Portal

Spooky puzzle game set in a creepy science lab

  • Vote:
    7.4 (481)
  • Category:

    Puzzle

  • Works under:

    Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000

  • Also available for:

    Mac

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Trial version

Portal is a first-person puzzle game that centers around the use of a special gun. The player starts this game as a computer's test subject. The computer subjects the player to a serious of puzzles that involve the use of an experimental gun. This gun creates two portals on certain surfaces. The player solves puzzles by strategically creating portals and then walking through them. A few puzzles in this game require careful thought, but most of them are very simple. The player can shoot portals onto the roof and then walk through them to fall downward. It's also possible to gain momentum by going through portals while falling. This game is brilliant because it stretches a lot of creativity out of a very simple concept. There are no projectile weapons in Portal. There is only one enemy type, and it cannot be killed. The player can strategically knock it over or avoid it.

The goal in each section is to place a cube on a switch to open the exit. The game seems simple at first, but it soon breaks the fourth wall by hinting that the player may actually be a lab rat. Portal's story isn't complicated, but it's very funny. The best thing about Portal is that it keeps things simple. The game is charming because it tells its tale in a low key manner. The addition of dark humor adds another dimension to the game's storytelling. Portal's game segments feel sparse and ambient. The game's music sounds hushed and atmospheric. The ambient sound effects add tension to the game play. The last parts of the game flip the script on the player in an incredible manner.

Portal was originally released as an extra game for Half Life 2's Orange Box compilation on the Xbox 360. It doesn't hold up perfectly as a standalone game because it is very short and simplistic. The game doesn't have any collectible items or side missions. Most areas within the game are very linear. This is done to drive the game's humorous narrative. Portal's final boss fight and ending sequence wrap the game up perfectly. Players who enjoy this game should also check out Portal 2. Portal 2 feels like a meatier full length puzzle game. This game often feels more like a brief Half Life 2 expansion pack. Portal is a simple and fun game that has a hilarious narrative holding it together.

Pros:

  • Portal is filled with clever and intuitive puzzles.
  • The game's story and sense of humor are great.
  • Portal might have one of the best endings in gaming history.

Cons:

  • Portal may feel too simplistic for fans of traditional puzzle games.
  • This game's minimalist design may bother some people.
  • Portal only takes a few hours to finish, and there is no reason to replay this game.

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