Past wars have the tendency of being romanticised as a clean struggle between upstanding gentlemen. The more modern, the more industrialised the war, the smaller the danger of this happening. World War 1, with its trench and gas horror, is quite clear in this respect. You'd think… until you tilt your view upwards to the sky. It was the very first major war where aircrafts played any role at all. Industrial technology? Virtually non-existent. All those pilots were more daring adventurers than soldiers, weren't they?
The universe of good computer game ideas may be large, but it is nowhere infinite. Ingenious ideas don't grow on trees, but they are rather rare like pearls. So it is not surprising that programmers – and those who wish to become one – often fall back to trusted and tried concepts instead. When one's own creativity is added to it, the original hopefully turns into an original clone. In this gaming universe, one well known means of transport is Space Taxi, which inspired a number of clones.
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.