.
In their last year of life, Phoenix started publishing Nintendo DS games. They had an aggressive release schedule; in 2008 they announced plans to release 20 games inside of a year, most of which never came out. Which games did or didn’t come out is still hard to figure out. Many online release lists take Phoenix Games’s estimated release dates at face value, including many games that probably never came out. I’ve put together a list of what I’ve been able to confirm in the hopes that anyone with more information can help out.
Out of the 20 games Phoenix announced, only five definitely came out under Phoenix themselves. There are confirmed physical copies of these games and ROM dumps on the internet. Three more were licensed to other publishers after Phoenix’s bankruptcy. The other twelve are less certain; I’ve divided these into three categories with explanations below. Phoenix declared bankruptcy in early 2009, and I haven’t been able to confirm that any games were released after the end of 2008. If you have any information, please contact me via email or on Twitter!
- 12 - NorthPole Studio, 2008
- Adventures of Pinocchio - Unknown, 2008
- Peter Pan’s Playground - Unknown, 2008
- Polar Rampage - CyberPlanet, 2008
- Valentines Day - NorthPole Studio, 2008
Released by other developers:
- Coral Savior - NorthPole Studio; released as Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral by Storm City Games, in North America, 2010; and as Bermuda Triangle by Funbox Media, in Europe, 2011
- Hoppie II - CyberPlanet; released as Hoppie, by Maximum Family Games, in North America, 2011
- Veggy World - CyberPlanet; released by Maximum Family Games, in North America, 2011
These games had finalized cover art and announced release dates. The games in this category have been found in some online store catalogues, suggesting they may have either been released or at least had already been offered to stores.
- Jungle Gang: Perfect Plans - Listed in an MCV article as having been released October 17, 2008. Listed in a few online store catalogues as sold out.
- Love Heart - Reviewed by Polish site GRYOnline.pl, who gave it a 2008 release date.
Probably not released:
Included in release lists, but with no store pages to indicate they were ever actually released. Some of these games were given multiple release dates, probably because they were delayed and solicited multiple times.
- Dalmatians 4 - Listed in a PlayStation Collecting forums catalogue as having been released on February 13, 2009.
- Lion and the King 3 - Listed in a PlayStation Collecting forums catalogue as having been released on both October 24, 2008 and February 13, 2009.
- Monster Egg II - Listed in a PlayStation Collecting forums catalogue as having been released on both November 28, 2008 and March 13, 2009.
- Rat-A-Box - Listed in an MCV article as having been released October 17, 2008, but no store catalogue entries.
Definitely not released:
- Cinderella’s Fairy Tale - Final cover art, but never included in any release lists.
- Greatest Flood - No cover art or homepage.
- Iron Chef II - Final cover art, but never included in any release lists.
- Monster Dessert - No cover art or homepage.
- Princess Snow White - No cover art or homepage.
- War in Heaven - Final cover art, but never included in any release lists.