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Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager: Road to the Moon Go!

By on October 31st, 2014 3:38 pm

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager: Road to the Moon | NASA Headquarters

Today, developer Polar Motion, Slitherine and Matrix Games have officially released their new turn-based strategy and space program simulator, Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager: Road to the Moon.

This release includes the game’s first episode, Road to the Moon. Episode 2 should follow at a later stage and should be about the International Space Station. Episode 3 should complete the experience with a Trip to Mars. The idea is that part 2 and 3 will probably be sold as expansions packs, but that doesn’t seem to be set in stone yet, said Ignacio Liverotti in an interview we did back in May of this year.

We have some first impressions on the game from the time it was in “early access mode”, but they are quite old now (from almost 1 year ago). So, it’s expected that the game may have evolved a lot since then. Of course, we’ll have a proper review for you in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager: Road to the Moon | Program Selection - NASA Headquarters

Here’s the official features list:

  • Three different campaign modes: play as NASA or the Soviet space agency in order to be the first on the Moon or play as the Global Space Agency (GSA) and deal with the short-term objectives issued by politicians.
  • Manage all aspects of your space agencies from their inception in the 1950’s through to the manned lunar landing missions
  • Play the race to the Moon campaign mode against other players using Slitherine’s PBEM system.
  • The Sandbox mode allows you to play as any of the three space agencies and removes all competition restrictions. You will have a fully featured playground in order to try out different approaches to space exploration!
  • Create space programs and launch missions inspired by real programs such as the X-15 Space plane, the Sputnik satellite, the Gemini, Vostok and Apollo manned spacecraft and a lot more!
  • Research and develop dozens of mission components from several program categories.
  • Develop your facility with advanced structures and upgrades including the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Mission Control Centre.
  • Recruit and train astronaut candidates and assign them to missions.
  • Assemble an elite team of Scientists, Engineers, Technicians (SET), Flight Controllers for the best chance of success.
  • Manage your agency’s budget.
  • Mission components have an associated reliability factor and can cause catastrophic failures.
  • Vast amounts of historical research ensure that the game’s huge database features missions that launched and many more that never left the drawing board!
  • A vast array of components built in 3D and rendered out in exquisite detail allow you to follow the progress of your missions via animated sequences.
  • The Buzz-opedia gives background information on the real programs, missions and hardware throughout the game.
  • The soundtrack features a unique playlist for each space agency and numerous tracks for the mission animations.
  • Designed in consultation with Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot and the second human being to set foot on the Moon!

Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager: Road to the Moon is now available for the PC on the Matrix Games store with a 34% discount until November 7th (after buying see here how to redeem a free Steam key). Slitherine/Matrix also announced that every player who buys the game before November 30th will be able to enter a competition and win prizes like a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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  1. DrBalthar says:

    Having now played countless hours of Kerbal Space Program I have severe doubts that a dry economic strategy simulation manager can live up to it. It is just so much more fun to create your own rockets, fly them in every critical step while also managing the missions.

    • Chris Salt says:

      The thing is, KSP and SPM are both from two different genres of game. At a glance, they might appear to be the same, or similar in design, but they really, really aren’t.

      KSP is, well, KSP :p It’s a game where the player controls the design, the missions, so forth and so on.

      SPM is the sequel to Buzz Aldrin’s Race into Space, in spirit if not in name. It is first and foremost, a turn based game that focuses more on the setting and simulation aspects than on player control – think Mount and Blade to Europa Universalis. SPM, and the game it’s based off, are practically digitized board games.

      Both games cover different things within the same theme (space program games), and both do it really well! :D But to choose one over the other would be a mistake in my opinion, since they really go hand in hand.

      • DrBalthar says:

        Although you are right I wonder how the fun and replayibility of SPM is. Having seen some early let’s play videos it stroke me that the amount of influence you can have on the outcome of your actions is rather slim. So it is more like throwing a dice game and that is probably fine as a board game but not sure how well it works as a computer game. I could imagine players just expect a bit more, but then I never played the original Buzz Aldrin Race to Space.

        • Happy Corner says:

          By that logic, the influence you have on the outcome of battles in the Civilization games is nil, too. Once two units throw down, you don’t make any decisions, right? The game just rolls the dice and tells you who won.

          In reality, of course, your influence over a Civilization battle comes elsewhere, from decisions you made earlier in the game. What unit you built, what terrain you moved it to, what promotions you gave it, and so forth.

          It’s a similar way in SPM. Yes, once the launch happens, there’s nothing you can do but hope the dice roll your way.

          But BEFORE that, you have more than “slim” influence over the outcome. How much time and money did you spend training your astronauts and flight controllers? Ideally, you want their skills to be as high as possible, but once they get to a certain level, do you keep training them at a measly +3% improvement a season, or maybe spend the time/money elsewhere?

          Same way with rockets and payloads. Did you pick a rocket that will be easy to research so you can start missions and score prestige ASAP (even though you’ll need to move to a bigger rocket down the line), or are you going to commit to a big rocket right away and blow the extra seasons it’ll take researching it? Do you keep developing your parts until you’re maxed out, or do you take the risk of launching NOW before your rivals get too far ahead (or your current objective expires)?

          I’ll grant that maybe that kind of simulation doesn’t interest you. But don’t say that there’s nothing you can do to influence the outcome.

          As for replayability, there’s more than one path to the moon. That’s one of the most interesting thing about this game, how it doesn’t require you to do the historical Apollo mission, but gives you the option of other, hypothetical projects (like the Gemini Direct Ascent) that never got past the drawing board in real life.

          And if we’re really going to compare SPM and KSP, then I can say something else for this game: at least SPM’s makers didn’t delegate their game’s tutorial to fucking Youtube.

    • IcyMind says:

      is totally different games. Here is more about the decision you make. In KSP the training on kerbals does not affect the outcome of the mission. Here in BUZZ ALDRIN you have to make decisions about where to focus. Don’t get me wrong I love KSP, but buzz aldrin is something else. Love the game , looking foward episode 2 3.

  2. Gary says:

    I look forward to the Space Sector review of this game.

  3. JohnR says:

    Yes, I’m very curious to see what SS and others have to say about this one. Haven’t seen a whole lot of buzz (forgive pun) on the web about it yet. I know a lot of gamers are probably turned off by the fact that you don’t kill things or blow things up in this game, well at least if they happen it isn’t in anger. lol I still like what Doctor Who said about how guns and bombs aren’t the answer to everything. ;)

  4. Hudson says:

    Happy Corner you are so wrong it’s funny
    this is a remake of an older game puRE and simple

    The only user review in Meta Critic right now sums it up: the game is a wash

    • DrBalthar says:

      That pretty much was my impression I got from the let’s play videos I’ve seen even the more recent ones that used the final version of the game. Doesn’t look very appealing I will wait for the review on this site but I have given up much hope that it will change my mind.

    • Happy Corner says:

      What are you talking about? Remake? Metacritic?

      How the fuck does that prove me wrong or even have anything to do with the point I made? (Which, since you obviously lack reading comprehension skills, was NOTHING along the lines of “This is not a remake” or “This is a game EVERYONE will love!”)

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