The player takes the role of a Freedom Fighter who has to destroy five targets, which includes: the Vinsk, teh CB-53 Bomber, El and two cliff fortresses. During each mission the player must battle enemy jets, choppers, submarines, jeeps, parachute bombs and several other different enemies. When the player shoots either the spinning fighters, small flying helicopters or the mines on the final mission, the player will earn a power-up that can then be used to upgrade or downgrade their firepower. The game includes three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal and Hard. The player cannot complete the game if they play on the easy setting.
Years ago, an evil militaristic organization called N.A.C developed a huge laser emitter, called "EL". It was capable of gradually destroying the Earth's ozone layer. This, of course, posed a great threat to all life on the planet and cast a shadow of fear that went to the far corners of the Earth. In the year 1999, (where was I when this happened?) the N.A.C began an all-out fight against all the countries in the world. At first, each nations Self-Defense forces valiantly stood their ground against the most formidable adversaries, eventually they proved to be no match of the sheer power and size of the enemy. However, just as all seemed lost, the "Freedom Fighters" appeared. They weren't officially attached to any one nation, so they secretly deployed to clash with the unsuspecting enemy forces.
Aerial Assault was originally released for the Sega Master System in 1990. The game was also released on the Sega Game Gear handheld game console in 1992.