SpaceChem Contest!

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SpaceChem Contest

JohnBReady to do some riddle solving for a chance to win SpaceChem, the hyper-challenging logic puzzle game created by Zachtronics Industries? Of course you are! We've got ten copies to give away to ten random people who solve our riddle, which begins below. But before that, here are a few nudges to send you in the right direction:

  • You'll need to grab the SpaceChem demo.
  • The riddle takes place in several steps.
  • You have to leave this page to see the other clues.

And now, let the riddle begin:

SpaceChem Contest

The contest has ended! Thanks to everyone who entered, we had a great response! Winners have been notified via e-mail.

Congratulations to:

  1. Aegeus
  2. Ashigaru
  3. freshlyshowered
  4. Maqrkk
  5. maxwell36
  6. Reflectivist
  7. Serapsi
  8. Solarjetman
  9. Xi
  10. And one who prefers to remain anonymous

Thanks for participating and happy gaming!

To enter, send the winning word phrase to the following e-mail address: [email protected]. Include a statement that you are 13 years of age or older, and specify which e-mail address you would like the game to be sent to. The contest runs through Saturday, March 5, at which point we'll randomly select ten winners from the correct entries to receive a copy of the game! Good luck, have fun, and try not to strain your brain too much with SpaceChem!

Extra stuff from our legal department:
  • Entries must be submitted by March 5, 11:59 p.m. EST (GMT-5). Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
  • One entry per person.
  • You must be at least 13 years of age or older to enter.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Void where prohibited.


Wait, I'm confused. Is that clue supposed to take us to a different review, or to a website, or what?


I'd totally give this a shot if I hadn't already bought the game. Ah well. Good luck!


I'm betting this is somewhere from the game's story, though I haven't seen it yet. I'm only on "It Takes 3" so far.


Yeah, i'm really confused...



part of this riddle?



It is, but how I'm supposed to use that clue I still haven't figured out.


Ok here's some of the backstory eastereggs i could find so far.

In the text it says: "That question is best left unanswered

In the game the question that is unanswered is about the accidents of the airlocks.

Melvin, a spacechem deployer has a twitter account with messages about the accendents:

I do belive that "MWinthro" might be another secret password/code thingy


PS. Contest? More likely a test-con :O


My best guess would be

to use an anagram solver

but funny enough the best thing i got was

"Change this"

I just did! lol


I feel like the riddle is referring to

Angela since she didn't want to reply to the question she was asked, and even Joel (from Danopth) says that it is unfortunate what happened to her.

What really bugs me is that I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for haha :/


I downloaded the demo, played it to the end (of the demo).
I know what the riddle is reffering to, but how I should answer is unknown.
I know we must go to other pages, but within JayIsGames?
And what does it mean by "taking place on various steps"?


The contest has been described above as a 'riddle', so to properly solve this you will need to employ solution tactics similar to other riddle games.

"Several steps" implies this to be a compound riddle.

You will know when you have the correct and final answer.


What about "leaving this page"?
I think I understand various steps, but I don't see how our demo fits into this.


Exactly what I tried. I thought maybe you had to

change the image url, like in a website riddle game
(like change "" to "")

but no dice. :(
Does the rest of picture have anything to do with it?
Like like positioning of the dots, or words, or what not?


I'm never good at these riddles. And there's a chance I'm not up to a relevant portion - I'm only up to "It takes three", so far.

In any case, I keep coming back to the idea that the elements are the key. For example 'change this' - does that mean make 'this' into its elements, Th & Si? - or something with the elements. I keep trying to break down the letter or 'hatchsinge' into element abbreviations, but with no luck - and not without 'cheating' - using reversals.


has anyone got it yet? i tried about twenty different answers already including:



Okay, I searched the whole text of the story (It's under \text\en.text) and this paragraph is not from the game. So either there's some

I've tried a bunch of URL changes (replacing "Hatchsinge" in the page image) with no success. Angela, Joel, MWinthrop, Spacechem, SPACE, SFCM, ONEX, SernimirII, SernimirIV, Danopth. No luck on any of them.

So, if we're supposed to enter a password, it's probably not in the image URL.


I'm a little surprised (and disappointed) nobody has solved the riddle yet.

Based on the comments here, some are way off and yet some are very close to getting to the next step.

For those who figured out the "change this" clue:

That clue is acknowledging what needs to be changed, not necessarily to use that clue verbatim.

You'll need to play the demo of SpaceChem to find some relationship with the image clue presented above.

And I hope I've helped without giving anything away. It's a good, straightforward riddle puzzle.


AHA! I figured it out! And the riddle after that. But there's another one after that which I still need to figure out.


Ok I definitely just noticed that

an e in "something" looked weird. Some other letters appear to be slightly pop out (darker not a hazy around the edges). I tried using an anagram on them but I didn't find much (the word seek did come up).

Maybe I'm seeing what's not there, or maybe I'm not seeing the right ones?


The e is irrelevant. I don't know why it's distorted like that.


Power of the post! I finished it!

Once you figure out the first riddle, the next few are easy. But there were a lot of plausible options for the first answer, so it took a long time to figure out the angle you wanted.

Also, your mention that you need to visit other websites, while I guess you just wanted us to know how to deliver the answer, it sent a couple of us searching through the game's official website or the tie-in Twitter, where there were no hints at all.

[John's hint that you must "leave this page" doesn't imply leaving this "website". It's meant to imply a URL-changing riddle. -Jay]


Apparently I've become very dumb, because this ruddin' riddle is perplexing my pants off.
(Or maybe it's just the "Sleepless on Sernimir IV" level in the demo drivin' me bonkers)


I'm at 'Split Before Bonding' on Danopth, which I've yet to figure out. For this riddle though, I think I know what to do, and I've tried lots of words but no luck so far. I must be missing something here.


What URL? The images URL or this article's URL?
Or even JIG's?


Yeah, this has kinda turned into a guessing contest. I really don't see what

word i am supposed to find in the game demo. I feel like i've tried anything but with no results. I even tried to answer the questions in the image with sentences from the game, but without luck.

I really think that some sort of more obvious hint might be needed, because i really want to solve this!


Well, I'm getting nowhere on the riddle, but at least I'm enjoying the game! I may end up buying it if I don't win (which is what the sponsor wants, I am sure :)


I'm pretty sure I know what the 'hatchsinge' clue means, but I haven't been able to implement this properly.

I am positive that hatchsinge --> 'change this', means change the part of the url it's in. Though, I've had little success. Based on the text, I've been focusing my efforts on

Best Left Unanswered

, but to no avail.

While as it feels like Luraman is right - about the guessing, I realize that for a 'puzzle', it should involve logic - or lateral thinking. As such, I'm probably missing something important.

I'll probably give it a bit more time. In the end, though, I enjoy the game. (I've now solved all the demo puzzles, except the optional one).


Nfields is very very close.

Think gameplay, not story.


Oh, man. This riddle was EPIC.
The "hatchsinge" clue was the hardest to figure out; like Aegeus pointed out, it was kind of unclear to what the code word was.

Hatchsinge Hint:

You'll have to play through a fair portion of the demo before you have access to the code word.

Everything after that is straightforward. Relatively speaking, of course.

(Actually, when I found the final answer, I honestly believed it was a trick and kept searching for the next code word. There was none :P)


oh my god you have GOT to be kidding me!

thanks Aegeus :D

Reflectivist March 1, 2011 1:26 AM

Just finished. =)

As with others, I was stuck on the first part for a very long time. That part was by far the hardest. After that, everything else came together pretty quickly.

Incidentally, the riddle ended up being more difficult than the demo itself. I guess my mind just works better when the problem is well-defined and I know my limitations than when the problem is more open-ended. I was never very good at these kinds of puzzles. There's always at least one step that completely stumps me. This time it just happened to be the very first step.


Even with all the hints here, I have no clue whatsoever what I'm supposed to do. It's driving me mad, I was so psyched for this contest.

nfields March 1, 2011 5:45 AM

YEAH! I GOT IT! Thanks to all who helped. Just to help out my fellow gamers, I do have one tip (though it may be obvious):

the first 'keyword' should be entered entirely in lower case

after the submission date, I'll set up a walkthrough.


I feel so silly now. I'm at the second step.


And done. That was great fun!


In a mere 12 hours since I posted that hint, 5 other people were able to solve the riddle. I hope I didn't just deep-six my chances of winning.

Then again, not too many other people have been posting here, so we may not even hit the limit of 10 people with the right answer.


How did you guys find out what the first was? Did you just guess or were there actually something logical to the answer??


Soon my birthday and this would be a great gift if only i could figure out that "word"!

Anonymous March 1, 2011 2:01 PM

Is it words what we are looking for at the end of this riddle?

Luraman March 1, 2011 3:00 PM

No, idea... Still stuck on the first riddle guessing my bass off :(

Anonymous March 1, 2011 3:02 PM

Hey is it possible that we accidentally get into

review screenshots

Or am I on the right track. Please respond to my previous post too.


Everything you need to solve the riddle (at least the first one) can be found in this page and in the demo. The answer to this puzzle will take you to another puzzle, and so on, until you arrive at the final answer. Trust me, you'll know that's it when you get there ;D

As for the first puzzle, well, there are plenty of hints and comments already that can give you a bump in the right direction. The solution is logical, and pretty obvious, actually. You might even overlooked it for thinking too hard!


Spent an inordinate amount of time on this riddle, mainly cause this is my first web puzzle and didn't know how to edit code properly.

Anywho, think I got to the right answer but not 100% sure I done all the steps, can any of those winners mention how many steps there are?


Done it! Some pitfalls that could save noobs like me some time:

You can't edit the a url in firefox without addons, easiest way is to open in internet explorer and use developer tools.

you can go down blind alleys by putting in slightly relevent but ilogical key words that match other .jpg on jayisgames

You don't need any more hints on how to solve it here, the other comments covered everything needed to progress

[You definitely can change a URL in Firefox. Just right-click on the image and choose "View Image", then edit the URL in the address bar. Easy peasy. -Jay]

Anonymous March 2, 2011 9:28 AM

Hey, is the third riddle a review screenshot or did I take a wrong turn?

[Wrong turn. -Jay]


Thanks Aegeus!

Great riddle. The first one drove me nuts until I went back and read your hint a second time, then I dug a little deeper into the game. Once I got that the other ones came fairly quickly, but not so quickly that I didn't get to feel reasonably clever.

I was stumped enough on one of them to open the image in photoshop and read the fine print on one of the images, but then it's been a little while since I've been in a classroom studying that particular subject, so...

Luraman March 3, 2011 9:29 AM

Finally solved it! :D

Good riddle but the first one was nearly impossible to find on first try... Also:

The second riddles answer is VERY close to something in the game story. It might be a bit misdirecting. (Actually it would be more cool if this was part of the riddle!


Just finished sending in my entry. This contest nearly broke my brain! It will be worth it if I win, however. OK, it was fun even if I lose. Fun, despite having to read every hint about 50 times. And nearly memorizing that dang first picture. Good riddle and the best game I've played in many years.

Now I'm wondering if I dare play the other Zachtronics demos. That could lead to an expensive habit.


Hey Paul! The other games from Zachtronics are actually Flash games, so you can play them online for free! Of course, they aren't as polished as SpaceChem as far as graphics, sound and story goes, but they are every bit as fun and challenging. I guarantee they'll give you quite the headache. In the good way!

Logman1 March 7, 2011 4:18 PM

Ok, I tried, I can't figure it out, since the contest is over can someone post a walkthrough to this? Or at least the word for the url puzzle?



  1. The first riddle is the image posted above.

  2. Viewing the image in your browser shows the image's file name: hatchsinge.jpg.

  3. Hatchsinge is an anagram for "change this", which means the solution of the riddle includes changing the file name. But to what?

  4. The words in the image "best left unanswered" is the name of one of the levels in the SpaceChem demo.

  5. In that level, the objective is to create the molecule:

    N2 (or, alternatively, "nitrogen")

  6. Using that as the new file name for the image, replacing "hatchsinge", yields the next image clue.

  7. This image is a chemical equation that must be balanced by inserting the correct numbers into each of the spaces.

  8. The missing numbers are:


  9. Using that as the new file name for the image yields the final riddle clue

  10. This last image contains a list of letters and numbers with spaces in between.

  11. The numbers correspond to the atomic weights of the elements that begin with each of the letters shown.

  12. Look up the elements and enter the missing letters.

  13. The final answer is


  14. If you use that as a new file name, you will learn that you already have the answer.


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