ACE lets you fly an unnamed plane in an unnamed country, as only pilot to fly your multipurpose attack fighter in defense for your country.
The map suggests a communist invasion on the Southeast shores of the USA, but no ingame datails are given.
In ACE you can opt for 1 or 2 players, in two player games one being the pilot and the other the weapons officer, targetting and shooting the missiles.
For the time it was released, ACE was remarkably advanced. Gameplay was dynamic as enemy units did conquer land and eventually (unless the player prevented this) overran airbases.
The game featured both air to air missions, ground attack and sea attack missions, night flying, summer and winter and different plane loadouts.
On top of that, not only could the player land to be refueled and rearmed by landing on one of his 3 bases, he could also tank mid-flight by flying to a passing propeller tanker plane and subsequently aiming his automatically extended probe in the para-drogue, a feat which needed quite some practice - even more than landing.
After getting air supremacy and detroying all enemy tank divisions (consisting of a number of AFVs, like tanks and SAMs) the player had to defeat an incoming follow-up invasion fleet, accompagnied by a new horde of enemy fighters. If those were defeated, the home land was saved.