SpaceChem: Better Living Through Chemistry

January 21, 2011

Rock Paper Shotgun already took the headline “My Chemical Romance” so that one will have to do.

If I look a little tired today, it’s because I was extremely late last night. It wasn’t my fault, however. It was already pretty late when I decided to retire for the evening, but before I could hang up my smoking jacket and pipe, SpaceChem kicked my door down and forced me to party til 2:30am. Indie games, man. Those guys can be @#$%s.

But I did have a hell of a time. SpaceChem from Zachtronics Industries is design-based puzzle game that has you combining elements into complex molecules and loading them onto awaiting spaceships. It’s pretty hard to explain so maybe you should just check out the trailer.

Pretty crazy looking, sure. The trailer can make it look pretty daunting, but be assured that the game takes you gently by the hand for the first half a dozen levels and explains the mechanics clearly before leaving you to it. I found that in no time I was making stupidly complex machines in multiple factories in order to fill waiting spaceships with sulphuric acid. Hang on. That doesn’t sound like a great idea to me now.

There’s an extremely lengthy demo to get you hooked and then it’s $20 for the full game.

It’s also worth checking out a great interview with the game’s creator, Zach Barth, over at Rock Paper Shotgun.