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...
First you'll be on the runway. Start to accelerate. When you reach 150 knots then pull up. When you're somewhat off the ground then you raise landing gear. Now you're ready to ROCK N' ROLL. Use carrige return to select a weapon and peg those commie pinkos out of the good old U.S.A. If you have a joystick use it. If not use the keypad.
ACE is a solid arcade-ish sim oldie that remains surprisingly playable more than a decade after its releae. Instead of simulating real-life airplanes, Cascade Software chose to simulate a hypothetical aircraft called AWAT, which stands for"All-Weather, All-Terrain (terrain - in the sky?)" multi-role combat aircraft.
Hard-core flight sim buffs will probably wince at the game's blissful ignorance of real-world physics. Its hypothetical nature aside, the AWAT flies like it's bolted on rails, and you'll never lose speed when climbing or banking, no matter how fast you are going. But for the sheer fun of flying, ACE is one of the earliest flight sims that truly delivers. The joy, in this case, is the chance to single-handedly destroy a huge invasion force. You have three chances (if you make safe ejections before being shot down) to shoot all the tanks, helicopters, SAMs, planes before facing off against an invasion fleet. I find this to be the most fun portion of the game, especially because it's very difficult to sink gigantic destroyers. When you finally accomplish this feat and see the giant ship sink beneath the waves, you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment :)
For a futuristic airplane, AWAT's weapons are quite primitive: cannon, manually-aimed air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-sea missiles, and missile decoy flares which are very effective. Radar and satellite map both help you locate the baddies, but it's still a real struggle to actually hit anything without being shot down. For its age and size, it's quite amazing that Cascade managed to add a lot of "little extras" such as a cool in-flight refuelling sequence, and a choice of summer, night or winter flying (although that only changes color palette in the woefully ugly CGA mode).
There's no denying the fact that ACE has more in common with arcade shooters than even semi-sims like SkyFox. Make no mistake, though-- it's an excellent game. Once you get the hang of it (and don't mind primitive graphics), you will be amazed at how much detail Cascade was able to include in such a tiny space.
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