Red Baron (1990)
An approachable but challenging 1990 World War I combat flight sim, straddling the line between action and simulation, which was followed seven years later by a multiplayer-equipped sequel.
Tim: Until hardcore combat flight sims simulate pilot training programmes as assiduously as they simulate flying machines, there will always be room in my life for light flight fare like the brilliant Red Baron. Using precious few polygons, colours and sounds Dynamix created WWI sky skirmishes that, twenty-seven years on, still challenge, persuade and exhilarate.
The thrill of encountering an enemy ace… the chilling realisation that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew… the panic of fleeing for friendly lines in a crate badged with oil and blood… Red Baron provides almost everything the fancier Great War flight sims that came after it provide, yet does so without overwhelming you with key strokes or testing your patience with long cockpit sojourns.
Today too many of the teams behind pop flight games assume that more kills equals more fun, and that inter-mission intermissions can only be made interesting through onerous ahistorical aircraft upgrade sessions. Dynamix make you work bally hard for every plugged Pup and downed Dr.I and reserve customisation rights for the lucky few who manage to attain the rank of captain. One of PC simulation’s most gratifying experiences is flying over RB’s Western Front in a hard-earned ‘personal aircraft’ decorated in a gaudy livery of your own devising.