Preview – Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager

By: Louis Edwards

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Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager is still in beta, but we got to take it for an extended test drive and it is out of this world.

Check out our preview after the jump.

 

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Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager (SPM) is the ultimate game of space exploration. It’s the 1950s and the biggest nations in the world, in an effort to conquer outer space together, have established the Global Space Agency (GSA). You are in charge. It’s your duty to carefully manage the agency’s budget by opening programs, spending R&D funds on improving the hardware, recruiting personnel and astronauts and launching space missions in this realistic turn based strategy game.

While the game is said to be turn based, it’s more season based. Each ‘turn’ you’ll have a set budget to work with in order to hire folks for R&D, mission control and the most important people, the guys with the guts to pilot your rockets, the astronauts. You start out with a bare bones complex that is in dire need of buildings, employees and upgrades. You’ll have to manage your budget wisely and beware, if you run into the red at the start of a new season, you will be canned. Each employee has a base salary that they will be paid for each season, and that will add up quickly. Add in the cost of R&D and for opening the missions, and you better learn to micromanage that checkbook.

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Your base budget remains constant for your first four years as the manager, but after that your budget is based upon an evaluation of your work and how well you met your goals. Money is the key to success, but politics is the key to more money. Pander to the politicians and build them what they want and your budget will grow accordingly. Ignore what they want and your budget will shrink so small that the janitors may have to be laid off (not really but you get my point).

The game is still in beta but you can actually purchase the early access editions now. They are offering 3 Tiers in the Early Access Program:

  • Mercury Tier - $19.99 for the digital version of the beta supplied immediately and updated throughout, private beta forum access to report issues and discuss the game with the dev team and other early adopters and your name in the beta tester credits.
  • Gemini Tier - $34.99 includes everything in the Mercury Tier plus a boxed copy of the game at final release (usually $44.99) which includes a personalized disk with your name and serial number plus a full colour manual/art book with a collection of gorgeous renders for the game.
  • Apollo Tier - $99.99 includes everything in the Gemini Tier plus your name and photo in the game as one of the SET personnel, a flight controller or an astronaut and the game sound track in MP3 format. Instead of a beta tester credit you will be listed as a contributor. This option will not be available post release. More information on this Tier is available HERE.

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The game isn’t fully ready for deployment, but we can see where they are going, and space sim fans will enjoy the depth and the vehicle modeling of this game. With the help and guidance of Buzz Aldrin, developer Polar Motion has done a great job so far. We can’t wait to see the finished project.

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