Space Ace (iPhone) Review


Do you have an Ace in your pocket?

We here at OCmodshop love video games.  Some of us (such as myself) grew up and experienced the 80s arcade scene first hand.  Even today, most Gen Xers fondly remember Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace.  Those games were absolutely revolutionary at the time, and were so far on the bleeding edge of technology that you could lose a pint of blood just by standing near one of them.

There have been many, many, MANY republications of these LaserDisc games over the years.  There was even a 256-color roto-scoped animation version for the PC back in the days of the 486.  The experience really wasn’t the same as the original arcade cabinet until DVD finally took consumers by storm.  Digital Liesure leveraged this technology to revive Dragon’s Lair, Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, Space Ace, and several other laser-disc based games.  They even have recently been released in High Definition BluRay (HD-DVD versions were announced, but cancelled when Toshiba pulled the plug on the competing HD format).

Honestly, I think I’ve played every version of Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace that Digital Liesure has published… and then they went and released Space Ace for the iPhone.

Previous versions of Space Ace like the HD-WMV version reviewed here (BluRay version here) included the original 4:3 format, as well as a new widescreen (16:9 and 16:10) format.  This iPhone version’s resolution is smaller than standard definition, due to the iPhone’s 480×320 pixel screen, and is presented in widescreen 16:10 format.  Note that “reverse pan and scan” must be used to generate a widescreen version from a 4:3 original.

There are a few options when the game loads up.  They are:

  • Attract: Basically runs the original trailer that burned in many an arcade monitor
  • Play: Play the game.  You can choose Cadet, Captain, or Ace difficulty
  • High Scores: Look at the high scores
  • Settings: Go to the settings menu
  • Instructions: Information on how to play

The Settings menu lets you change several options, some of which are unique to the iPhone version.  They are:

  • Vibration: Your iPhone provides tactile feedback
  • Move Beeps: Makes a sound when you press on the controls
  • Infinite Lives: Turn this on if you want to keep playing without starting over
  • Left-Handed: Changes the orientation of the controls
  • Controls: Toggles Small or Large mode