Zachtronics games have something of a cult following, but this one really has quite slipped out under the radar after a short month in Early Access. Molek-Syntez is a game about two things: Using molecular synthesis machines to make pharmaceuticals and also doing a lot of smoking while grimly monologuing to yourself in a small, cold, near-future Romanian apartment.
The gameplay channels Opus Magnum, Zachtronics’ highly successful 2017 game, as well as early Zachtronics success Spacechem, but has a lo-fi aesthetic and a hard-science bent. Plus, for a game about chemistry, it actually requires very little chemistry knowledge to succeed. I don’t remember much of anything about high school chemistry, and I don’t think my grades were very good either, but I still like Molek-Syntez a lot. The game also includes a little solitaire card variant for when you get so totally burned out on chemistry problems that you need a break. You can cheat at the card game, too, and nobody can stop you.
You can find Molek-Syntez on Steam or on GOG (opens in new tab) or on Itch for $9.99. You can also check it out on the Zachtronics Industries website. Now, if you don’t mind, I have amphetamines synthesis procedures to optimize. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without an ample supply.