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 (13 reviews) - 92% of the 13 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (3,077 reviews) - 91% of the 3,077 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 / 8 / 10
    • 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (13 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (3,077 reviews)
Review Type


Purchase Type


Language


Display As:


(what is this?)
2,049 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
41.4 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 has managed to staple itself into my brain. Bravo on that. It's a good soundtrack 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.

I even bought the DLC just to support this awesome game I didn't get the chance to purchase (As well as to get some extra content)

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
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Here's the thing with this game. It's pretty confusing, obscure, and difficult. But man is it rewarding once you start to figure it out. And that's not a negative. The confusing, obscure, and difficult add very much to the game. It shows you the basics in the beginning, but throws you into the fire real quick. I love puzzles and have been playing games similar to this for the past 25 years, so when I first got into this game I didn't like it. I went back to it again but still didn't. I was cleaning out my steam library and decided to give it another go and actually try to make some progress and it clicked. By far one of the best and unique puzzle games I've played.

10/10 Would find another hidden gem of a game in my library.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
177.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Probably the greatest puzzle game I've ever played. I am pretty well obsessed.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
I have no ♥♥♥♥ing clue what I'm doing but I have enough of a clue to know this game is good stuff
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
192 of 215 people (89%) found this review helpful
173 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
52.3 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
77 of 79 people (97%) found this review helpful
6 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
101 of 114 people (89%) found this review helpful
100 people found this review funny
Recommended
38.3 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
81 of 89 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
Recently Posted
SilverFayte
30.8 hrs
Posted: September 27
Every couple of months I open this back up and spend a week going over one puzzle, and MAYBE solve it. I still haven't beaten it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cisstrd
9.4 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game is great: Simple to understand the basics, difficult to deal with the complexity, puzzles increase well in difficulty, useful keyboard shortcuts, new concepts are introduced gradually and do nicely extend the game, not change it radically. And the difference between a solution that "just works" and one that actually is efficient is a major one, meaning once you got it in a working condition you can spend hours optimizing it if you so desire, I for one like that. The soundtrack is good, maybe not much variety considering that you might spend hours on the same problem, but it does not disturb my concentration. And of course you may listen to whatever you want while playing.

Guess most who have done some programming agree: playing this you are in exactly the same mindset as when you write/debug code. At least for me it is. However one does not have to be a programmer, and certainly no chemist, and the game is engaging and entertaining. If by any chance you happen to love this game and aren't a coder yet, seriously do some programming tutorials, you should be able to see the similarities first-hand and you might enjoy programming.

One nitpick I can think of is that there could have been better debugging tools. Figuring that out is part of the game though I suppose, even if it sometimes is tedious, and I do certainly understand why one would want to keep it simple.

Super Awesome Game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WTFLLama
9.6 hrs
Posted: September 22
I got a new computer, just realised I haven't backed up the save files...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SUPREME
0.9 hrs
Posted: September 20
Highly recommended! :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bean
44.9 hrs
Posted: September 10
I think SpaceChem is great. If you like something that gets you thinking, this is the game for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WolfRoms
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 10
Love this game. The learning curve is a little steep but that doesnt stop it from being a great game. Kinda reminds me of pipe dream back on win 98.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Charles Entertainment Cheese
14.6 hrs
Posted: September 6
SpaceChem is a very unique puzzle game that somehow managed to draw me in despite my normal lack of appreciation for puzzle games. If you're a fan of logic or programming at all, or if you just like putting together machines and watching them work, then this is a game for you. It's surprisingly intuitive, and despite how easy it is to get into it really manages to ramp up the difficulty in a way that ends up being satisfying rather than frustrating.
Helpful? Yes No Funny