Zachtronics Industries is back with an ambitious new design-based puzzle game. Take on the role of a Reactor Engineer working for SpaceChem, the leading chemical synthesizer for frontier colonies. Construct elaborate factories to transform raw materials into valuable chemical products!
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (38 reviews) - 86% of the 38 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (3,177 reviews) - 90% of the 3,177 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 2, 2011

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About This Game

Zachtronics Industries is back with an ambitious new design-based puzzle game. Take on the role of a Reactor Engineer working for SpaceChem, the leading chemical synthesizer for frontier colonies. Construct elaborate factories to transform raw materials into valuable chemical products! Streamline your designs to meet production quotas and survive encounters with the sinister threats that plague SpaceChem.

Key features:


  • Over fifty mind-bending puzzles!
  • An original soundtrack by Evan Le Ny, whose music was featured in The Codex of Alchemical Engineering!
  • Twenty challenging achievements!

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP3 / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 300MB
    • Video Card: frame buffer support recommended
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, fully updated
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: frame buffer support recommended
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB
    • Other: Mono 2.6 or later
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (38 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (3,177 reviews)
Recently Posted
int3r
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 2
Fantastic game - its really challenging.
There is only one thing i have to complain about: the german translation.
But its only relevant if you want to read the story-tale; its not reducing the game-fun in any way.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Metal_King_Slime
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Prepare yourself for a headache.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mandelbrot
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
You do not need to know chemistry to play this game. Knowing chemistry will not help you with this game. It will take you a lot of time to get through the huge amount of puzzles available.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shane
( 33.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
Product received for free
Best puzzle game I've ever played.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Arf
( 30.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
monthly realization that im never gonna be an engineer in software form

really good puzzle game tho, if you like machines
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gearheart
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
I'm an hour into this game and I'm already obssessed with it.
It's like my powerplant engineering class without the anxiety.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ahme:d
( 19.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
I thought chess was complex until I tried this.
10/10 would rek my brain again.
seriously though, this game is the hardest I've ever seen and I have seen quite a lot (don't let my steam profile misguide you)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Patrykgazing
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
It's quite a nice ingenious puzzle game :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Penal Injection
( 20.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
Amazing puzzler. Not for the faint of heart.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Escargot Man
( 130.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
SpaceChem is quite possibly my favorite puzzle game, ever.

Its best aspect is that there is no clear-cut, one solution to each puzzle. Instead you're given some starting materials, and it's up to you to make the products. You can make each solution as elegant or convoluted as you want.

Puzzles range from dead easy to brain-melting in the later game. I've been stuck on certain puzzles for days. Some are one screen only, while others require you to manage different reactors with inputs and outputs. It's really awesome to work out a solution using the bare minimum number of reactors possible.

The only part I wish had been done differently are the "boss battles", where sometimes it's difficult to tell exactly what you're supposed to be feeding into reactors and when.

If you enjoy HARD puzzle games, and enjoy optimizing your solutions to beat others on the leaderboards, you owe it to yourself to play SpaceChem. It's fantastic.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
71.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Spacechem is a very original puzzle game. It doesn't ask you to follow the developpers' train of thoughts and find out what they wanted you to do. Instead, you're presented with a problem and have to find your own solution.
This is incredibly satisfying, because anything you try can theoretically work if you think hard enough. Or, you can just start from scratch and try something completely different.
The difficulty curve is perfect, and there are enough levels for everyone to enjoy the game even if you don't make it to the end (the last couple of levels are pretty hard).
Because there's no fixed solution to any problem, the replay value is huge. It becomes staggering when you take in consideration the different leaderboards and how getting a good score in each category requires a completely different approach each time.
One of the best puzzle games I've ever played.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Might be the reasons stopping you from exploring & enjoying this game
First 5 levels
"A bit too simple, is this really fun?"
"Just grade 7 chemistry. Real-life reactions don't work that way. It's more tedious than difficult and I don't see how it's educational."

but the well-written story keeps me going :)

Around level 8 or so
"Woah the difficulty rise is a bit steep. I can't figure it out. I feel dumb & not exactly motivated to solve"

↑ On hindsight that level isn't particularly hard, but this game is minimalistic. Minimalism gives it more possibilities. Also it doesn't give you any clues so you can think independently, explore around freely and have more fun when you discover a certain idiom of symbol arrangement on your own.
The only problem is it might bore you before you "get" this game.
When I just got into this game, I've no idea how certain arrangements are possible---like multiple entries within 1 run, or overlapping pipelines, so it takes a long time to arrive at the solution---outside the box thinking takes a bit of wrestling.

Once I get to the 3rd & 4th planet, this game is pretty fun.
It's challenging. It's getting addictive. If I beat a level but my solution isn't exactly neat, I'll replay the level.
The game also starts showing more variations in gameplay.

The mid and later portions of this game really gets difficult and tedious.
I'm not there yet. I'll see if it loses me anywhere, or if it'd be both brain-wracking and fulfilling fun at the same time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Product received for free
SpaceChem is a puzzle game that combines the chemistry with physics, is very entertaining as you spend a little time thinking about how to solve the puzzle that'sto come.

The music is very well, ideal for the theme of the game itself. It makes you relax and causes concentration ideal for these levels. It also has a story behind that is fun. It is definitely a good game, not playable for all but if you want to do a reflection.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Very good puzzle game or rather problem solving game. Warning: some of the later puzzles can take multiple hours to complete. It does feel incredibly rewarding though. I recommend it to those that want to unleash the engineer inside them.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
I'm an hour into this game and I'm already obssessed with it.
It's like my powerplant engineering class without the anxiety.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
You do not need to know chemistry to play this game. Knowing chemistry will not help you with this game. It will take you a lot of time to get through the huge amount of puzzles available.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Really cool puzzle game with a ton of depth.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
772 of 903 people (85%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
127.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 21, 2014
SpaceChem is one of my favourite games of all times, a 10/10, yet I am not sure I can recommend it. You need to be a particular kind of person to get into this game. And if you are not, you will definitely not enjoy this game.

This game is hard, very hard. I managed to finish it, but one of the last levels took me 2 weeks to solve, probably about 30 hours of trial and error, for just 1 level. It had me working with a pencil and a sketch pad as I sketched out little subsections of possible solutions. This is the only game ever that did that. The joy of finally solving it, was incredible, naturally, but you have to be able to put in the effort. Looking at a problem and going "ah, I'll just look up the solution on Youtube" is not the way to play this game.

At some point, every puzzles seems impossible, that is, until you solve it. And then the next seemingly impossible puzzle is presented to you. You can approach this in two ways, as the very best puzzle-challenge you will ever play, or as a game that makes you feel stupid. If you are the latter kind of person, do not get this game, obviously.

So, if you are looking for a genuine challenge that will push your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to its limits, if you are tenacious and willing to be immersed so deeply that you'll start dreaming up solutions while you sleep, this is hands down the very best puzzle game you will ever play. If you are not, then this is definitely not the game for you.

Do I recommend this game? YES, just not to everyone.
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179 of 200 people (90%) found this review helpful
160 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2015
It's hard
It's harder than Dark Souls
It's harder than rocket science
But once you beat very hard level, it feels better than sex
Remember, kids. Your brain is the largest erogenous zone
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105 of 113 people (93%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 23, 2015
I hated chemistry in school. You know that meme about math problems? The one about word math problems and the answer is "Purple because aliens don't wear hats". That one. That is how I felt and still feel about chemistry, engineering, and math. I have no idea where I even got SpaceChem, because I sure as hell wouldn't have bought it, unless I now have a sleep-buying condition I don't know about. At any rate, SpaceChem sat in my library for a very long time and it was only because I wanted the trading cards did I fire it up.

It sat playing in the background for a little bit, and then I noticed the soundtrack. Such an elaborate soundscape, I had to take a look at this game, even if it fried my brain.

The UI is stylish and minimalist, everything I would expect from a game with the words "Space" and "Chemistry" referenced in it. What I wasn't expecting was the rich story unfolding within the game. Like a science fiction unraveling through the planets explored with the completion of a set of puzzles found on each planet.

I won't lie, the puzzles involve chemistry and engineering (to a degree... hur hur) but don't let that put you off. Initially, I could feel my brain melt out of my ears as my senses felt overloaded with symbols, flashbacks to chemistry lab and purple because aliens don't wear hats.

But that soon subsided as I got stuck in with the tutorial and slowly tackled a couple of the earlier puzzles. There is a fluidity and beauty to this puzzle game that is perhaps what makes mathematicians, scientists and engineers smile when something goes right. I hate to admit it, but I felt it compelling at times to just watch a result replay. And there is a great sense of achievement when you solve a puzzle!

There is a lot at your fingertips within this game - there's even a periodic table that you can review - but don't let that put you off. I can only play the game in doses, but the music is perfect to thinking and solving a logical puzzle, and that is ultimately what this game comes down to: logic with chemistry elements. I imagine anyone studying engineering or chemistry may find great joy within this game - and it could even be a great learning tool to someone trying to master some of the key concepts of the subject.

If you can get pass some of symbols and terminology (and stop giggling at the term "waldo") then you will not be wasting your time exploring the puzzles and story within SpaceChem. The soundtrack alone is worth it.

I never thought I would say it, but SpaceChem is a little gem of a puzzle game. I recommend it.
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