Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Twenty Bucks? Sold!!"

Going back over twenty years and trying to find old games to play and review on is hard to do, especially when they’re a vector style game that is relatively rare. Having found one of these machines at a garage sale, I honestly don’t believe that the guy selling it knew the overall value of the machine. For twenty bucks, I bought the machine, loaded it into my truck and brought it home, only to find that the machine itself was still in excellent shape and still playable with a little work!

-The Game Play-

The game play of Red Baron is pretty much what you would expect to find in a flight simulator with plenty of enemies and objects to shoot. I’m really not sure what the storyline is about, because the cabinet came with little or no instructions. For the most part, you spend your time roving through the air just looking to set your sights on something that is worth shooting. You’ll come across targets like pillboxes, pyramids and other planes in the air, all of which give you a point bonus for shooting them down.

The hardest part of playing the game in all honesty, is knowing just what you can shoot and where to go. Because of the extreme age of the machine, I had a hard time just trying to figure out what direction I was going in. Anyone who gets a chance to play this will probably find the same troubles, because with the vector visuals that you have, it’s hard to tell just what it is that you’re shooting at and what direction that you’re going in.

Control really isn’t much of an issue, simply because you have a little joystick that allows you to point the front of your plane in a direction and fly to it. You’ll find that the firing of the game is done with a simple button press and that enemies really don’t have much advanced skills, so you won’t be dog fighting too hard with the computer. Advanced moves and high-flying tricks aren’t needed here, so anyone of any skill level should be able to pick the game up and simply play with it!

-The Visuals-

The visuals that you find here are simple with the vector style graphics monitor. Basically what you’re looking at is a black and white screen where the images pop up in different areas and you can shoot at them. A targeting sight is there, but it doesn’t do much to help you figure out just where you’re aiming. Backgrounds are kept simple, though the scrolling part of the game lets you imagine that you’re actually moving your plane with the direction of the landscape! All in all, simple yet effective, thought you might be aching for some serious explosions and otherwise after an hour of play.

-The Audio-

There is a simple track that accompanies you throughout Red Baron, and you’ll find that the only difference that you have in the track is when you score a long ranged hit. A tune plays for a moment when you successfully score one, so you’ll find that this little addition makes the game fun in bits and pieces. The sound effects of the game are simple and quiet, with a soft purr of the plane and some cool minimal effects like the dip of the plane. However, these are limited and you’ll find that the game doesn’t keep up and you’ll be left with very little to listen to!

-The Verdict-

Red Baron is a great attempt at a flight simulation game that is over twenty years old. Created in the old style of vector graphics and with plenty of challenge that keeps raising with each passing stage, you’ll find plenty to do in this ancient game. However, with the lack of enemies and different landscapes as well as the limitations that this game has, you’ll find that there is nothing here that will keep you interested if you’re into the flashy effects and mission based gameplay.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 08/04/02, Updated 08/04/02

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