Ace of Aces, Commodore 64

Ace of Aces is a Canadian-developed air combat action game made by Artech Digital Entertainment and originally published for the Commodore 64 by US Gold (in Europe) and Accolade (in North America) in 1986. It’s not really a flight simulator, but a collection of simple minigames that join together to make one cohesive combat sim-like game.

The main view of the action is from the cockpit, which has three views – out of the front, and to the left and right, over the wings. There’s also a view of the bomb bay doors, which is where you conduct targeting for bombing missions.

Players have the option to practise (dogfights, bombing trains, or bombing u-boats), or to take on individual missions, or do all the missions at once. The idea is to use the map to locate your target and then fly towards it, fighting or evading enemy fighters as you go, then destroying your target once you reach it. If it’s a bombing mission you have to fly down through the clouds, level out (before hitting the ground), open the bomb bay doors over the target, then drop bombs on it using a crosshair.

There are no takeoffs or landings in Aces of Aces – you start a mission in the air, and returning to base is simply a case of flying to the correct point on the map after completing a mission. Ace of Aces is a simple game, really, but it is enjoyable for a short while.

Ace of Aces received mixed reviews at the time of release, but did go on to sell very well for Accolade in the US. The game’s not stood the test of time too well, mostly because this kind of game has come a long way since this kind of pseudo-simulator first came about, and Ace of Aces is clearly from a bygone age of gaming that many gamers don’t play any more. But it still remains a playable and enjoyable instant-action game, though – once you get used to the controls.

More: Ace of Aces on Wikipedia

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