Flames are shooting out of the windows. They're almost reaching the roof where the last few inhabitants have fled to. The crying and screaming can hardly be heard through the crashing sounds of more and more of the buildings support structure being eaten away by the flames. The helicopter lowers a rope through the dense smoke and pulls them up to safety one by one.
Has it ever occured to you that none of Maxis' classic Sim games are actually simulations in the strict sense? Well, OK, of course they are, but only in the way that all computer games are simulations: they simulate something, like a city, a planet or an ecological system. I guess that makes Monkey Island a simulation, too.
With the advent of new technologies comes a time of innovation, a time when pioneers set out to explore the potential of the latest inventions. Red Baron is remarkable in this concern because it is not only about the early days of a new kind of warfare, but because it was in itself one of the first dedicated combat flight simulators for home computers set in this era. And so it helped to lay down the basics of the genre just like the historical biplanes in it did for the aerial combat. A very fitting combination so to speak which gives the game a timeless appeal: Entering this world of rough 3D graphics and simplistic flight models seems to have a lot in common with taking off in one of those fragile flying machines of WWI. But let us take a look at how exactly this works to the game’s (dis)advantage and what else makes it a classic.