Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space re-creates the thrilling endeavor of trying to lead your country's space program to the moon before a competing superpower does the same. As head of your country's space program you will need to develop all the hardware you need for your spacecraft and make it safe, choose the right persons to send into space and make sure they come back alive. Loaded with lots of historic video clips, and other historic correct items make this game reflect the "Cold War" situation as it should.
As little kids, a lot of us wanted to be astronauts and discover new worlds... now is your chance.
In this game you're the director of either American or Russian Space program. You start with little funds, no technology and a few astronauts. Your goal is to be the first nation to land on the moon. But it's not easy; failures happen, politicians are impatient (just like astronauts) and you're responsible for everything.
The game's system is rather easy to understand. You invest money into rockets, space modules and EVA suits. Also, your task is to plan missions, but it's not as easy as you might think. Should you please Kennedy by sending the first probe to Saturn, or rather invest into safety precautions on Apollo? Will I have time to work on Atlas rocket some more, or should I already launch it so Russians won't be first in space? These are daily worries the director (you) must control.
Atmosphere in the game is very good. When missions are starting, you can see how it progresses step by step - from countdown to landing. In every stage you will see the progress in small graphs below the video display. If you are lucky, everything goes all right, but sometimes you will have a partial failure which usually means the mission will not be a disaster. And when one thing goes wrong, you can expect further trouble such as injured astronauts etc. On rare occasions, a mission with a few minor problems can be completed successfully, but most of the time the outcome is a catastrophic failiure resulting in death of the whole crew. While a mission is in progress, you can hear operators and astronauts talking which really helps in creation of the overall atmosphere.
Although being quite challenging, this game is definitely worth a try since its very entertaining.
Astronauts are very impatient and demand to fly all the time, they live for it! So if you forget about one crew-member, the other members will become frustrated and they will quit after some time.
Sometimes you have to pay for maintaining the same safety level (if you won't pay it will be lowered for this mission). If it's just for one mission then you will encounter partial failiure, but mission should still go on as expected.
Doubtless one of the most original strategy games I've ever played, Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space is a computer simulation of man's greatest adventure, the race to the moon, based on designer Fritz Bronner's own obscure board game Lift Off!. It recreates all the excitement of every space mission using digitized footage from lift-offs, space walks, lunar landings and splashdowns. As Space Director of either NASA or its Russian counterpart, you have at your disposal the entire space inventories of both the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., and can plan and direct every conceivable space mission: sub-orbitals, orbital manned and unmanned; planetary and lunar flybys; LEM tests; lunar passes; lunar orbits; and lunar landings. You get to recruit and train 140 astronauts and cosmonauts and determine which ones have the "right stuff". You determine which space hardware to research and develop and then you actually schedule and launch individual space missions. Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space offers twenty different approaches to the moon. Do you follow history or cut your own path to glory? Make Pete Conrad's dream come true with a Large-Earth-Orbital Gemini lunar pass mission! Make von Braun's Nova pipe dream a reality! Will this United States land on the moon first? Or will the Russians continue to dominate space and plant the red flag on the moon first? The game excellently captures the feel and complexity of 1960s space programs. Do you forego the crucial test missions because you're lagging behind? Or recruit more "green" astronauts? Configure every flight in detail-- from rocket types to flight plans.
Overall, Buzz Aldrin is an incredible experience that's also educational, but be warned that it is an *extremely difficult* game-- even with the best rockets and astronauts money can buy, you will experience frequent mission failures that seem unreasonable. I bought this game when it came out in 1992, then the CD-ROM version in 1993 (which contains 600MB of rare historical footage, and is worth a find), and the game never left my hard drive since. For strategy gamers and space enthusiasts alike, this is a keeper.
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