Indie developer Zachtronics – famous for titles like Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and SpaceChem – has today released its new game Molek-Syntez in Steam’s Early Access platform.
There was no prior announcement for this game so it’s a bit of a surprise, especially if you’re a fan of these games. At this point titles from Zachtronics could be considered in their own genre of singleplayer puzzling that usually involves some forms of programming, machine building and / or substances.
Molek-Syntez falls exactly into this niche, with its name being a shortened form of “molecular synthesizer”. Here you will be tasked with programming said Molek-Syntez to make various drugs, with methylhexanamine, mescaline, aspirin and γ-Hydroxybutyric acid being made in the trailer, embedded below.
Gameplay here takes the form of entering commands into the Molek-Syntez, which moves atoms and molecules around to make the desired drug in a hex grid.
Creating a solution to create the drugs isn’t the end, however, as most solves can be optimised, or made more elaborate for bragging rights. This is encouraged thanks to a a tool which allows you to export solves into easily shareable gifs.
This system was also seen in the previously mentioned Opus Magnum and seeing those gifs flood Twitter was a real treat, even if you had no interest in playing the game. Not to wax poetic but there’s a certain beauty to the various ways you can solve Zachtronics puzzles.
On top of all of this game also features a unique version of Solitaire that allows cheating, but the description warns to not “get in over your head”. Very ominous.
Molek-Syntez is available on Steam right now with the Early Access period said to only last around one month.