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: Very Positive (1,925 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 2, 2011

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Recommended By Curators

"Incredible chemical conundrums"
Read the full review here.

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

PC
Mac
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: OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Graphics: frame buffer support recommended
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Additional: Mono 2.6 or later
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
80 of 95 people (84%) found this review helpful
64.7 hrs on record
First off, this game is not chemistry. Do not let the 'Chem' in 'SpaceChem' scare you off. Second off, this game is an addictive programming puzzle game that uses the periodic table as a basis for its puzzles that has a steep learning curve and a brutal difficulty in the moderate to later levels. It's an excellent game if you want a major mental challenge or simply wish to work on your spacial programming and optimization skills.
Posted: June 13
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39 of 45 people (87%) found this review helpful
57.5 hrs on record
There are many puzzle games in this world, but this is the first that continously made me feel smart for finding a solution, and then dumb when seeing the top scores and/or the next puzzle.

It has little to do with chemistry or space and more with programming style logic and using limited resources and space in an efficient way.
Posted: June 20
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24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Why haven't you played SpaceChem? Probably because you are intimidated by the trailer and think it's too complicated, or because you didn't know it exists. Well, this game does exist, and now you don't have an excuse anymore to not at least try the free demo.

SpaceChem is one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. It uses fake chemistry only as a backdrop for its puzzle mechanics. So don't worry, you don't need to know anything about chemistry in order to play this game. Your job is to design machines that transform a given input into a required output. For example, the game gives you single hydrogen atoms and demands hydrogen molecules (two hydrogen atoms bonded to each other). You can then use functions like grab, drop, input, output, bond, etc. to create a machine that automatically turns hydrogen atoms into hydrogen molecues. How you do this exactly is up to you. It can be very satisfying to watch your solution run, because it is YOUR OWN creation. You are not simply following a strict path the puzzle designer wanted you to take. And after each completed puzzle, a graph will show you how efficient your solution is compared to others, giving you extra incentive to make your solution work just a little bit faster or use less functions.

As you progress, more functions will be available like fusion or flip-flop switches, allowing you to create even more complex machines. Some levels let you link several machines together, so the output of one machine can be used as an input for another machine. The last couple of worlds are very challenging, but even if you give up there, you'll get your money's worth. And if the campaign isn't enough for you, there are still tons of user created puzzles to solve and challenges to master.


If you like puzzle games, or if you like programming, buy this game now! If you are uncertain, play the demo. It's pretty long and gives you a good look into the game. For some people the demo might even be enough.
I have finished the GOG version, and that's the one I'd recommend, because it includes the DLC.
Posted: June 27
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
If you can beat the game by yourself without looking at youtube solution at all, then congraz you are officially a ♥♥♥♥ing genius. Don't play this if you are not into puzzle game or you know you aren't smart enough (a.k.a stupid), else you will probably end up smashing your PC.

It only requires a very basic knowledge of chemistry...basically the game has almost nothing to do with chemistry. (Anyway if you failed your chemistry test paper, most likely you will fail at this ultra complex puzzle game as well lol)

The tutorial in this game is totally useless, I have to figure out everything by my self. However if you are good in programming skills and have some basic knowledge on chemistry, you will have no problem in the begining, until you reach those final stages where you are going to cry for mama. Upon solving the puzzle there will be a graph comparing the stats between you and other players, this is the moment where you will realize how dumb you are, how in the hell is it possible to solve that ♥♥♥♥ in less than 300 cycles when my solution has 3000 cycles!?

TL;DR
The best and hardest puzzle game I've ever played.

Recommended for those who want to kill their brain cells, if you have a tumour in your brain, it will probably die too.
Posted: July 16
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Very nice game that challanges your wits to solve challanging puzzles that will make you test varieties of contraptions to reach your goal. This game is also for people who love scientific games. This game involves chemistry related topics like bonding and the use of elements to create new chemical bonds like sulphuric acid.
Posted: August 11
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662 of 772 people (86%) found this review helpful
126.3 hrs on record
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.
Posted: February 21
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