Ace, Earth's greatest hero, is being attacked by the evil commander Borf. Borf has just kidnapped the beautiful Kimberly, and is is plotting to take over the planet Earth with the help of his dreaded weapon, the Infanto Ray. Ace now must go through treacherous battles to destroy the Infanto Ray, save Earth and rescue Kimberly.
The home computer conversion based on disks were limited to around 40 fast action screens taken from the original laser-disc arcades game. Each screen is lasting for several seconds, and at various points during a scene, Ace will meet a nasty fate unless he correctly judge his reactions. Like Dragon's Lair, the gameplay of Space Ace requires the player to move the joystick in the right direction or press the fire button at the right moment to avoid the various hazards. Each scene will take a good number of attempts to get right, and although there is a save game option, it is quicker to play through he entire sequence again, as the amount of interaction between the cartoon and the player is minimal at each scene. But be advised, to write down the correct movements you've found.
Altough a few improvement to the Dragon's Lair title, gameplay here is rather simple, and as long as you find the correct directions, then the game can be finished in a very short amount of time, which is rather sad. Unfortunately, the gameplay is nothing more than a memory test, and only requires the player to move the joystick in the right direction or press the fire button at the right moment to avoid the various hazards. But the whole presentation (visuals and sound) worth every cent back then, even as a four-disk animated demo!
Note that, along with the floppy disk-based versions for Amiga and Atari ST, ReadySoft issued a CD-ROM version featuring down-sampled video which preserved almost all of the original laserdisc content.
Graphics made this game an absolute joy to watch! The Atari ST version is superb much like the other 16bit conversions. Both animation and coloring are superb, although each scene is running in only 16 colors on screen (as in all other 16bit home-computer conversions). With bags of variety in the perspectives and viewports it makes excellent viewing for a couple of minutes. The animations are based from the laser-disc arcade version. The creation of ex-Disney artist Don Bluth, they look stunning. Animation is fast, colorful and detailed.
The sound track has also been digitized from the arcade game to good effect. All of the effects are sampled, but too often, the fanfares and laser blasts merge into one when a new scene is loaded. In terms of sound quality, the Amiga and Apple IIGS versions are identical, whilst the ST version offers lower quality in samples.