What is SpaceChem?
SpaceChem is a chemistry simulator... in space! It's actually much more exciting than it sounds. SpaceChem is a puzzle game where you build reactors that turn particular input molecules into particular output molecules. It's kind of difficult to explain, but it makes more sense when you just dive in. This video from the game's website does a much better job of introducing it than I ever could, so just watch it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVDYxYpneag&feature=player_embedded
SpaceChem is one of the few puzzle games I've played where you truly are allowed to design your own solution rather than being forced to figure out the solution the developers intended. As an example, take a look at these screenshots.
Those are examples of a completed reactor. They both solve essentially the same problem in vastly different ways. I'm sure there are a hundred other solutions for that particular level (and those screenshots only show a single reactor, whereas up to three may be used in that particular puzzle).
SpaceChem features integrated YouTube uploading for sharing your solutions, but honestly, it's not that effective. It speeds through the solutions too quickly, and in multi-reactor levels, everything is too small to make out what's going on anyway. Regardless, it's still kind of cool.
The demo is up on Steam, and multiple people (including myself) have gotten four hours or more out of it -- plenty of time to see whether you like the game (you will). The in-game tutorial system leaves a lot to be desired, but most of it can be figured out through trial and error, and I'm sure people here can answer any questions you might have if you get stuck. According to the developer's website, keys purchased from it can be registered on Steam, so feel free to give them all your money.Player-Created ContentHoly Shit! Stop the Reactors!
Introducing ResearchNet, the official intergalactic-intranet used by SpaceChem for sharing reaction engineering research!
Arriving in the form of a free, not-yet-dated update for SpaceChem, ResearchNet will allow you to create your own research assignments, share them with friends, and submit them to the Journal of Reaction Engineering, an in-game “publication” featuring the best assignments made by both SpaceChem engineers (you guys) and Zachtronics Industries designers (me).
These are all pretty much spot on.Rock, Paper, Shotgun review
- "A friend of mine once pointed out to me that good puzzle games make you feel smart, and the best puzzle games provide a sort of double-blow whereby first of all you feel smart, and then you’re filled with a feeling of respect for how smart the puzzle itself was. By this criteria, SpaceChem could be the best puzzle game I’ve ever played. You never stop feeling awed by the game’s design, and when you complete a level you feel like some kind of floating, untouchable genius, not fit to eat the food of mortals."PC Gamer review 89/100
- "As much mental workout as excellent puzzle game, SpaceChem challenges and entertains, plus it has an engaging story."Eurogamer review 90/100
- "SpaceChem and Super Meat Boy. One is a game of atomic engineering, the other is about a skinless kid and his hot girlfriend. There's not too much common ground there, except on this essential level: they both nail the "Look what I made!" factor. Overcome a challenge in either of these games, and you get the urge to call someone into the room, point at the screen and proclaim, "Look what I made!"Tips, Tricks, and Other Useful Information
Spoilered in case you really just want to figure out every little thing on your own. Post any other tips, and I'll add them to this list.
- The shape of your output molecules is irrelevant. If you have the correct elements and the correct bonds, you're good.
- You can fire bonders remotely, meaning you can drop an element onto a bonder and then hit the bonding command later during the path to fire the bonder.
- Paths can be made to U-turn in a single square by using an arrow to turn the path back on itself.
- Attempting to bond when the atom you're bonding cannot support any more bonds has no negative consequences (i.e., hydrogen can only be bonded once, no matter what -- learn your periodic tables!).
- If the inputs are coming from another reactor you made they will show up where you dropped them. So if you have the red and the blue waldos dropping the same element but on different squares they will show up in different squares on the next reactor.
- If you cause a waldo to stop on top of a command (by running it into the edge of the screen, for instance), the command will continually execute.
- Sensors can be used to make waldos pause for a time by directing them against the edge of screen as seen in this screenshot:
- Output symbols block a waldo's progress if the output pipe is full and there's something in the output zone. Therefore, you can use an output to pause a waldo's progress until the output pipe is clear -- useful for syncing your various reactors.