ACE: Air Combat Emulator

aka: A.C.E.: Air Combat Emulator, ACE
Moby ID: 1413
VIC-20 Specs

Description official descriptions

A huge enemy fleet has invaded the southern shore of the U.S. Dozens of tanks and helicopter gun-ships are rolling over Tampa, Florida and through Atlanta, Georgia. Squadrons of enemy fighters are swarming through the air over South Carolina and are heading for Washington, D.C. For the first time in more than 100 years, a foreign power is invading our proud land!

You are the only remaining fighter pilot, and you have the last three ACE Mark 2.1 Multi-Role All-Weather-All-Terain (AWAT) combat aircraft. Each is housed in one of our three remaining air bases.

You must fly sorties from our bases, and attack and destroy the numerically superior enemy air and ground forces. Only then can you attempt to destroy their nearly invincible navy. Good Luck! The future of the free world hangs in the balance...

Groups +


Credits (Commodore 16, Plus/4 version)

A.C.E. by



Average score: 75% (based on 11 ratings)


Average score: 2.3 out of 5 (based on 26 ratings with 2 reviews)

An early attempt at making flight-sims.

The Good
The title screen, taking off and … exiting the game. Help me out here?

The Bad
There are basically 4 scenarios. Fighting ground forces. Fighting enemy aircraft. Fighting naval forces. Re-fueling. I didn’t like any of them.
I really did try with this game. It was the first game I ever bought. I spent much time trying to fight aircraft, tanks and battleships to no avail.
ACE wasn’t 3D as it was made in 1986. The enemy aircraft used to annoy me most of all. They would fly across the screen on random paths and the only time you hit one was when it flew through your gun-sights.
Tanks used to just appear on the screen looking much the same as the trees.
The navy used to toast you right off as they were supposed to be attacked last.
Re-fueling was a nightmare. Precision keypresses and patience. I don’t think I docked once.

The Bottom Line
A dismal flight-sim. Maybe it was better on the C64 version. Maybe I couldn’t play the game. Maybe I didn’t care…

DOS · by Macintrash (2550) · 2000

Not Great

The Good
'Air Combat Emulator' is a very early combat 'flight sim', with sprite-based graphics and simple blippy sounds. It was more at home on the 8-bit machines, where the competition was less fierce - by 1986, this game looked very poor in comparison with Microprose's 'F15 Strike Eagle'. Released in the UK by 'Cascade software' (who only ever did four games, but stuck around for years), and followed by two sequels - 'Ace 2' was a split-screen multiplayer game, and 'Ace 2088' was a sci-fi, 'Star Raiders' game, but not as good as 'Star Raiders'.

The Bad
The graphics are extremely crude - the sky is blue, and the ground is green. You can eject whilst flying upside-down at an altitude of one foot, and live, and if you raise the undercarriage whilst on the runwau you explode. It's not much more advanced than a typical arcade game (River Raid springs to mind), and the claims that it offered unparalled realism were hollow.

The Bottom Line
Very poor early combat / flight action game.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000


Digitized Speech

The back of the box claimed digitized speech, but actually the C64 version was the only version with digitized speech.

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Ace Combat: Joint Assault
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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Legacy
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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Legacy+
Released 2015 on Nintendo 3DS
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
Released 2001 on PlayStation 2
Hover Ace
Released 2001 on Windows
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Released 2004 on PlayStation 2
Air Raid 3
Released 2006 on PlayStation 2

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Macintrash.

VIC-20, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 16, Plus/4 added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 added by Martin Smith. Amstrad PCW added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added May 5th, 2000. Last modified August 7th, 2023.