Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon is the ultimate game of space exploration. It is the mid 1950s and the race for dominance between the US and the Soviet Union is about to move into a new dimension: space.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (227 reviews) - 78% of the 227 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 31, 2014

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May 4

Slitherine lands on Bundle Stars!

Amazing news!

We are happy to announce that Slitherine lands on Bundle Stars!

Starting from today a number of our games will be sold on the Bundle Stars store at a very special discount price!

If you are of a mind to save don’t miss this amazing offer. A whole Slitherine bundle comprising of three different tiers with so many titles at an incredibly cheap price. Three games for 1.99$, seven for 3.99$ and eight for 7.99$!

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The details of the bundle are as follow:

Tier 1: $1.99

- Battle of the Bulge
- Time of Fury
- Pride of Nations

Tier 2: $3.99 (including Tier 1!)


- Vietnam ‘65
- Ravenmark
- Legions of Steel
- Close Combat Panthers in the Fog

Tier 3: $7.99 (Including Tier 1 and Tier 2!)


- Pandora First Contact


The Bundle offer is valid until May 14th!

But it’s not all, folks. Be sure not to miss these amazing discounts on some of our other titles:

Battle Academy – 75% off!
Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front – 75% off!
Battle of the Bulge – 33% off!
Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager – 50% off!
Distant Worlds: Universe – 50% off!
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March 14

Space Program Manager Version 1.6.25 Patchnotes

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager has been updated to version 1.6.25!

1.6.25 Patchnotes
March 7, 2016


• Fixed the way the game handles network disconnects when attempting to upload the game to the PBEM server.
• Added a check in the ‘load game’ screen that prompts the asks the player whether he or she wants to delete all except the last 5 autosave files if there are more than 20.
• Added maintenance cost for mission components and rocket programs in the management dialogs.
• Added program maintenance cost in the ‘open program’ confirmation pop-up.
• Improved the usability of the program details dialog by making the white text black.
• Added RD difficulty factor for all mission components in the ‘programs details’ screen.
• Fixed the initial reliability in the ‘programs details’ screen so that it’s computed taking into account the reliability transfer.
• Employees who are ill can no longer be sent to advanced training while unavailable.
• The game will no longer allow players to close an opened program if there are pending scheduled missions.

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Reviews

“Definitely lives up to the predecessor in both feel and game play”
8.1/10 – Space Sector

“With Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager, simulation fans will actually find something new and refreshing and an excellent new take on space-related simulation titles.”
7.75/10 – Chalgyr's

“I simply recommend that players who have any predisposition for the heroic or romantic or scientific should try this particular manager out.”
The Wargamer

About This Game

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon is the ultimate game of space exploration. It is the mid 1950s and the race for dominance between the US and the Soviet Union is about to move into a new dimension: space. Take charge of the US or Soviet space agencies - your duty is be the first to the moon. Carefully manage your budget by opening programs, spending R&D funds on improving the hardware, recruiting personnel and launching space missions in this realistic turn based strategy game.

Road to the Moon features the race to the Moon, the historical event that started in the early 1960s and that ended in July 1969, after the successful completion of the Apollo 11 mission.

The game features both a campaign and a sandbox mode. In campaign mode, you will be able to play as the Director of either NASA or the Soviet Space Agency in order to beat the other side to be the first on the Moon. You can also lead the Global Space Agency (GSA), an fictional space agency that combines programs from all the major space agencies in the world . In the GSA campaign, you will need to address the requests and short-term goals issued by government, and is geared towards those players who prefer a game experience focused on exploration instead of competition. Alternatively, all three space agencies feature a Sandbox mode, which provides a more open-ended experience and allows you to try out different approaches without any political pressure.

You will be able to develop dozens of programs. Some examples include the X-15 and the PKA space planes, the Sputnik satellite, the Mercury, Voskhod, Apollo and Soyuz manned spacecraft and the Mars Viking probe. You are not limited to missions that did launch, as as the game also allows you to try out many concepts that were planned but that never left the drawing board. For example, instead of sending men to the Moon using the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) approach used by Project Apollo in the late 1960s and early 1970s, you will be able to rewrite history and use either the alternative Gemini Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) or Gemini Direct Ascent (DA) schemes. The number of options available ensure every game will be different and there is huge replay value.

To verify its accuracy and authenticity, the game, is being developed in consultation with Dr. Buzz Aldrin, former U.S. Air Force combat pilot (66 missions in Korea) and NASA astronaut, who took part in the first Moon landing mission and became the second human being to walk on the Moon.

If you have any interest in space exploration and the events that transpired during the 'Race to the Moon', this is a game you just do not want to miss!

Features


  • 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.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Windows Server 2008/2003
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB Video RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum screen resolution: 1366x768
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS: Mac OS 10.6+
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.33GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (227 reviews)
Recently Posted
chrisDakiwi
( 48.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Great update to a classic, enjoy and always come back to it to see how i can do things differently, a shame no new development but devs are responsive if you do come across bugs. Reccomended to any space fan who likes turn based stratagy type games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
meraco
( 37.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 19
I like it. the game plays very much like the old race into space version back in the day.
Although I do appreciate the sandbox feature in this iteration. A more relaxed pace with a fresh new look.
Since I started playing I have been watching movies that inspire. Such as Apollo 13, Space cowboys, etc...

Not for everyone, but many of the old BARIS guys will love it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Irishsaint
( 14.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
I'm not the best person to be reviewing games, but I have to say this game is amazing. I love it. I hope people give it a try!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DragoFire
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
great remake of classic space race
Helpful? Yes No Funny
animalshadow
( 15.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Interesting game, and first one where I got all achievements :D

In campaign mode game feels like rush to the moon as fast as possible and achievements give you some changellenging goals, which feels really exciting. In game are some moments where play on high stakes. For example trying to make launch of not properly tested rocket or use of untested Module in more advanced mission cause you have to do it right now or you'll lose(in terms of achievements) which results in success percentage penalty and high adrenaline.

What game really needs - more modes or competitive bold goals outside of moon landing, cause now when you figured out fastest way to reach moon then there's nothing to do.

Dark side of the Buzz Aldrin SPM is that it feels unfinnished, not full of bugs and etc. but game leaves a feeling that Developers planned to add more content, much more than game has right now.

Anyway, game is great and will provide you with guaranteed 10+ hours of interesting gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kramp.christian
( 12.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 5
This game is the unofficial successor to Buzz Aldrin's Race to the Moon for MS-DOS which I loved to play because as a space-enthusiast there weren't enough games about the race to the moon on the market. So I like to compare today's gameplay with the prior game. Generally does it look better, but it's sometimes unorganized.

The space center is a bit chaotic and buildings like the headquarter, VEB, SET, mission control and co. are less visible on a first look than earlier. The game reduces the locations for the bunch of data. You simply have a lot of menus hidden in the buildings and sometimes it takes too much time to go from A to C and back. This is the victim of a tablet-strategy I think.

But the old game on DOS had a better atmosphere. Although the videos were ugliers in earlier times, these old media from NASA and Soviet archives transferred the feeling of being the director of a space agency during cold war. Sure, the drawings are fine (although I can't skip as I did with a click in Race to the Moon), but it's fine. More disgusting are the names and photographs of astronauts, engineers and controllers. Names are too mixed, photos too new. Honestly, in the 60s it is really unlikely to have an Afro-American astronaut in space (unfortunately).

Sometimes missions are less dependant on the reliability than expected. I could play the same mission x-times and still loose despite of a reliability of 90%. This is a huge disadvantage. And I'd like to do more after landing on the moon. This game isn't Race to the Moon, but Space Program Manager and so I want to do more, maybe rebuild Skylab or its Soviet counterpart.

However, I'd recommend it because the challenge with the AI is great and the background, the race between the USA and the USSR is still fantastic and dramatic.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
zoso8203
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
I loved Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space. I was hoping for a graphically more up-to-date version of BARIS. However, I find this version of the game is not nearly as much fun. In the new version, you must manage the abilities and morale of not only your astronauts, but also your researchers and managers. I find this makes the game much more tedious and takes away from the scientific and engineering focus of the original board game and BARIS.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Morsealworth
( 8.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
I never reached over the maximum prestige. Want to know why?

This game's description of political influence of Soviet Space Program looked so good I was scared I'll be kissed by Brezhnev if I do.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Atratusia
( 46.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 26
Multiplayer is cumbersome. Both players should be able to play at the same time. Despite that, the game is nice and suspenseful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
colettemcmullen32
( 33.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 18
What a cool simulation really enjoying this one
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
I like it. the game plays very much like the old race into space version back in the day.
Although I do appreciate the sandbox feature in this iteration. A more relaxed pace with a fresh new look.
Since I started playing I have been watching movies that inspire. Such as Apollo 13, Space cowboys, etc...

Not for everyone, but many of the old BARIS guys will love it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
great remake of classic space race
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
114 of 127 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Very much a modernized version of Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space (The DOS game, not the board game that inspired it); with a few slight twists to the formula, such as that you assign mission controllers in addition to astronauts to missions; which may affect the performance of the mission. Research is also setup in that you hire individual scientists with stats and assign them to different projects which will affect how fast R&D is completed on those projects. Buildings are upgradable as well, but in my limited playtime thus far it seems to only affect how many personnel you can hire and how many programs you can run at a time.

All in all, this game will feel very familiar to BARIS players, but there are enough differences to make it feel like a "new" game; especially since there's a third Space Agency.

If you liked BARIS, this is probably worth a shot at the right price point (How much would you pay for BARIS with updated graphics?).

If you like KSP and want a break from manually piloting and just want to run a Space Agency; this is worth a shot.

If you're on the fence, go find a copy of BARIS and play that and if you end up asking yourself if you'd want a slightly more modern version. Buy this.
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155 of 184 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Torn about how to review this. Ultimately, since there's a lot of fair very positive comment, I decided to come down on the negative side.

Having beaten all three campaigns, I have to admit, this game feels less like a management simulation and morel ike a puzzle game, to me. It becomes less about how to achieve a given space program, or set of them, and more about puzzling out the exact order of programs and rockets to research in what order in order to meet funding reviews and other goal deadlines.

While that can be neat, and there's more flexibility in lower difficulty settings, I don't feel like I got the game I was hoping to when I bought it. I was imagining something with a little more freedom to it, rather than a set script that needs to be refined and tweaked to improve things with each playthrough.

When things start going wrong, it's possible to get put into a death spiral with no hope of recovery, and without the player being aware of this. One bad round of funding reviews can lose you the game four hours later, and that's a gameplay mechanic I really don't enjoy. The interface - though I did learn my way around it - is inflexible and hard to navigate, with tasks like checking on a program's research requirements potentially taking up to a half-dozen clicks from one research item (space suits, say) to the next (figuring out which rocket will go with that). It's not easy to check which rockets go with which missions - again, lots of clicking - and, in general, this is a game that's hard to break the ice with.

The mission screen playthrough, showing each mission as it launches, goes through the motions, etcetera, is well put together, but failures don't have special animations, and there's literally nothing to do except watch what may ultimately be a very long and boring cut-scene.

The underlying mechanics are good, the basic concept of gameplay is good, the execution is very, very spotty.

I enjoyed my time with it, but I don't think I'll be playing it ever again after binging on it this weekend.
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77 of 96 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
I tried to like this game. Heck, it's subject matter I really enjoy and I like the idea of managing my own space program. Especially when I can have my own alt-universe Space Program where we land on the moon with a Gemini capsule.

The underpinnings of the game are very good. I like the way the programs and the goals work together - as you reach milestones, certain things get easier. Your scientists have a variety of skills, and you can either work with the folks who are bright and raw, or perhaps make use of a science team that won't accept training readily but can give you good returns now. Funding based on the prestige of your program is also quite nice. The weakest part is the opposition AI, which is not very strong. I very much felt like I was playing against a set of escalating milestones instead of an actual opponent of any sort (though admittedly, there's little visibility in to what the opposing AI is doing on its turn).

The biggest problem though, is that this game's interface is terrible. I found myself never wanting to have more programs open than I absolutely had to. Juggling my scientists and what they were working on was extremely frustrating, and keeping track of what programs still had goals left to achieve was not easy. At the end of the day, I finished the NASA campaign and it was so clunky I had no desire left to try the Soviet one. The assists they provided were OK - you could filter and resort your list of scientists, but there was no good way to side-by-side compare your list of all your scientists with all the possible research they could be doing. It was a lot of manual slot-by-slot optimization of my science team, which was really tedious.

Bottom line, the interface is not up to snuff for a management game which is a damn shame. The game was fun: I felt like I was making progress with every milestone I reached, and the game forces you to make decisions when you're close to your prestige review: do you launch a risky mission and maybe get more funding, or hold off because you don't want to risk a disasterous funding cut? It's a tough sell at $20, and a straight up no at full price.

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31 of 32 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
32.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2015
Very good game. Very immersive, and we learn a lot about the space programs up to moon landing.

My only regret, that is stops at moon landing. I wanted to go on with space stations, space shuttles, landing on mars, and why not send an Orion type ship to the distant stars.

I also wish it would be possible to have one big game, that starts with either USA or USSR, then much later in the game to be able to ally to Europe or join an international space agency, and not have a choice of an international agency from the begining or to have to stick with USA or USSR up to the end, wich is not realistic anyway. It should be possible to play the game in an historical way, or choose hypothetical science fictions option, but it should still be possible to play it in an historical more or less accurate way to make it more realistic and immersive.

The game is also for immersive reason lacking the country events video scenes like there is in movies about that matter, with crowds, presidents and stuff like that.
The game could also be more complex, with for example taking into account the building of the vehicules, and not have an "instant vehicule build".

So I recommend it, especially on sale, but I wish there would be a new version with much more, and if done well I would hopefully buy the new version.
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48 of 61 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
This is a modern remake of an old title called Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space. You play as the director of the space program of either the US or the Soviet Union during the Space Race from the mid-50s to the end of the 60s. The goal: land an astronaut/cosmonaut on the Moon before the other side.

The original game was known for being very difficult, and the remake continues that tradition. You must research rockets and payloads for unmanned and manned missions and put them into space, all the while keeping tabs on the opposition. Sometimes you'll have to take chances that might end up killing your astronauts and setting back your programs. The game is about taking those risks, and keeping your eyes on the goal.

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager is a good, but frustrating game. Buy it if you like bashing your head against a wall, and if you relish the feeling of achievement once you bash THROUGH that wall.
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43 of 55 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
This is a fun and gripping way to get to know more about space exploration. The music and visuals are good, the menus are intuitive, and the learning curve is eased by hints. It took me about half an hour to understand what I was doing fully and connect it all together. The management systems feel familiar, having played games like Theme Hospital and Sim City. You can balance things in dynamic ways, rushing programs and taking risks, hiring talent and spreading it around, or focusing on one safe project. This isn't so much about the gameplay, as a lot of my interest is in getting to know real space missions in an interactive way. It's engaging to develop the projects over several turns, and to watch the visuals as you see if the mission is a success or failure at each stage it goes through.
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65 of 92 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Русская версия обзора ниже.

I loved BARIS - that's why I bought BASPM. If you loved BARIS too - don't repeat my mistake.
The game, at first glance looks attractive, but is proving to be uncompleted. Compared with the original has many new features - Mission Control Center crew, design engineers, beautiful cartoon-like illustrations (although I would prefer cinematics, as in the original) and a detailed mission plan. In fact - all this does not work or does not work as it should. Much point-and-click work with staff's skills, mission plans can't be changed, it is decorative element, and pictures are not so many and they are become boring soon. AI is inadequate and artificially amplified. For example, AI successfully launches manned Moon-transiting mission, though never launched man into orbit. The best part of BARIS - mission tracking - becomes hopelessly flawed. If in the original, when a malfunction occurs, was a chance for the partial success of the mission, and sometimes even we were given a choice - in BASPM everything is "grown-up". Broken toilet? The astronauts died! You have all modules and the staff rated the reliability of 95%+? You're a loser, mission failure, all died. Are you serious? Developers, play the original, and correct this "creation"! I am ashamed that this game named in honour of Buzz Aldrin.

Я любил BARIS - именно поэтому я купил BASPM. Если вам тоже нравился BARIS - не повторяйте мою ошибку.
Игра, на первый взгляд выглядит притягательно, но на поверку оказывается что она не доделана. По сравнению с оригиналом ввели много нового - наземную команду поддержики, инженеров-конструкторов, красивые рисованные картинки (хотя я бы предпочел видеовставки, как в оригинале) и подробный план миссий. На деле - всё это не работает, или работает не так как надо. С персоналом добавилось много тыканья-прокачки умений, план миссий изменять нельзя, он исключительно для антуража, а картинок мало и они быстро приедаются. АИ неадекватен и искуственно усиляется. Например, успешно запускает пролетную пилотируемую миссию к Луне, хотя так и не запустил человека на орбиту. Самая главная изюминка BARIS - отслеживание миссии - безнадежно испорчена. Если в оригинале при каких-либо неполадках оставался шанс на частичное выполнение миссии, и, иногда нам даже давали выбор - тут всё "по-взрослому". Сломался сортир? Космонавты погибли! У тебя все модули и персонал с рейтингом надежности 95%+? Обломись, провал миссии и все погибли. Вы серьезно? Разработчики, поиграйте оригинал и исправьте свое "творение"! Мне стыдно, что на этой поделке стоит имя Базза Олдрина.
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24 of 24 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
47.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
Pros:
- Unique game play
- Realistic space racing smell of the cold war era
- Very historically aligened with certain reasonable hypothetical missions.
- Lots of management but no tedious micromanagement
- Nice looking UI
- Well balanced diffculty levels
- Devs keep improving the game even after one year of its release

Cons:
- Some details like salary management could use polishing
- Learning curve can be a bit steep (because space projects do have so many aspect to understand before you can manage one even in a simulation game.)

This is a one of its kind gem of SIM/Management genre. The game play is exactly as described in the title - Space Program Management. You do not fly any space craft manually, nor do you get your hands on any parts to assemble one. What you do is management - draw the roadmap of space race for your country (US/USSR), recruit the most talented people of the era, set up goals and projects and beat your opponent to moon.

My favorite part of the game is how it successfully captures the tension you would feel in that position. Each turn (season) you will get reports on the missions (read: progress) your oppenent carried out in alerting red background. Those reports sometimes really make me nervous as beating opponent to certain key milestones can be crucial to my roadmap and the success of the whole program. Another good part is the uncertainty of space missions. However well you prepared, your mission could still blow up right in your face in the very beginning of launching stage. Not to mention you can't afford to get nearly well prepared in the tension of the race a lot of the times.

9.5/10 would be 10/10 once those tiny little things got polished.
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