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 (22 reviews) - 90% of the 22 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (3,219 reviews) - 91% of the 3,219 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 2, 2011

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy SpaceChem

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (22 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (3,219 reviews)
Recently Posted
Buu342
4.9 hrs
Posted: August 29
First a little story:
I got this game back when Steam gave everyone a free game for Christmas. At first, I was massively disappointed. Why the hell did I get this crap while my friend got Half-Life: The Complete Pack? Sometime later, I learnt this game had TF2 items, so I popped it open and got confused the first few minutes in, so I cheated my way and got the achievements I needed to get my free items. All's well ends well...
Until recently, I was watching one of Mark Brown's "Game Maker's Toolkit" (being interested in becoming a video game programmer myself) videos in Youtube, and in one of them he praised SpaceChem. I felt bad for having tossed this game away back, even considering it's gained so many awards for being inovattive and a challenging puzzle game, so I popped it open once more, and here I am reccomending it.

Onto the game now:
The negative reviews on steam have a very good point in the game, this game is NOT EASY. You will benefit a lot by having programming knowledge from this game, however I could very easily reccomend this game to my friends who aren't programmers, simply because it does what it is supposed to very well, and that is being a puzzle game.

Chemistry, while it is in the game and is a theme present in the game, is not required for the game. Even if you're a biologist (Lol people consider that a science nowadays?), you won't have to do chemistry here, so be happy.

It starts off slow and easy, and it has a considerable difficulty curve. I haven't quite finished the game yet, but I am enjoying it and I've never really had any big moments of head-banging frustration, but I've had many "EUREKA!" moments.

If you're not sure if you can really quite cope with this game, I encourage you to try out the demo. It should give you a rough idea of how the game plays.

Graphics:
The artstyle is quite nice, sadly though you spend a lot of time inside the reactors, so you get a gray screen with red and blue lasers most of the time.

Story:
The story is intriguing, and the written text files in the game are well written and have an interesting story developing (I don't want to spoil too much). That being said while it is not the focus of the game, it is still a nice touch.

Sounds:
The music, despite you hearing one song most of the time, has managed to staple itself into my brain. Bravo on that. It's a good song too. Sound effects are nice, my only complaint is that the sound of removing the pipes is a bit odd.

If only I gave this game to my Ex back then. She would have loved it because she loves chemistry and puzzle games, despite her not being a computing nerd like me.

This game is even forcing me to reconsider Portal as my favorite puzzle game.

SpaceChem, I'm sorry I ignored you my love. You're staying in my heart for a while.


Story: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Music: 8/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Overall: 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cirdec
102.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
The best programming puzzle game. No programming experience required.

Pros: Going for performance it's as hard as you want it to be ...

Cons: ... which can be really hard.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
More Than Smells
3.1 hrs
Posted: August 25
Don't know what to do - 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sheikachu
5.9 hrs
Posted: August 25
Product received for free
Though I recieved the game for free, I would buy it if I had heard about it. A perfect pairing of aspects from chemestry and engineering, Spacechem's puzzles are a delight to solve. Bit of a brain-racker, I need to dedicate more time to beat this work of art. Truly the most enjoyable educational game I've ever played.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Knegoff
2.1 hrs
Posted: August 22
När jag skiter i att gå på lektionerna så tar jag ifatt min kunskap med hjälp av spacechem. kanske är därför jag kuggar allt
Helpful? Yes No Funny
unadjustedeye
17.0 hrs
Posted: August 20
Very fun puzzle game. Real problem-solving and I feel like I'm learning new ways to think when I play it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The ButtShark [Gone Studyin']
1.2 hrs
Posted: August 16
Came for items
Stayed for science
Helpful? Yes No Funny
arrowM
8.7 hrs
Posted: August 16
Amazing assembly line puzzler. A great challenge and cool theme.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cheshire Cat
17.2 hrs
Posted: August 12
SpaceChem is a great idea for a game and I honestly don't remember anything similar to it. It creates some kind of visual programming methods and makes simple chemical reactions into sometimes very complicated topological problems. It's very fun to play, but I stopped in half when the problem was too complex to solve. Still I very recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JeyJeyKing
43.0 hrs
Posted: August 12
This game is like an on/off relationship.

I finished it though and I feel as though my IQ must have doubled in the process, that is: It isn't easy and it's difficutly is most certainly beyond "average hard".

The spatial restrictions and limitation of other resources force you to actually think and come up with concise solutions.

I found the interactive boss fights really refreshing and fun, especially the final level.

I recommend, to those who are patient and seek a (serious) challenge.
To beat this game you may have to think a day about and sleep a night over a problem once in a while.
You may have to take a week long break to forget about a level and give it a fresh try once in a while.

10/10 would browse the forums after beating the game all by myself and not using youtube to read about people complaining how difficult and frustrating this game is and how they didn't manage to finish it without looking up every other level on youtube just to boost my ego again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Got it free so it was worth my time playing
Played to get the free TF2 gear since I was bored and had it in my library
There are 5 TF2 items available to earn while playing the game
It is a pretty fun little puzzle game
Probably worth buying if you are really interested in it or see it on a good sale
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
First a little story:
I got this game back when Steam gave everyone a free game for Christmas. At first, I was massively disappointed. Why the hell did I get this crap while my friend got Half-Life: The Complete Pack? Sometime later, I learnt this game had TF2 items, so I popped it open and got confused the first few minutes in, so I cheated my way and got the achievements I needed to get my free items. All's well ends well...
Until recently, I was watching one of Mark Brown's "Game Maker's Toolkit" (being interested in becoming a video game programmer myself) videos in Youtube, and in one of them he praised SpaceChem. I felt bad for having tossed this game away back, even considering it's gained so many awards for being inovattive and a challenging puzzle game, so I popped it open once more, and here I am reccomending it.

Onto the game now:
The negative reviews on steam have a very good point in the game, this game is NOT EASY. You will benefit a lot by having programming knowledge from this game, however I could very easily reccomend this game to my friends who aren't programmers, simply because it does what it is supposed to very well, and that is being a puzzle game.

Chemistry, while it is in the game and is a theme present in the game, is not required for the game. Even if you're a biologist (Lol people consider that a science nowadays?), you won't have to do chemistry here, so be happy.

It starts off slow and easy, and it has a considerable difficulty curve. I haven't quite finished the game yet, but I am enjoying it and I've never really had any big moments of head-banging frustration, but I've had many "EUREKA!" moments.

If you're not sure if you can really quite cope with this game, I encourage you to try out the demo. It should give you a rough idea of how the game plays.

Graphics:
The artstyle is quite nice, sadly though you spend a lot of time inside the reactors, so you get a gray screen with red and blue lasers most of the time.

Story:
The story is intriguing, and the written text files in the game are well written and have an interesting story developing (I don't want to spoil too much). That being said while it is not the focus of the game, it is still a nice touch.

Sounds:
The music, despite you hearing one song most of the time, has managed to staple itself into my brain. Bravo on that. It's a good song too. Sound effects are nice, my only complaint is that the sound of removing the pipes is a bit odd.

If only I gave this game to my Ex back then. She would have loved it because she loves chemistry and puzzle games, despite her not being a computing nerd like me.

This game is even forcing me to reconsider Portal as my favorite puzzle game.

SpaceChem, I'm sorry I ignored you my love. You're staying in my heart for a while.


Story: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Music: 8/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Overall: 8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
43.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
This game is like an on/off relationship.

I finished it though and I feel as though my IQ must have doubled in the process, that is: It isn't easy and it's difficutly is most certainly beyond "average hard".

The spatial restrictions and limitation of other resources force you to actually think and come up with concise solutions.

I found the interactive boss fights really refreshing and fun, especially the final level.

I recommend, to those who are patient and seek a (serious) challenge.
To beat this game you may have to think a day about and sleep a night over a problem once in a while.
You may have to take a week long break to forget about a level and give it a fresh try once in a while.

10/10 would browse the forums after beating the game all by myself and not using youtube to read about people complaining how difficult and frustrating this game is and how they didn't manage to finish it without looking up every other level on youtube just to boost my ego again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
189 of 212 people (89%) found this review helpful
171 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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
107 of 116 people (92%) found this review helpful
29 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
80 of 81 people (99%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
SpaceChem has the most marvelously difficult puzzles where you don't so much find a solution as build it. The difficulty rises steeply, and you may yourself stumped, only to wake up in the middle of the night thinking "Eureka! I've got it!" (true story.)
And once the atoms and molecules are whizzing around, doing their perfectly orchestrated dance that you yourself choreographed, you feel a wonderful sense of ownership of the solution, since it is in a very real sense yours.

No knowledge of chemistry required, though people with programming experience may have an edge.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
76 of 78 people (97%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
47.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 15, 2015
Sheesh, where do I begin? This game is a logician's wet dream.
Sure, it's an exercise in humility, but I feel I can safely say it's also the most compelling puzzle game I have played to date. There is no chaos whatsoever--only increasingly complex order and efficiency. If ever there were a game that captured the passion of engineering, this is it.

The music is deeply inspired and provides a suitable background to your work. The story has some enrapturing quality as well, a smidge of suspense and intrigue enough to give you that extra nudge forward. This may sound insane, but reading the story between puzzles feels physically relieving, as though the stress on your mind is shifted to different regions, much like those atoms are shuffled so smoothly around the reactors, so orderly, clean and calm.

Wait, did I say 'work'? I mean that in the kindest sense possible. You'll understand once you start to 'play'; these words will become interchangeable.

I could see this game used in schools to outstanding effect.
It's a masterpiece.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
100 of 113 people (88%) found this review helpful
97 people found this review funny
Recommended
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
This game may cause:
  • Mood Swings
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Thinking
  • Caffeine Overdose
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Broken Monitors
  • Incoherent Rage
  • Headaches
  • Whiteboard purchases
  • Depression
10/10 stuck on one level for months
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
80 of 88 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 15, 2014
This game consumed my life... literally... for a couple months. To put this game into simple terms, SpaceChem is basically a visual programming game. You receive various inputs and using various tools within the game, the goal is to generate a specified output. Loops, if/then statements, arrays, and many more tools are at your disposal. The game starts simply, but the difficulty increases quickly. Pretty soon, you will find a puzzle that completely stumps you.

This game is not for the feint of heart, the puzzles are hard. But since the game operates within a well defined set of rules, you will find yourself thinking of solutions throughout the day. I found myself drawing sketches to solutions that I had brainstormed while at work. Then I'd eagerly wait until the day was over to get home, try out the idea, and refine any issues. Like I said, the game consumes your life. But when you find yourself stumped on a puzzle for hours, only to conjure a solution during the day, and implement it to great success, you will feel an immense amount of accomplishment.

Quite simply, this is one of the best puzzle games I have played. I wish there was more, I must have more. My only disclaimer is that if you don't like steeply difficult challenges, then you likely won't enjoy this game. I will say it once more, this game is hard.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
73 of 82 people (89%) found this review helpful
80 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
You know that feeling where you can spend hours meticulously working on a solution to a puzzle game only to find out at the very end that it won't work, and so you spend even more hours attempting to kludge it to work and then the entire thing becomes a mess but now you've invested all this time and you don't want to have to start from scratch? Well I have kidney stones
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny