The F-14 Tomcat is an awesome fighter, capable of taking on six enemy planes at once. Afterburner really tests your flying skills by presenting you and your Tomcat with dozens of enemy craft. This is no simulator, it’s a seat of the pants blast-’em-up. As the skies fill with targets you can take them out with either your constantly firing machine gun or move a crosshair over the foe and target a Sparrow-hawk. This triggers the lock-on logo, while a box on the head-up display shows which target is lined up for the missile treatment.
There are interludes to rearm and refuel at the end of each level, all of which have been copied across from the arcade game. A flying tanker can top you up with the best unleaded the USAF can provide, while later on you land among a collection of bowsers and a ground crew. Afterburner was a feast of fast action on the arcade. In Japan, Game Machine listed After Burner on their September 1, 1987 issue as being the most-successful upright arcade unit of the year. The After Burner arcade cabinet was significantly more expensive than most of Sega’s other machines at the time. The Amiga version is by far the best ever released on any other platform, but nothing defeats the arcade version.