Developer: Sega and Fishing Cactus
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Sega’s After Burner Climax is an arcade port and it shows, in a good way. Everything about the game is built to be loud, like it wants to sell itself to a passerby at an actual arcade. Thankfully, the experience transfers relatively well to iOS.

This is a lightning-pace on-rails shooter, inspired by Sega’s classic After Burner series but more modern analogues might be Star Fox or the iOS game ARC Squadron. Players fly around shooting at enemies that come whizzing by, using their guns and missiles to take down as many as possible without being taken down themselves. As players shoot, the Climax meter increases, and when deployed, the guns are more powerful and missiles lock on more effectively. Along the way, optional targets to be destroyed will pop up that can help unlock secret levels and better endings.

The game is built to thrill, and thankfully the fast pace of the game means that a short setting will let players complete a whole runthrough of the game if they wish. Really, this is just great for sitting back and enjoying some quick action for a little bit with plenty of explosions. As well, it just feels like a Sega game, from the graphics to the sound, menus, and just general feel of it. I’m not particularly nostalgic for After Burner, but this game just inspires warm Sega feelings in general.

I recommend playing on the iPad if possible, as it is far easier to discern what is actually going on on the bigger screen as compared to the tiny iPhone. Also, while the sound is not particularly notable, I found it to help be more immersed in what’s going on. The game is rather short, with about 15 levels in a playthrough, with a few branching paths. Replay value comes from the ddesire to get high scores, and from wanting to unlock all the Extra options, which include gameplay tweaks that can make things easier or harder. I unlocked the ability to auto-fire missiles and guns, and I made the enemies fly the unfriendly skies. Using Extra mode options doesn’t disable high score submission for Arcade mode, so it’s not too hard to get high scores on repeat playthroughs.

After Burner Climax is loud, fast, and chaotic. For fans of Sega, on-rails shooters, and ‘true’ arcade games, this is worth checking out.

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