Air Combat 22 (エアーコンバット22, Eā Konbatto Ni-Ni) is an arcade game developed by Namco released in early 1995. It was built on the company's Namco Super System 22 arcade system board, hence the "22" in the title. Together with the prequel Air Combat, they were the predecessors to the Ace Combat series.
There are 4 modes available to choose at the start of the game: Novice (with and without instructions), Expert, and Dogfight mode. The player's callsign will depend on the chosen mode.
Unlike Air Combat, multiple enemy targets will appear at the same time, and the player will have to shoot them down within the time limit. Additional time is rewarded for each aircraft shot down, as well as completing refueling or landing sequences.
In Novice mode, the missions are fixed and the player aircraft has two guns instead of one.
In Expert mode, mission branching will occur depending on the time remaining after a stage clear.
In Dogfight mode, player has to destroy four enemy aircraft per stage, where they appear one at a time. The game is cleared when 32 stages are completed.
There are three playable aircraft to choose from:
- F-4E Phantom II
- AV-8B Harrier II
- A-10A Thunderbolt II
- B-52 Stratofortress
- B-2A Spirit
- E-2C Hawkeye
- C-2 Greyhound
- C-130 Hercules
- MiG-21bis Fishbed
- F-14A Tomcat
- YF-22 Lightning II
- Su-35 Super Flanker
- The pilot ejects from the aircraft when it is destroyed unlike almost every other Ace Combat game, giving the player a non-violent ending.
- Victor Entertainment released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Namco Video Game Graffiti Vol.18 - VICL-15040) on 25/05/1995.
- A PC port of the game was announced by Namco in May of 1996, along with ports of Rave Racer and Tekken. The games were meant to support PowerVR, a 3D graphics architecture designed by VideoLogic (currently Imagination Technologies) supported by various gaming brands and chosen by Compaq to be used in their Presario personal computer line. However, none of the ports materialized due to budget and time constraints.