Amstrad Action


Ace Of Aces

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #21

Ace Of Aces

The attempts to modify flight simulators into arcade games with popular appeal continue. This one isn't a million miles away from Dambusters in concept and implementation. The question is, is it any better than that disappointing re-enaction?

You pilot a Mosquito fighter-bomber on a number of dangerous missions into enemy territory. The four missions are aimed at V1s, trains, U-boats and bombers. You can take them on individually, or in any combination. The more you attempt, the harder it's going to be.

You begin each mission over the Channel; fortunately you never have to worry about take-offs and landings. You can access five screens while flying around. The forward view is where you battle with enemy fighters, bombers and V1s. There are also instruments indicating height, speed, direction, radar and damage. These are generally the first instruments to get shot up by the enemy and aren't crucial to survival.

Ace Of Aces

Side views of the wings are the engineer's screens, where you control the engines, gear, flaps, trim and fuel. If you see one of the wing engines on fire you're in big trouble, but even on one engine you can get home.

The bomb-bay view is where you choose between two weapon types: cannon or rockets. When you open the bomb doors, you can bomb the train and U-boats. You are constantly menaced by fighters which have to be disposed of quickly. Having hit your target, you return home just by flying there - no fiddly landings to worry about.

The graphics are crude again. Although the clouds and engines look good, the enemy planes are just featureless blobs. It's not a bad game but is lacklustre in terms of the action. It presents a good challenge in terms of finishing missions and high scoring. The most annoying feature is multi-loading from tape, which takes ages if you want to change missions.

Second Opinion

The harder (or is that the more boring?) elements of flight simulators have been gradually phased out. For example, in Ace Of Aces you no longer have to take off or land. As for the rest of the game: well, it's not too hot either. A lot of rasping and unidentifiable blobs are the sum total of this "Ace" game.

Green Screen View

Not much to see. but all visible.

First Day Target Score

Complete one mission.

Verdict

Graphics 46%
P. Detailed instrument screens.
N. Featureless, boring enemy.

Sonics 37%
N. Engine noise and cannon; what else do you expect?

Grab Factor 52%
N. Not much action to get excited about.
N. Horrible loading for tape users.

Staying Power 64%
N. Missions are quite tough to complete.
P. Train and U-boat attacks add variety.

Overall 60%
N. Another game a little the worse for wear after conversion.

Bob Wade

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