SEGA had a big hit on their hands in the wake (or after burn, if you’ll pardon the pun) of Top Gun with the popular After Burner series of games. The jet simulation put players in the cockpit of super fast plans that were capable of breaking the sound barrier while simultaneously shooting down every moving object in the sky with heat seeking missiles.
SEGA recently launched After Burner Climax in the App Store and, while it may not come with a servo chair, it still brings back memories of locking on and blowing away enemy planes at top speeds that would even impress Maverick.
The game starts by offering players a tutorial to get a feel for the controls. It is a good idea to play the quick tutorial to learn how to barrel roll and figure out how the virtual joystick and weapon buttons work.
Once you know the basic controls, you can either play Arcade mode or Score Attack mode. They are practically the same, but in Arcade mode, you follow a campaign.
Players then pick from three different planes, each with a standard, camouflage, special, and low visibility paint option. Pick your plane and head for the skies. You can also change the sound track from After Burner Climax to the classic After Burner music. You can adjust the game’s settings, like how many lives you get in each game, and change the controls from virtual joystick to tilt controls or switch on auto-fire.
Players set about blowing enemy planes out of the sky by either firing their basic gun with unlimited ammo or locking in on a target and firing heat-seeking missiles. Each jet comes equipped with a special “Climax” mode, which slows down the action so that you can easily lock onto multiple targets at once and really let the missiles fly.
To speed up or slow down, drag your finger up or down on the accelerator slider. To activate the sound barrier-breaking speed boost, tap the accelerator slider and watch your jet take of.
The virtual joystick is pretty awkward. It is not stationary. It appears where ever you place your thumb. I found myself unable to fly upward sometimes because I had accidentally placed the joystick so low on the screen that it couldn’t actually be used for some actions. The key is trying to keep your overactive thumb in one spot. Once you get used to the moveable controls, you will be less likely to accidentally move it into unusable sections of the screen.
Although the virtual joystick made it hard to control the action at times, the game is a total thrill ride. It is a lot like the arcade classic. The main changes are for the purpose of creating a touch screen compatible atmosphere.
What I Liked: The action is fast, the graphics look nearly identical to the original, and the game is easy to pick up and play without much effort.
What I Didn’t Like: A moveable joystick, in concept, is a great idea. However, this game does not work well with a virtual controller that moves around all of the time. I’d like to see a stationary joystick instead.
To Buy or not to Buy: At $2.99 it is absolutely worth the money for fans of the After Burner Series. If you’ve never heard of the game, but appreciate classic arcade action with aircraft simulation, then you will love this game, too.
- Name: After Burner Climax
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Games
- Developer: Fishing Cactus / SEGA America
- Price: $2.99