Nintendo has been synonymous with being the savior of the video game industry which is true but only to a point. While the home consoles were dead and floating in the water before the NES came out, another segment of the industry was also dying slowly in need of a hero. That segment was the arcade industry that was hit just as hard by Video Game Crash of 1983. That little box of gaming goodness called the NES couldn't help the arcades but there was a very unlikely savior. A hero from Disney, Don Bluth helped create the phenomenon known as Dragon's Lair. The story of Dirk the Daring gave new life to arcades making the quarters fly from the pockets of kids to the machines once again. Realizing the success they had, Advanced Microcomputer Systems began creating a new adventure called Space Ace.
Space Ace, just like Dragon's Lair, follows the traditional story of hero saving the damsel in distress. The hero, Ace, will have to fight through aliens and avoid traps set by Borf to save Kimberly. Ace will also have to overcome the effects of Borf's Infanto Ray which has changed him from the manly Ace to a prepubescent teenager called Dexter.
From the time that Space Ace was first released in 1983, there have been many revisions of the game for various consoles. Today, what once required a laserdisc arcade machine can now be played on the Iphone for almost the same price of a few tries of the game at the arcade in the 80s. Graphics in Space Ace show the power of the Iphone able to play full motion animation without any drawbacks allowing for a perfect recreation of the original game. Even the audio, through the Iphone speakers, brings back fond memories of the arcade version of the game with crisp voices and all sound effects in place.
Those new to Space Ace, I have no idea how you can be, will recognize the style of gameplay. Today they're called QTE (Quick Time Events); you will have to make timely presses to the touch screen. On the screen, there will be a four directional arrows (varying in size in the option screen) and a button icon that represent Ace's gun as well as an "Energize" button which changes Ace's form. Through the game, you will have to pick the right action at the right time. Fail at inputting the right action and you will lose a life. Three lives is the standard but you can choose infinite lives. Difficulty will vary on how quickly you need to input the action with the harder the difficulty requiring faster reaction times. This game also keeps score with faster reaction times getting a higher score that can be shared among people online.
Being that this game was on laserdisc back in 1983 and used full animation, it's not long at all. Frankly, if you wanted to, you can go watch the whole game on one clip on YouTube as the game itself can be completed in ten minutes, or so, if you don't die. To make the game a little longer, there are some times when you can select different paths by not using the "Energize" button and instead playing the level as Dexter instead of switching to Ace. Another way to change up the pace is that to see the full game, you have to play at the hardest difficulty. Going the easy route will only get you a portion of the game.
So the big question is whether or not it's worth the $4.99(at the time of this review) in the App Store. If you're a fan of these Don Bluth games, this game is absolutely worth it since it's such a great port of the original. Everything about it works incredibly well and doesn't have a single issue with it. Nevertheless, the problem with the game is how short it is. Once you beat the game, unless you want to go for the high score, there is very little reason to continue playing.