I Laika a lot: Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager coming to iPad

By Owen Faraday 07 Feb 2013 0
Team Laika? How many dogstronauts can I fit in the crew module?


I was personally excited last year when I saw the news that Slitherine/Matrix was making a strategy game with everyone's second-favourite astronaut, Buzz Aldrin - I didn't write about it here because I assumed that the game in question would be PC-only.

Oh no, my friends: Buzz Aldrin is going to race into space on your iPad. This June. Are you fist-pumping? I'm fist-pumping.

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager is due out in June for PC, Mac, and iPad, says Smitherine, and the game places you in charge of a 1950s space agency: recruiting astronauts, researching spacecraft components, running missions, and building facilities. The game will be the first part of a planned three-game series that will include building a manned space station and sending astronauts to Mars. Now, this is my favourite bit of Smitherine's press release:
Create space programs and launch missions inspired by real programs such as the X-15 Space plane and the Sputnik satellite through to the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo manned spacecrafts and more!

You can build Sputnik? Does that mean you get to play as the Soviets, too? If so, I am replacing the entire cosmonaut corps with dogs, and my dogstronauts will conquer the entire solar system. Smitherine has yet to release any images of Space Program Manager - in fact, I think their press release may have slipped out just a little bit early. I'm pestering their PR people for more details right now.

UPDATE: Images have appeared. One inset above, three more at Matrix's website.

Smitherine's full features list for Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager is after the jump.


  • Manage all aspects of your fledgling space agency from the 1950’s through to the Lunar landings in the first episode. Later episodes will add a permanent space station in Earth orbit all the way to the ultimate goal – a Manned Mission to Mars!

  • Create space programs and launch missions inspired by real programs such as the X-15 Space plane and the Sputnik satellite through to the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo manned spacecrafts and more!

  • Research and develop hundreds of mission components from 40 different program categories.

  • Develop your facility with advanced structures and upgrades including the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Mission Control Center and the Observatory.

  • Recruit and train astronaut candidates and assign them to missions.

  • Assemble an elite team of Scientists, Engineers, Technicians and Flight Controllers for the best chance of success.

  • Manage your agency's extensive budget.

  • Components can cause catastrophic failures. You must decide whether to abort or push on with each mission.

  • Vast amounts of research ensure the huge database includes missions that launched and many more that never left the drawing board!

  • In Campaign Mode, manage your agency while pandering to the requirements of government to keep your position as Director!

  • Play in Sand Box mode to manage your budget with no politics involved.

  • Hundreds of components built in 3D and rendered out in exquisite detail allow you to follow the progress of your missions.

  • A historic advisor gives background information on the real missions and astronauts throughout the game.

  • Designed in consultation with Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot and the second human being to set foot on the Moon.


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