Don Bluth’s classic arcade game ace of space just landed in the App Store for a price of $4.99 https://toucharcade.com/2009/05/28/don-bluths-classic-arcade-game-space-ace-arrives-for-iphone/. The launch is sure to delight fans of the original arcade game released in 1984.
ace of space was the follow-up title to the popular dragon’s lair laserdisc game that shared the same style of gameplay.
Like Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace’s gameplay requires the player to move the joystick in the right direction or press the fire button at the right time in order to avoid the various dangers Ace/Dexter faces.
The game offered cinematic-quality animation played on the laserdisc, with the player reacting and timing the movements of the joystick according to the action. ace of space also introduced branching possibilities into the game.
The game looks faithful to the arcade version but uses on-screen arrow buttons to replace the joystick. Davidovicha long moment ace of space fan, was disappointed with the control’s implementation, but found the game to be an otherwise faithful port.
First, I stole more coins from my dad to play and master this game as a kid than I can remember. So I’m obviously a little biased.
It looks and plays exactly like the original version in every way except one – The controls. They ruined everything. There is an on-screen controller, which can be positioned at the bottom left or right of the screen. You can change this configuration so that the up, down, left, or right arrows are essentially out of the way.
Both methods have their drawbacks. If you choose to have the Mini On-Screen Controller positioned at the bottom right or left, your fingers cover much of the on-screen action. If you choose configuration #2 [ed note: pictured above]you can see the whole screen but now you have to be precise when you press those arrows which forces you to look at the arrows and not the action on the screen and with this type of game everything is based on the timing, so it becomes difficult to enjoy the game because you’re always thinking about where your thumbs are.
I would definitely recommend not buying this until they change the controls to allow touching any area on any side of the screen to create action. I hope that makes sense.
As far as the actual game goes, it’s Space Ace. Everyone who has played Dragon’s Lair should enjoy it. It’s a simple tap left, right, up, or down as the screen and controller flash yellow. It advances the storyline. If you fail, the game shows a cut scene of death and you lose a life. Simple and basic – Oh the 80s!
Meanwhile, Big Albie had a better experience with the controls. The game comes with 3 difficulty modes: Cadet, Captain, and Ace. Cadet offers the added help of flashing the button you need to press while in the other modes you have to rely on environmental cues. This video shows a brief part of the gameplay of the first two scenes in Cadet and Captain modes:
[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]
Link to app store: ace of space$4.99