A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator).
Exhibit: A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator) (1986)

Rob "Bomber" Henderson reported...

"I remember ACE had a quite unique copy protection device called LENS-LOCK. Working out how to use this with continual re-loading of the game after getting the security code wrong wasted nearly a whole evening and I remember feeling pretty down about that!

I eventually got ACE working and I dread to think how many hours of my life were spent flying this one. Within minutes from getting home from school, I was up in the air. Within minutes of getting up at the weekend, I was taking-off. I loved every bit of it.

I ended up saving my money to get a second joystick as I preferred flying the campaigns on my own in the two player mode - it gave much more flexibility in using the weapons. The enemy looked like Saab Drakens and A10 Thunderbolts and were a real challenge to hit with either guns or missiles, which were heat seeking.

Air-air re-fuelling was another first experience, and at first by the time I had managed to re-fuel the enemy had just about won the war because I took so long!! There were a couple of odd things in this one though. When you crossed over from land to sea or vice-versa, the game would pause momentarily, and a message would come up filling the whole screen saying "You are now flying over..."" and then the flying would resume.

When you were on the runway, if you touched the joystick below 150 knots you exploded.

The runway could be "moved" though. Once you had enough speed, you could steer on the runway to the direction you wanted to fly out to, and the runway would obligingly turn to face that heading!

The terrain was all flat, but I remember it had a fair bit of detail, lots of trees and bushes. You could fly inverted with an height of 1ft on the altimeter at full power. It was about 900knots at full chat a sea level, but increased up to about 1200knots at altitude. The ceiling was 70,000ft !!