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Cascade Games Ltd
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

Your commanders have placed a spy ship just off the enemy coast to monitor one of their radar stations. The enemy (the Ruskies, no doubt) have quite understandably got a bit narked about this, and have sent out one of their planes to get rid of it! Naturally you're the only one with the experience (and stupidity) to sort it out, so pack your bags and off you go.

Sound familiar? Yep, I've seen Top Gun too - and Ace II has obviously been inspired by Ocean's game of the film. It pits you head-to-head against either the computer or another player. The screen is split in half to give an out-of-the-cockpit view for each player. At least I think they're supposed to be views! All I seem to be able to see is the ground, the sky and occasionally the odd target Which is a bit of a step back from the rolling hills and trees of ACE I I'm afraid.

The aim of the game is quite simply to knock out the other plane, and if you're feeling particularly nasty his radar station too You do this with the usual assortment of missiles and machine guns. You can tweak the options to change the skill of the computer's plane and the number of hits needed to shoot it out of the sky.

Whilst reviewing this game I couldn't help thinking that the programmers have gone a little too far in simplifying things. The flight controls are just up, down, left and right, and the plane seems to respond very strangely to some commands. Add to this the featureless cockpit view and a few rough edges here and there, ACE II begins to look somewhat primitive - neanderthal I'd say!

It's more of an arcade game than a simulator - and a pretty duff one at that! On the whole a bit of a let down - if you're into this sort of thing stick with Ace I.

A dreary two player combat game with very limited potential, at a high flying price.