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 (10 reviews) - 90% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (3,077 reviews) - 91% of the 3,077 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

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
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Very Positive (10 reviews)
Very Positive (3,077 reviews)
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2,049 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
177.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Probably the greatest puzzle game I've ever played. I am pretty well obsessed.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
194 of 217 people (89%) found this review helpful
174 people found this review funny
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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107 of 116 people (92%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
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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80 of 81 people (99%) found this review helpful
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.
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77 of 79 people (97%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
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.
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101 of 114 people (89%) found this review helpful
100 people found this review funny
38.7 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
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81 of 89 people (91%) found this review helpful
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.
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73 of 82 people (89%) found this review helpful
81 people found this review funny
12.1 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
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Recently Posted
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
12.8 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 (lack of tools makes the progress more hands-on / manual than I'd like), and I do certainly understand why one would want to keep it simple.

Super Awesome Game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
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
0.9 hrs
Posted: September 20
Highly recommended! :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
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
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