I thought i had exhausted my knowledge of difficult games, but it seems i had forgotten one. And it's a real gem. Gems being both nice and hard...Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space
This time i'm not going to ramble on about this strategy game that places you in charge of the US or USSR space program during the cold war. The Docking Module
does a better job of it anyway. I will say that if you thought FTL was cruel and loved to deal you a crap hand, just wait until you play Buzz... Everything you build towards is allways, allways placed at higher and higher risk. All the manned missions are heart-stoppers because it only takes a tiny bit of shitty luck to put the succes of the mission and the survival of the crew in question. Failures and setbacks are heartbreaking, esp. when you get so badly derailed there's no hope of recovery. sigh
The great part of the game is that you aren't limited to the US side. Playing the soviets is interesting because for the most part, their space program is lesser known. Not only that, but reaching the moon is an objective that can be achieved in 4 different craft, each requireing a different approach to the final mission. The game also kindly keeps track of your various achievements. And failures. There will be failures.
It's sad sometimes to grab the lead (the way the US did) and see the soviets rush and cut costs (the way they did) and lose so many people. Between the two, the USSR does have a better start on the historical model, but their equipment has lower max. reliability to complement the lower price tag.
The game is old, 20 years now being released waay back in 1993, but fortunately it's well designed and doesn't have a bad or difficult to use GUI. It's a strategy game so you can forgive the outdated graphics, and if you try hard you can forgive the cheesy music as well. It was pretty much the best DOS was capable of at the time. The gamplay and the quality of the product still lives though. You might lose a few nights to it. Enjoy.
Some screenshots here: http://games.softpedia.com/progScreenshots/Race-Into-Space-Screenshot-93401.html
There are three different copies available. Of the originals, the floppy is easier to play because the buzz.bat file can be dragged and dropped onto DOSBox and easily started. The CD-ROM version is superior but a bit of a pita to install. I have attached some install help for those nostalgic nerds who wish to install it. The remake is obviously superior to both since it was released in 2011. Take your pick.Original DOS floppy version
: courtesy of Home of the Underdogs
.Original DOS CD-ROM version
: courtesy of ISO-ART (scroll down the page to find the download links).Open Source remake
: courtesy of the SourceForge team.
The Open Source version is free. The Originals are copyrighted but no longer sold. The CD-ROM version may be downloaded/shared legaly as long as it is free
. It is NOT released into Public Domain.