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 (41 reviews) - 90% of the 41 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (3,200 reviews) - 90% of the 3,200 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 (41 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (3,200 reviews)
Recently Posted
INSEDEREC
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
When [if] I beat it I'll put it on my resume.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ishvii
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
A scientific puzzler with a nice interface. Found it a bit difficult to pick up. but it's satisfying once you know what you're doing. Maybe try it if you like difficult puzzle games and chemistry.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
snadling
( 71.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
First things first – if you like puzzle games you need to play this game. Need.

Now­­­… I’m not sure I am qualified to ever finish this game. I could cheat, sure, but where’s the fun in that? According to steam only 3.7% of players have the “game completed” cheev – but that is a cheevo very hard earned.
One of my fav things about this game is the replay value, which is super rare among puzzles. For each level there are charts to show how you ranked vs the rest of the internet over 3 separate criteria. Even when winning you sometimes know you can win better.

My only complaint would be a lack of deep tutorials. There’s a steam page out there with “Things I wish I knew while playing SpaceChem” that I honestly can’t consider cheating but I wish the game had taught me these things instead of asking the internet for tips & tricks.

Who should play: People get a boner at the thought of a multi-layer logic puzzle
Who should not play: Everyone else, particularly people with little patience
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-Darkly- #TeamPyro
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 16
Vine por cromos y items
Helpful? Yes No Funny
joedight(int argc, char *argv[])
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
Quite a great spare-time puzzley game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SUPREMEisBACK
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
Product received for free
Bundle games are crap #16
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pale Dolphin
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 15
TL;DR: a puzzle game like you've never seen before.

SpaceChem is a unique puzzle game, combining in itself chemistry, casual programming, logic puzzles and schemes. Game's set up in a sci-fi universe, and there's a certain storyline (if you're interested enough in reading it).

Game difficulty is progressing relatively fast, forcing you to learn quickly, in order to complete tasks that are more and more challenging. I've spent around 2 hours and completed around 20 puzzles (that's not that much, because I've spent 10-15 minutes on the last ones, while first were a piece of cake).

Your main goal is to create molecules by combining atoms of chemical elements in factories (it's really hard to explain the process itself, you should watch a video). As the game progresses, you'll have more and more complex tasks at hand, and more than one factory to maintain at each level (combining, say, H and O elements in one, and adding C to them in the 2nd, then combining everything with Hg in 3rd).

There's a lot of possible solutions to each puzzle, but the player is motivated by the high scores (among his friends or all users) to use the least possible amount of elements to complete each puzzle.

As the game progresses, molecules are becoming larger, and schemes required to combine them are becoming extremely complex, to a point that you don't consider this a game anymore -- more of a chemistry/physics/logic/math class homework. But it's surprisingly thrilling and satisfying, especially when you score high amongst your friends.

I'd rate this game 8.5 out of 10.0, with the tutorial being a bit lackluster (learning curve is a bit steep) and graphics being outdate, in some way (not that it matters to a logic game).

Should I buy this game?
If you're into logic/puzzle games, and you enjoy schemes and casual programming, this is a must buy. If not, you might try anyway (I'm not into puzzle games myself, but I utterly enjoyed this one).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cae
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
Yup, it's great. I went through the Android version on a Nexus 7, which makes Spacechem easily the most difficult game you can play on a crowded subway.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mystee37
( 10.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
This is one of the best puzzlers I have ever played. It is consistantly challenging, which is a big plus, but also my only con - I had to resort to hints from a guide to progress after 4 hours spent on one level.

It has a decent story and a wide variety of level types so it doesn't get boring. It uses some aspects of real chemistry, which is fun for a true nerd.

It has some replayability as there are countless ways to solve each puzzle and there are stats at the end of each level that could be improved upon for an added challenge.

There are many plusses to this game, but specifically I enjoy the lack of a timer. It's about solving the puzzle, not being rushed. Timing this game would have ruined it for me.

It's very well designed, and will take dozens of hours to master and beat. I am on the 5th planet of 9 and 10 hours in at the time of writing. it easily meets my $1 per hour of game play rule.

10/10 would get electrocuted by a gian pyramid again.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Flibedi-floob
( 7.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 12
The game suddenly CRASHED on me!
WTH?!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
23.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
A few points for context. I have a Chemical Engineering training background. I do lots of programming in my job. And I really love puzzle oriented games. In other words, this game should be a perfect fit for me.

For the most part, this game is amazing. They took a very simple premise, and made a puzzle game that can get really complex. Additionally, since it is possible to design your own puzzles, I can easily understand the existence of online contests around this game.

Unfortunately, I think that it is my programming background that shows the flaws in the developement environment. The help screens (and tooltips) are a bit lacking in detail. The cut-n-paste mechanics are a bit too weak. The ability to save components for reuse are also not useful enough. I understand that this is just a game, and not an IDE, but it is a programming game... or perhaps, I am just being too critical.

In summary, I do recommend this game, but it is not perfect.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
33.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
There was a bit of time in 2011-2015 where I was fully obsessed with this game and the obsession came to a head in Late September 2014 when after 2 months of designing and running reactors on paper, an iPad and an Android tablet (usually simultaneously) where I finally beat the last level of the main campaign from scratch with absolutely no outside assistance. (Took a few months to recover before uploading my designs to Steam.)

I own SpaceChem and 63 Corvi on Android, iOS, and PC (Both on steam and DRM free). 3 SpaceChem t-shirts, all of the swag you can imagine that was created by Zachtronics for the game and I have easily over 4000 hours played across all platforms (not to mention the ridiculous amount of time I spent doodling and planning on chemistry lab graph paper).

With that out of the way here's a review:

Warning, this game is not for hardcore puzzle game fans.

This game is specifically for those who need to be obsessed with puzzles to the point of tryharding.

Have you ever thought you could beat Tetris?
Have you ever actually beaten Tetris?

That's what playing SpaceChem feels like.

SpaceChem is incredibly tedious and it will cause you mental anguish to the point where you might have a nervous breakdown. Need proof?

Here's the statistics of people who actually complete the game: (Without Guides)

Image courtesy: http://www.zachtronics.com/spacechem-statistics-time/
You'll note that the further players get in the game the less they want/are able to finish it.

In other words it is truly an incredibly humbling experience insofar as measuring your own intelligence. It's like an IQ test, if you apply yourself you will succeed, if you're haphazard about it (Like using guides or other players solutions) you will still succeed but it will make it much much easier than if you had just tried on your own.

Most levels in this game have hundreds of millions of potential ways to solve EACH SECTION of the puzzle. If you try you will complete every level it is just a matter of designing your solutions.

I know my summary score and my personal score don't add up, but this game is a 5/5. it is a masterpiece and just because the audio/story/visuals aren't "the best" it is a legendary game and deserves no less than a perfect score.

Audio: 3/5 - Adequate
Graphics: 4/5 - Sensible and useful but still a little confusing at points.
Story: 2/5 - Not really inspiring or terrible but below average for necessity.
Gameplay: - 5/5 - Legendary comprehensive chemistry factory game.
Overall: 5/5 - I wouldn't give back the thousands of hours I've spent playing this game. I loved it, and I am proudly a Partner Reaction Engineer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
TL;DR: a puzzle game like you've never seen before.

SpaceChem is a unique puzzle game, combining in itself chemistry, casual programming, logic puzzles and schemes. Game's set up in a sci-fi universe, and there's a certain storyline (if you're interested enough in reading it).

Game difficulty is progressing relatively fast, forcing you to learn quickly, in order to complete tasks that are more and more challenging. I've spent around 2 hours and completed around 20 puzzles (that's not that much, because I've spent 10-15 minutes on the last ones, while first were a piece of cake).

Your main goal is to create molecules by combining atoms of chemical elements in factories (it's really hard to explain the process itself, you should watch a video). As the game progresses, you'll have more and more complex tasks at hand, and more than one factory to maintain at each level (combining, say, H and O elements in one, and adding C to them in the 2nd, then combining everything with Hg in 3rd).

There's a lot of possible solutions to each puzzle, but the player is motivated by the high scores (among his friends or all users) to use the least possible amount of elements to complete each puzzle.

As the game progresses, molecules are becoming larger, and schemes required to combine them are becoming extremely complex, to a point that you don't consider this a game anymore -- more of a chemistry/physics/logic/math class homework. But it's surprisingly thrilling and satisfying, especially when you score high amongst your friends.

I'd rate this game 8.5 out of 10.0, with the tutorial being a bit lackluster (learning curve is a bit steep) and graphics being outdate, in some way (not that it matters to a logic game).

Should I buy this game?
If you're into logic/puzzle games, and you enjoy schemes and casual programming, this is a must buy. If not, you might try anyway (I'm not into puzzle games myself, but I utterly enjoyed this one).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.9 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
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Product received for free
Exactly the kind of games I love.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Soo worth it can get you to think alot, teaches you about chemistry if you dont know any already and doesn't tell you how to do everything it lets you explore and find solutions i would reccomend this game to everyone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Yup, it's great. I went through the Android version on a Nexus 7, which makes Spacechem easily the most difficult game you can play on a crowded subway.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
776 of 909 people (85%) found this review helpful
9 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
181 of 203 people (89%) found this review helpful
165 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
106 of 115 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.
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