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Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space simulatates the decisions made the respective directors of the American and Soviet space program directors, in an effort to beat their counterparts to the moon. BARIS allowed the players fairly open ended game play towards the end goal of reaching the moon... do you follow history's footsteps? Or do you blaze your own trail?
Allowed to take their space program in any direction they wish, the player ultimately has total control of almost all aspects of their space program, from rudimentary base building, to rocket and spacecraft purchase and allocation, to the sorts of missions both manned and unmanned spacecraft take on. There is also a healthy amount of micromanagement available (and necessary) for success, even allowing the player to select individual astronauts, even going as far as rating astronaut chemistry within individual flight crews. Also, players can go down paths not travelled by history; for example, players may select re-usable entry vehicles as a primary spacecraft (i.e. shuttles), a direct ascent (the rocket itself lands on the moon), or even making the attempt using a 2-person spacecraft.
Finally, BARIS was ahead of it's time in both graphics and sound, using an uncommon amount of both (crude) FMV and pre-recorded audio to immerse the player in their missions, especially in pre-CD-ROM days. There was also a special edition CD-ROM, with better FMV, as well as a large amount of historical and education material on the disc.