Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Portal

Played on: PS3

You wake up in the Aperture Science testing facility. GLaDOS directs you through a series of tests, gives you a portal gun to use in completing these tests, occasionally "enhances" the truth, and promises you cake. The game is basically the result of a bunch of game developers wanting to play with Physics. You use your portal gun to shoot at parts of the testing chambers. You can then travel through your portals and must do so with some skill to complete the game. Each test chamber poses a new portal puzzle that you must solve to get your yummy cake.


The cake looks really good. You just have to get through several not-so-colorful test chambers to reach it. There aren't any movie-like cut scenes and the game play isn't always very fluid as it will take most players a few tries (or a few dozen tries) to complete the task at hand. The physics are a lot of fun to observe and as much as I love cake, I am also a bit nerdy (understatement) and was really interested in how the portals work. I have two words for you: Terminal Velocity (chocolate cake). Have your player shoot a portal directly above his/her head and one right at his feet. Have fun watching him fall through the portals over and over again as your cake bakes.


Occasionally you might come across a radio playing, but there isn't a soundtrack. GLaDOS's voice gets really creepy as the game goes on, but she doesn't top the little robots that shoot at the test subject. Are you still there? Good, because the little robots will say some really awkward things. (Don't worry little robots I don't hate you.) It gets to be pretty comical to listen to the robots and play tricks on them; no hard feelings.


Two heads are better than one, but that does mean you will have to share your cake. Some of the later test chambers will require a bit of creative thinking and you can help your player to find a way to complete each task. (And if you do get bored, or he gets annoyed that you can solve the problem first, bake him a cake!)


This is a very addictive game to play. Be prepared for your player to sit on the couch and play for several hours. (Then make him go outside and take a walk to burn off all that cake.) It can be equally addictive for the girlfriend who likes to solve the puzzles and make fun of the little robots. Warning: If your player doesn't like to receive help (you know the type, takes five hours doing the crossword because he won't let you tell him what a four-letter word for a woman's heeled shoe is), you might want to leave him alone as he plays the game. You can spend the time practicing your icing techniques so you can draw a portal gun on his cake. You can also put robot quotes on the cake, he'll like that.

Now, this might not be the game to watch for all gamer girlfriends. Some girls will simply not get into it and will be bored. Start such a girlfriend with a more appealing game and help her gain girlfriend XP so she can be the proper level for such a game.

Good-bye...Oh! and don't forget the cake!

Shutting Down.


  1. Love this game! My hubby played it on XBOX 360 and I was addicted to it. I loved the Companion Cube and the song that played during the credits!

    Great review! :)

  2. How can you not love the Companion Cube? It is your friend, but be careful, it might try to stab you!


Looking for Something Specific?