Former Edge editor-in-chief and Hide&Seek design director Margaret Robertson takes a look at what makes SpaceChem
tick in the latest installment of her "Five Minutes Of..." series
"What the game asks you to do with these [gameplay] tools is the impossible. It's a long time since I've played anything so astonishingly dispiriting," writes Robertson, of the difficult indie puzzler.
However, she adds, despite its difficulty and complexity, it's also thrilling: "SpaceChem
gives me the strongest readout on heart-rate spikes and coritsol levels."
Games like SpaceChem
, she argues, which invite players to craft open-ended solutions to puzzles allow people to engage in creativity in ways they might normally avoid.
"Here's what SpaceChem
does that's so important: it gets me to make something without asking me to make something," she writes.
Games, Robertson writes, can make players active creators by "mandating inadvertent creativity."
Robertson's insightful analysis of SpaceChem
is live now on Gamasutra
, the latest in her series of looks into games including Sword & Poker, Geometry Wars 2, Halo Reach and Minecraft.