Let's face it, the only reason you're reading this review is because you've got nothing better to read - not because you've never heard of Afterburner and want to know what it's about. I mean, everyone's heard of Afterburner! I even had an in depth discussion with my Gran about it once! But seeing as the more I write the more I get paid, let's have a quick recap.
On first play, you'll probably think "wow' and go around annoying your family by telling them how good this new game you've just got is, and then wondering why from then on every time you enter a room everyone else suddenly leaves. The graphics, if a little lacking in any colour whatsoever, chugg along at a cracking rate, and your plane dips and dives, turns and rolls as you fly into the screen very effectively. Hoards of baddies zoom at you, you fire your machine gun at them, then lock on and despatch a missile or 2. There's then a convincing explosion and a 128K explosion-type-noise (or 48K beep).
But this is just about all that you can do - for level after level. It's very easy too as there's nothing you can crash into (not even other planes - you can only be hit down by enemy missiles which are for the most part easy to avoid), and your machine guns and missiles fire and lock on automatically. You've got absolutely tonnes of lives too, so games tend to be pretty lengthy. Okay, so there are loads of levels (which load in a few at a time), including various (automatic) re-fuelling sequences, and a natty bit where you have to fly though a big canyon, but the gameplay does remain very samey throughout. It is however very addictive and cheap, so by all means scoop it up now if you didn't before.
1 There's a variety of enemy planes - these are the nastiest as they fire both missiles and bullets. 2. Ammo is limited, and shown here with a big missile representing 2 rows of little ones. (Your stock is of course replenished when you refuel.) 3. You.