After Burner

Critic Score User Score
SEGA Master System
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After Burner is an aircraft shooter. The goal is simple: use your F-14 Tomcat and shoot as many enemies as you can. This aircraft has two weapons: lock-on missiles and Vulcan cannons (basically machine guns). In some versions there is an option to let the cannons shoot automatically all the time.

The game is viewed from behind the plane with you fighting wave after wave of enemy fighters. But at heart it offers the usual shooter mechanics, meaning you spend most of your time dodging and shooting. Sometimes you come across a friendly supply plane and if you dock with it you can replenish your missiles.


After Burner MSX Options screen
After Burner SEGA Master System Title Screen #2
After Burner SEGA Master System Hit by missile
After Burner Commodore 64 High scores (US version)

Alternate Titles

  • "After Burner Complete" -- Japanese and European 32X title
  • "アフターバーナー" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Good standalone title, bad arcade conversion. SEGA Master System Ash_1 (55)

Critic Reviews SEGA 32X Aug 08, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Apr, 1991 82 out of 100 82
Game Freaks 365 NES 2005 7.6 out of 10 76
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amiga Jun, 1989 696 out of 1000 70 NES Mar 22, 2012 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Video Games SEGA 32X Jan, 1995 53 out of 100 53
The Games Machine (UK) Amiga May, 1989 50 out of 100 50
Gamers (Germany) SEGA 32X Feb, 1995 6 out of 15 40
The Video Game Critic SEGA 32X Mar 13, 2007 D 25
Power Play Commodore 64 Jan, 1989 8 out of 100 8


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References to the game

In the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day, John Connor is shown playing After Burner at the arcade at the mall.


During one of the take-off sequences of the game, you're followed by a small red car. It's the Ferrari from Outrun, another hit arcade game.

ZX Spectrum version

The ZX Spectrum version of the game has the plane firing its cannon constantly throughout and cannot be switched off. This is due to the fire button being used to fire the missiles.


  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Bad)
Information also contributed by cafeine and festershinetop

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