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After Burner

Critic Score User Score
ZX Spectrum
FM Towns
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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 Stage 17 is quite a labyrinth
After Burner Amstrad CPC Highscore list
After Burner MSX That's you
After Burner SEGA 32X Stage 1

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-16.com SEGA 32X Aug 08, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Dec, 1988 90 out of 100 90
The Games Machine (UK) ZX Spectrum Feb, 1989 83 out of 100 83
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) SEGA Master System Apr, 1988 702 out of 1000 70
Atari ST User Atari ST Mar, 1989 7 out of 10 70
GamesCollection SEGA Master System Nov 30, 2007 7 out of 10 70
GamePro (US) SEGA 32X Mar, 1995 3.5 out of 5 70
Gamers (Germany) SEGA 32X Feb, 1995 6 out of 15 40
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Apr, 1989 4.8 out of 12 40
Commodore Format Commodore 64 Jul, 1992 39 out of 100 39


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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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