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    dkirschner's Spacechem (PC)

    [December 31, 2015 04:22:54 PM]
    I came back to this because I got it on Steam for some reason or another. It is still ridiculously difficult, but I fell back into that same pattern every new level of "OMG how am I expected to do this?!" to "I AM A GENIUS!" I made it to the end of the second planet and again admit defeat. I'm sure I could keep going (I got farther last time), but I am now recalling the endless hours spent revising solutions and the (fun) frustration that came along with it. I've got too many other games to play to sink so much time into this one again, and Zachtronics released another game on Steam recently that I'd rather check out called Infinifactory. Yay!
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    [August 25, 2013 12:40:27 PM]
    I have like 10 of these to rattle off. I got way behind. I feel like I learned something from Spacechem, like a way of thinking. The game, on the surface, is about chemistry and creating compounds. It may also be about some sort of programming, but since I'm illiterate there, I can't really say. All I know is to be successful at Spacechem you have to learn to construct self-automated systems that run simultaneously, producing various compounds to fill a quota. Doesn't sound like the most exciting thing around, but this is no doubt one of the best puzzle games I've ever played.

    There's a whole new vocabulary you must learn for the game. There are things called 'waldos' that you create a path for. You can make them pick up or drop off elements and compounds, you can make them bond things together, you can make them synch together, and so on. You set instructions for them along their paths, and as they move over the instructions (like pick up or drop), they carry them out. There is one red and one blue waldo, so you can set two paths running at the same time, and you have to do this to create the compound.

    Each stage is divided into four quadrants. One is input A, input B, output A and output B. Say your goal for a stage is to create NaCl. Na might spawn at input A and Cl at input B. You'd have one waldo instructed to pick up Na and the other to pick up Cl. You'd set their paths to pick up the elements, then have the two waldos travel next to each other and bond the Na and the Cl. One waldo would simultaneously drop its element as the other picked up the now bonded molecule. Then it would move to the proper output area, and you would create loops for the waldos so they would continue producing NaCl until the quota was met.

    The game quickly gets very complicated, introducing other mechanics/instructions and requiring you to make like two outputs, making the outputs crazy like double bonded O=N=O in output A and Cl-O=N in output B. You can synch waldos, set an instruction where if a certain element is detected, the waldo will travel a different path. This is useful for having a waldo bring one element to one location and a different element to a second location, but so far I've had a lot of trouble using that instruction. I'm stuck on one particular level where I have to output something like the previous example.

    The great thing about the complexity is that you get infinite tries to just play with designing your system, rearranging paths, altering instructions, running the system and finding where the errors are, or thinking how to make it more efficient. There are like 7 or 8 'planets' each with probably 7 or 8 stages. I was stumped and thought the game was hard by planet 1. But I kept going. Each stage seemed impossible at first, especially when they introduced reactors, so you will have like multiple compounds to produce in one stage. It's hard to describe. Imagine what I've been describing occurring 3 or 4 places with different compounds, and then having to make those outputs become the inputs for a different system, and you have to set them all up and running. Anyway, every time you complete a stage you feel like a genius. I can't imagine many people actually finished the game. I played it a long time and made it not even halfway through, but I definitely had a lot of fun and thoughtful hours, and it's well worth dropping some cash on! Maybe one day I'll come back to it, but it makes my head hurt for now. I admit defeat!
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    dkirschner's Spacechem (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Saturday 25 May, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 31 December, 2015

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Uhhh wow. Looks really complicated, but perseverance breeds creativity. ------------------------- This game is crazy awesome and crazy hard. I love it and felt alternatively like a child with a rocketship in front of him and like a rocket scientist with a 10-piece puzzle.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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