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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 SEGA Master System Shooting down the enemy
After Burner SEGA Master System Title Screen
After Burner SEGA Master System Fire!
After Burner SEGA Master System Enemy fighter shot down

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. Ash_1 (55) 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Mar, 1988 9 out of 10 90
Tilt May, 1988 15 out of 20 75
neXGam 2002 7 out of 10 70
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Apr, 1988 702 out of 1000 70
GamesCollection Nov 30, 2007 7 out of 10 70
The Games Machine (UK) Mar, 1988 60 out of 100 60
1UP! Oct 29, 2007 25 out of 100 25
The Video Game Critic Mar 13, 2004 D 25
Game Freaks 365 2005 1.9 out of 10 19
HonestGamers Jan 12, 2004 1 out of 10 10


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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

Related Web Sites

PCGamer77 (3003) added After Burner (SEGA Master System) on Jan 18, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Quapil (4721), Rola (7755), Sciere (373627), Martin Smith (62961), lugnut (359), Pseudo_Intellectual (45643), Macintrash (2472), Indra is stressed (19945) and quizzley7 (21163)