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 (2,210 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 2, 2011

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"A puzzler that will both intrigue and infuriate. Combine and disassemble atoms into the right molecules to advance the plot, but beware of the bosses!"

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
Mac OS X
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: 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
15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
SpaceChem is a puzzle game that deals with atoms and molecules.

I don't really think the story makes that much sense, but where this game really excells is in the puzzles.

The game is made up of chapters and levels. Each chapter will introduce one or two new new gameplay features. The levels take you through an easy tutorial of how to use the new element, and gets progressively more challenging. This learning curve is very good.

As for how the levels themselves work, you are given various tools and a grid. The job is to move elements (like hydrogen/carbon etc.) around, and join them to form molecules which you then pipe out. It initially seems easy but once you add mulitple reactors piping out to each other it quicky adds more of a challenge.

My only issue is, if I find myself becoming fixated on ridiculously complicated solutions. You can't skip levels if you are finding them too complicted. This means if you are completely stuck and can't progress unless you can solve each level sequentially.

This game is controlled with a mouse, but has keyboard shortcust to make things easier to control. This works really well, in my opinion.

The graphics are very simple, which is good as it makes it easy to see what exactly you're doing.

The music and sounds in this game are very nice.

There are extra challenges included once you complete the game, and ones that can earn you extras in TF2, it seems. This coupled with the wide number of challenges means the game definitely has a very good play-through time.

Definitely buy this game if you like puzzles, but don't buy it for it's chemical/scientific accuracy.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
100.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Having played through the base game, Spacechem is a great puzzle game at it's core.

Pros - The puzzles. They become increasing harder as you go along, but it is pretty steady. Each set of puzzles build on skills you have acquired from the previous. There are challenges associated with many of the puzzles. You do not have to complete them to beat the game, but they really make you think and work for the achievement. They can be tough, but I enjoyed solving them. Nothing in the game is forced on you with the challenges and achievements. It saves your progress so you can keep moving forward in the game and go back later to beat the challenges. I really felt a sense of accomplishment finishing this game. Many puzzle games become the a+b =c formula and thus, boring. Space Chem held to the end.

The controls and UI worked really well. Learning the hotkeys helps. There are many videos on You Tube. Really cool after you beat a puzzle, you can see how others did it. I did not see any of my solutions online and there are may ways to solve each one. The instruction on new tools were good. Told you what you needed to know and left you to figure out how to employ them. The periodic chart was a useful addition.

Cons – The story outside the puzzles was a cheese sandwich with the crust (Try eating one and you'll see what I mean, dry and chewy, just sayin'). Not the worst I have seen, but after while I didn't bother. I mention this only to point out it does not take away from the great puzzles. That is the heart of this great gem. If you don't like the story, skip it. The graphics do not interfere with the game at all. They were functional.

I highly recommend this game if you enjoy puzzles that challenge your critical thinking and problem solving abilities. This is an exceptional game. Skip the story, solve the puzzles. You'll feel smarter, I do.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Awesome puzzle game. If you keep looking, you will find different ways that makes sense to solve.. Buy it if you like mental challenges.

+ Delivering lots of challenges with a decent budget.
+ Truly innovative.
+ Family Friendly.
+ Replay value.
+ Nice musics.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
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.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
I absolutely love this game! Despite its appearance as some sort of "chemistry" game, it is really an exercise in programming logic sequences. The user interface is tight, the sound effects are good, and the music is awesome. I haven't had this kind of fun since Rocky's Boots on the Commodore 64!
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
23.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
SpaceChem is a genius game about "chemistry", although you do not have to know much chemistry to play this game. Players are to design a set of instructions and algorithms for molecules to react and pass through for them to reach their output space. This game is quite challenging, and you will have to search for errors or optimize your algorithm. It is, in a sense, very similar to programming. I have spent hours playing this game because it challenged my mind and kept me thoroughly entertained. This is one of the most creative game I have ever seen and I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys intellectual challenge.
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17 of 30 people (57%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
57.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
One of the most challenging puzzle games I've ever played. Most logical, that's for sure - it isn't chemistry, it's pure programming, creating algorithms. Each level has multiple ways to complete, almost always there's more efficient way and sometimes finding even one is very hard. The reward for completing the level? More difficult level! And a lot of satisfaction - of course as long as you won't look at the leaderboards. I've kept this game installed for almost three years, planning to finish it one day - because giving up, deleting SpaceChem wasn't an option. I was returning to some difficult, unsolved levels after months of not playing, totally forgetting previous ideas. I was making sketches and notes when not playing. And finally I've completed last level. Now I can return to previous ones and try to optimize my solutions. Or try all community levels. With SpaceChem there's always another puzzle to solve.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I'm not all that much of a puzzle person, so SpaceChem didn't hook me a whole lot. But I did enjoy what I played of it And, if you enjoy puzzle games, then I would be very surprised if you don't enjoy this game. I know a couple of people who play this game a LOT.
It has really nice music too.
I would definitely recommend SpaceChem.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Well the game is fun, but the relationship b/w levels (D) & difficulty (L) is f(D)=L^2
In the last few levels I had to see walkthroughs to complete the game.

PS: You don't need to know any Chemistry to play this game.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
73.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
SpaceChem is the video game equivalent of "nerd sniping." It's an approachable, but extremely difficult procedural programming-based indie puzzle game that's loosely based on chemistry. You are tasked with assembling "reactors," which manipulate molecules to create other molecules. The game challenges you to think through a solution on a high level, then invent a way to actually accomplish it. The difficulty curve ramps up quickly, then continues to ramp up as new game mechanics are introduced.

Play this game if you're feeling smart and want to prove otherwise. Unless you can beat it. Then you might actually be smart.
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 12
Good for the TF2 items or your brain.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
i highly recommend this game to anybody who likes puzzle games when i first got the game i thought it was going to be a boring game but after only two hours of play i found it highly addicting.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
The most satisfying puzzle game I have ever played. I found the mechanics kinda difficult to grasp at the beginning but the basic principles are fairly easy to understand.

Basically, you are building molecules out of atoms (who would have guessed). You start the game with one reactor that has 2 "circuits" in it, you can modify shape of these circuits and put different commands on them that will input/output atoms, grab them, bond them together, you can also rotate the molecules and do other stuff with them that I don't know about yet since I am not too far into the game.

Later on, you will be given multiple reactors that can all be "programmed" separately giving the game a whole new level. For instance, you can have one reactor that will be used to brake bonds between atoms, then it will output them to another reactor that will bond them together with different atoms to form the molecule that you need. Now all of this sounds like you need a degree in chemistry and physics to be able to play the game but that is absolutely not the case. It's all logical, you don't need to know absolutely anything about chemistry or any other science.

What some people may dislike about this game is that it ramps up the difficulty fairly quickly but a nice thing is that all the solutions are always saved and you can revisit previous levels to go over the basics again, experiment or improve your designs.
Because unlike many other puzzle games where you are merely trying to find the single solution that the developers invented, in Spacechem there are hundreds if not thousands of solutions to every level and there is even online workshop kind of thing where you can download player-created levels and also upload your own (I hope that's what it's for, I have never actually used it :D), giving the game a HUGE replay value. I can imagine sinking hundreds upon hundreds of hours into this.

Even though I am not very good at puzzle games and I doubt I will ever finnish this one because the difficulty gets absolutely ridiculous in later levels from what I've seen on youtube, I have to recommend Spacechem. It's extremely original, challenging, satisfying and fun. What more could you possibly ask of a puzzler? It even has a story! I haven't really followed it too much but it's there and sometimes you get a story-related mission like the one I recently got where I had to destroy a giant bulldozer closing in on our base by filling some tanks with methane causing them to explode in it's face!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This is one of those puzzle games that you really just have to LOVE puzzles to play. Do I recommend it to those who fit that? Yes. Do I recommend it to those who don't really enjoy puzzles? Not so much. It's definitely an interesting game, though. How it works... just what it is in general. I personally enjoy it but find it really hard.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
53.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Very challenging game with a unique and stragenly educational puzzle mechanic.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
93.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
SpaceChem is one of the best games I've ever played and hands down the best puzzle game I've ever played.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Awesome, Just Awesome, this game have been the most intensive Puzzle i have ever play. once you learn how to use the tools at this game, is when the fun starts.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
A well made fun game based on chemistry. And space.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
nice ost
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