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Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 141 Ratings

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  • Summary: 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. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Sep 7, 2011
    Due to its extreme complexity, SpaceChem will never be a title for everyone. Too deep and articulate for casual players, it will be appreciated only by those who are willing to engage themselves with the deep game mechanics Nevertheless Spece chem is no doubt one of the most brilliant puzzle game in the history of videogames.
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    Chemical maniacs will definitively fall in love with this tricky and fulfilling title!
  3. Mar 7, 2011
    Brain-achingly clever and hypnotically fascinating, SpaceChem is a must for any puzzle aficionado or anyone with a passing interest in programming.
  4. Mar 15, 2011
    The triumph of SpaceChem is that overcoming these situations is more a case of inventing a solution than discovering one - creating a technique on your own terms that, once learned, you find yourself reusing in later stages. [Apr 2011, p.101]
  5. Mar 7, 2011
    As much mental workout as excellent puzzle game, SpaceChem challenges and entertains, plus it has an engaging story.
  6. Mar 7, 2011
    What I enjoy the most is the fact that there is no right way to come up with a solution. If it works, you win.
  7. Mar 7, 2011
    If you like those kind of games, it's probably the best of the last 25 years. It's a game of extremes, the graphics are simply annoying, but it can keep you playing one level for a whole day.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. May 18, 2011
    The level of difficulty on this game is sick! It starts out fairly easy, but it gets hard fast. Seriously, your brain will start to hurt with infinite ways to solve each puzzle as you ponder how to design a more efficient solution. One-click YouTube upload for easy solution sharing. Such a simple concept, yet so much innovation in this absolute must-have indie gem--so addicting. Expand
  2. Oct 6, 2011
    I've been playing this before it was available on Steam. Still play it today. it's a fantastic puzzler with great mechanics and an addictive aspect of one-uping yourself and other engineers. For the guy who "looked at pictures" and decided it sucked... well, that's an obvious situation. Worth it for full price, let alone included in a Humble Bundle. Expand
  3. Apr 12, 2012
    SpaceChem is a game that will make you feel either really dumb or really smart, largely depending on whether you're just starting out or just completing any given level (also, it helps to actually be smart). Unlike many puzzle games, there are no pre-determined solutions, which I find appealing, but many others may find bewildering. Also unlike many games, there is virtually no timing or reflex actions required, so you can take your time (and you'll need it) engineering clever solutions to the problems presented.

    Graphics/story: Nothing special, but they get the job done. The storyline is depicted through periodic illustrations, and while it adds some subtext to the game, it's largely irrelevant to the actual gameplay.

    Interface: Very clean. There isn't really anything on the screen that doesn't need to be there. Much of the game revolves around placing symbols on a grid, which can be done via drag/drop or by holding hotkeys while clicking. Every action you take has a satisfying click, and every level has infinite undoes/redoes (which remain even after quitting/restarting).

    Music: This is a game in which you can spend hours staring in consternation at a grid full of symbols and little circles following a spaghetti-like tangle of lines in order to re-arrange atoms to form different molecules. The soundtrack actually makes this activity feel heroic and exciting. It is so successful, IMO, that I often found that an elusive solution would come to me only when the background music changed and I was inspired to consider a previously untried approach.

    Re-playability: Most will never need to replay this game, because only about 2% are able to finish it. And only 6 people (last I checked) have finished every one of the user submitted levels. However, after solving a level, you're shown a graph which compares your solution (based on a few parameters) to all the other solutions that came before yours. For some, just completing a level may be good enough, but many will see how they compare to others and be motivated to revisit and optimize their solutions.

    SpaceChem certainly is not for everyone. If you are easily frustrated, not interested in deliberative problem solving, or just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, avoid this game. If you have ever enjoyed programming a computer, this is the game for you.
  4. Jul 6, 2011
    The best puzzle game I have ever played.

    The puzzles are very open ended, have many solutions, and many different obstacles and tools at your
    disposal all oriented around chemistry theme of making and breaking chemical bonds and molecules. Expand
  5. Oct 13, 2012
    Spacechem is a great unique puzzle game that involves use of chemicals from the periodic table of elements.With a great art style and very interesting game play that evolves as you progress though the story (as well as some neat tf2 items you can pick up from playing some special levels.)Spacechem feels like a game i want to keep coming back to for more puzzles and more fun.

    Rating 9/10 (Brilliant)
  6. Jul 21, 2011
    Sure, graphics won't charms the eye. It's not an artistic achievement. Let's say : functional. But graphics are so often pure excipient. Gameplay might be slightly improve too (to get ride of some shortcuts or useless clicks) . But.
    Pure pleasure. Less is more. A basic concept that offers the player a wide and joyful illusion of freedom. To build a personal solution and improve it vs to find the only and only hidden one which often leads to some frustrations (the case of so many puzzle games). Rules are fairly stricts : you won't be blessed by a pixel approximation or a miraculous milli-second.
    The pleasure to build a clock steps by steps, to test it. To refine it. And finally to watch it achieves its task beautifully. The pleasure to build and and the pleasure to contemplate your achievement.
    It's been a long time a game hadn't give me so much.
    There so many indi games that go as quick as they come. The word is "casual" : help time to flow away. If you hadn't time to "loose", don't buy this one. A game you play hours after you have shut it down.
    Some shadows : the need to instal complementary element (mono framework for OS X) and some tips that won't help because they mask a part of the game area (OS X version).
  7. Dec 31, 2011
    From the start, this game disappointed. Entering a DRM key with extremely tiny letters into a text field with no arrow key support (you can't go back and change a letter if you get one wrong, you have to delete everything and start over) is not a good way to start a fun game. Eventually I got it working, and I soon wished I hadn't. In a nutshell, this game is too simple in the action department, and too complex in the how-to-play department. I'll admit, I enjoy a good action game, but if a puzzler is done right, I can waste plenty of hours on it. This game, however, was just too boring. I didn't care who the hero was, I didn't care why he needed to move circles (molecules) around, the game just did not motivate me to move past the first few levels. Basically, if you like dragging and dropping shapes onto other shapes, you'll like this game. And if that's the case, there's a little game with differently shaped pegs that you have to put into similarly shaped holes that you might like too. Expand

See all 47 User Reviews