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(c) 2000 James Burrows

 
 

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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 that it's classed as a flight simulator -- it's more of a true to life shoot em up since it is so easy to fly -- and the game has scoring.

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Flight/combat simulators seem to be all the rage at the moment, with two well established classics,
Skyfox and Rescue on Fractalus, currently rising high in the charts. While I am not a great lover of flight simulators, I found the aforementioned games very enjoyable to play, probably because they're more of a shoot em up than simulator. ACE on the other hand, didn't appeal to me that greatly due to the fact it was a bit too much of a flight simulation than it was a game, although there are many gameplay elements present. I wasn't overly impressed with the graphics, to tell you the truth, and I don't think that the 3D works all that well...

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Ace
1985 Cascade Games
Programmed by Ian Martin
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (December 1985).
 

ACE
Cascade, 9.95 cass, joystick and keys


Ace is a jet combat flight simulator. Wait, and don't you dare turn the page. Okay, so it's a flight simulator and flight simulators are often a bit boring. Right? Wrong! This one certainly isn't, so read on.

When you start a game you are given a large list of options. Firstly you can choose the time of year, either winter or summer and whether it is day or night. When you do so the screen changes to the appropriate colours.

You can then equip your plane with weaponry -- air-to-ground missiles, air-to-sea, air-to-air or multirole, a limited number of all three. You also have a standard armament of 8,000 rounds of shells and decoy flares. Shells are useful for aerial combat, whilst decoy flares will help you dodge any heat-seeking missiles that are fired towards you.

Once that's done, select the skill level from the nine provided and then you can start flying.

The aircraft itself is equipped with the usual instrumentation needed to fly a plane -- speedometer, altimeter, thrust and fuel gauges, roll and pitch indicator and a compass. You also have some hi-tech onboard equipment -- an audio/visual computer output screen which speaks as well as displays messages and warnings. There is a radar which shows anything in the immediate vicinity, either in the air or on the ground, and it also shows whether a plane is above or below you. To help you keep an eye on what's going on behind you there is an effective rear-view camera which shows any enemy planes that are on your tail on a screen in the cockpit, a sort of rear-view mirror if you like.

You begin any mission on the ground. No start-in-the-air short cuts here -- you have to actually zoom down the runway and take off. Luckily, getting into the air isn't too difficult -- just press the thrust to maximum, wait until you're doing 150 knots, then pull back on the joystick and you take off. Don't forget to raise the undercarriage, otherwise your plane breaks up!

Once you're in the air you can refer to the SIM (Satellite Intelligence Map). This shows the surrounding allied and enemy areas (so you can prepare for flak when you fly over them), allied airfields and any enemy forces, whether they're in the air, on the sea or on the ground. Using this you can fly to their location using the compass and attack them, although don't forget to select the correct type of weaponry to deal with them, otherwise precious armament may be wasted.

You are likely to run out of fuel, and when this occurs, you are told the height and speed you should fly to rendezvous with a refuelling plane flying a regular path deep in allied territory. Refuelling in mid-air is a tricky business -- if you're only a few feet out or a little bit too fast, the consequences can be disastrous. If you do ever get in any sort of trouble, then ejection from the plane is a viable alternative to frying, although to do this safely you should be over allied territory.

An original feature in Ace is the two-player mode whereby one player flies the fighter while the other aims and fires missiles or shells.

 
   


Presentation 93%

Good instrucrions and plenty of options.

Graphics 89%

 

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For a long time
Fighter Pilot has held the title as best fighter simulator but now Digital Integration's hit has well and truly been toppled with ACE. I just couldn't believe how much there was in it. My favourite of ACE's many aspects was the refuelling stage. The speech was a bit scratchy at times but the sound effects more than made up for this aural deficiency. All in all, the best game of this type I've come across to date, with so much content it should keep the most avid flight enthusiast interested for ages.

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Fast, effective 3D and some great little touches.

Sound 79%
Efficient jet engine noises, machine gun chatter, explosions and some reasonable speach.

Hookability 89%
A very easy simulator to fly ...

Lastability 91%
... with many aspects to practise.

Value For Money 88%
Tiny bit steep.

Overall 90%
Despite reviewing disagreement, generally considered a very impressive flight/combat simulator.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Dec 2003)

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