If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Smashing Atoms In SpaceChem's Sandbox

I won't pretend to understand the complexities of SpaceChem, Zachtronics' chemical puzzler. Not in the guided single-player mode, nor the sandbox that was added to allow a player to complete the computer he was building within the game. With that sandbox came a challenge for players to build “the most awesome sandbox pipeline imaginable”. The winners are almost mocking in their complexity, given that my chemical romance never got beyond first base. Come revel in their ingenuity and marvel at my utter ignorance. I have marked where I lose the ability to comprehend each.

That player, Peer, got his wish. The sandbox additions enabled him to create a computer within the game: it took 60 hours of game time and a month of real-world brainwork to produce his "programmable interpreter for the brainfuck programming language"*.

This article contained embedded media which can no longer be displayed.

I can only appreciate it in the way a dog appreciates the writing of an Ingmar Bergman movie on the telly. It is pretty.

GuavaMoment's Recycler Looks simple, but then his video shows you the underlying structure and how it unbonds** whatever passes through it, turning anything into water.

This article contained embedded media which can no longer be displayed.

I thought I had a chance when I saw cave>pie had made a Tic-Tac-Toe game, but then it used pairs of H/He/Li to describe coordinate positions***. I was robbed of the simple pleasure of an understandable game of Xs and Os.

This article contained embedded media which can no longer be displayed.

I'll leave you to discover the final winner on the SpaceChem page, because I'm a) nice, and b) crying.

* Nope. Dunno.
** I'm making that "way over my head" hand sign".
*** Tic-Tac-Wow, more like. Not got a clue.

You're not signed in!

Create your ReedPop ID & unlock community features and much, much more!

Create account
Tagged With
About the Author
Craig Pearson avatar

Craig Pearson


I love square sausage, cats, and climbing pretend rocks.

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Buy RPS stuff here
Rock Paper Shotgun Merch