Released by Cinematronics in 1984, Space Ace is an action-based interactive movie arcade game. Space Ace is very reminiscent of its predecessor, Dragon's Lair, published just four months previously. Both games were animated by Don Bluth, an ex-Disney employee, and made full use of laserdisc technology to overcome graphical limitations of traditional arcade games, which generally illustrated characters as sprites. The comparatively large storage space of a laserdisc allowed these games to resemble an actual cartoon, with gamers attempting to move the joystick or press a button at just the right moment within an animated sequence to avoid sudden death. This forced players to memorize action sequences so they could react at the proper time. Space Ace, however, added several modifications to the original gameplay in Dragon's Lair, often allowing players a choice between multiple paths through a level and providing three varying skill levels ranging in difficulty from easy (Cadet) to hard (Ace).
Space Ace spawned several ports to home consoles such as the Super Nintendo and the Phillips CD-i, but none were as successful as the arcade version. A sequel, Space Ace II: Borf's Revenge, was also released for the PC. In 1984, a short-lived animated television series based on the game appeared for 12 episodes on CBS.