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ACE: Air Combat Emulator

aka: A.C.E.: Air Combat Emulator, ACE

[ All ] [ Amstrad CPC ] [ Amstrad PCW ] [ Commodore 16, Plus/4 ] [ Commodore 64 ] [ DOS ] [ VIC-20 ] [ ZX Spectrum ]

Critic Reviews 76% add missing review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (9 out of 10) (90%)

Not that there is anything stunningly new about the game, it's just incredibly well presented. Congratulations to Cascade on a good game.

Feb 1986 · Commodore 64 · read review

Zzap! (90 out of 100) (90%)

This is without doubt THE most exciting flight sim on the 64 to date. The graphics are excellent with extremely fast update on the horizon and very realistic ground 3D with trees mountains and the enemy forces all zooming up to you at high speeds. There are many really original aspects to the game itself, like the brilliant mid-air refuelling (an exciting sequence), the two player option and the excellent rear view camera. These touches put Ace a notch above the rest. Don't be put off by the fact it's classed as a simulator - it's more of a true to life shoot em up since it is so easy to fly - and the game has scoring.

Dec 1985 · Commodore 64 · read review

Computer Gamer (85 out of 100) (85%)

If you want an accurate and detailed boring flight simulator then I would look elsewhere. However, if you want fast action with enough realism to add to the action and plenty of mission options and weapons payloads, along with in-flight refuelling and weather changes, then have a good look at this game.

Apr 1987 · Amstrad CPC · read review

Commodore User ( ) (80%)

This is by far the best (certainly one of the only) dedicated Plus/4 games I've seen. If you've got one, go out and buy this. It's er, ace.

Apr 1986 · Commodore 16, Plus/4 · read review

Commodore User (8 out of 10) (80%)

Not so much a flight simulation with some combat thrown in for good measure, but more of an aerial combat simulation with flight simulator overtones. [...] There are better simulations available, but none at this price, so why not give it a whirl?

Jun 1988 · Commodore 64 · read review

Commodore User (4 out of 5) (80%)

Most of the best flight simulators are a compromise between cockpit realism and entertaining , playable action. ACE (Air Combat Emulator) seems to have found the right balance very nicely indeed. The depiction of the cockpit may not be as stunning as Spitfire 40, or Dambusters, the outside views may be a little crude, but the action itself is fast, compulsive and full of variety. [...] Although the speech is fairly crude, it does sound remarkably like aircraft cockpit radiospeak, thereby adding considerably to the atmosphere. And for once it isn't a gimmick - the speech gives you important information. Until now Cascade Games have made their money sending out mail order tapes stuffed with vast numbers of pretty lousy programs. This is an impressive entry into the world of real software. It's a bit expensive but you do get a watch into the bargain.

Dec 1985 · Commodore 64 · read review

Your Sinclair (8 out of 10) (80%)

Don't get cheesed off at the start - it takes some time to get into. And once you get the hang of it, you're gonna be hooked for days before you actually manage to come anywhere near succeeding. If you want a realistic combat simulation, forget it - you'll learn more from the movies. If you want a high-speed shoot 'em up with planes, go get it - it's ACE!

Oct 1986 · ZX Spectrum · read review

Commodore User (4 out of 5) (80%)

The action is extremely fast and difficult to master even in daylight (other options are dusk and night flights) so it's unlikely you'll earn your wings overnight and become bored with it.

May 1985 · Commodore 16, Plus/4 · read review

Zzap! (78 out of 100) (78%)

A cut-down version of the 64 original, but still very playable. More of a shoot 'em up than a flight simulation, with reasonably effective graphics and a fair share of action.

Aug 1987 · Commodore 16, Plus/4 · read review

Commodore Format (3 out of 4) (75%)

When it was released over five years ago, it was the best thing since fixed-wing jets; it shook off the 'flight sims are boring' image with fast graphics, furious arcade-style gameplay and all the basic sim paraphernalia to boot. [...] Add a gripping mid-air refuelling sequence, superb dogfights, a rear-view camera and some scratchy speech, and you have one hell of a game - even by today's standards.

Jul 1991 · Commodore 64 · read review

Your Commodore (28 out of 40) (70%)

ACE is a game that no Plus/4 owner should be without, it will keep you occupied for hours.

May 1986 · Commodore 16, Plus/4 · read review

Computer Gamer (13 out of 20) (65%)

If an excellent flight simulator with equally excellent graphics is what you want I would recommend this one every time. However, if you are looking for an exciting and fast-moving game I would look elsewhere.

Sep 1986 · ZX Spectrum · read review

Amtix! (58 out of 100) (58%)

ACE is a curious mixture of a combat and a flight simulation and it has left me somewhat confused. What are we supposed to be doing - shooting the enemy and ignoring the controls perhaps or maybe we should be flying so well that we avoid the enemy altogether? The graphics are reasonable, if a bit jerky, and serve their purpose. It didn't do anything for me.

Mar 1987 · Amstrad CPC

Commodore Force (57 out of 100) (57%)

Ah, listen to that ear-grating speech, feast your eyes on the sparse instrumentation and search every wing and thruster for the gameplay. When it made it's first public debut ACE received cheers all around, but not many old timers can beat a spring chicken in a sack race. ACE is now a very old man that he can't even climb into the sack, let alone race in it.

Apr 1993 · Commodore 64 · read review

Amstar N/A

Dans ce simulateur de vol, vous avez mĂȘme la possibilitĂ© de choisir votre saison de vol (hiver, Ă©tĂ©) ainsi que la pĂ©riode (jour, nuit) ; pour ce qui est du graphisme, il faut dire que les Ă©crans sont relativement vides avec, par exemple, une vĂ©gĂ©tation trĂšs Ă©parse... MalgrĂ© tout, vous trouverez de l'action et vous pourrez mĂȘme voler et combattre avec un compagnon !

Feb 1987 · Amstrad CPC · read review

Player 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

by Macintrash (2550) on May 8th, 2000 · DOS

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.

by Ashley Pomeroy (225) on Jun 2nd, 2000 · DOS

Plus 24 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Hello X), FatherJack, Jo ST, Wizo, Tim Janssen, Alsy.