Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Portal and the Games it Inspired

In the lead-up to the release of Portal 2 in April of this year, and simply to celebrate a great game, I though it might be worthwhile to talk about the game that started this wonderful series and the games it inspired.

To start off, Portal is an incredibly fun 3D puzzle platformer with a dark sense of humour given by the artificial intelligence GlaDOS who continually tries to kill you. The puzzles are all some form of platforming while making use of the portal gun; A gun capable of created two portals that allow instantaneous transportation through space. The game also features a wonderful sound track and contains one of the obvious best songs in any OST, the credit song Still Alive.

Portal: The Flash Version is a 2D interpretation without any plot or dialogue, but with the benefit of being a far more challenging game. While it does not have the same humour as the original it is still a great game and I would recommend and fan of Portal or puzzles games to check it out.

The last game I want to talk about is called ASCIIpOrtal (aka ASCII Portal); It is a 2D ASCII graphics interpretation of Portal. It contains the original's humour as well as the puzzle platforming but this time around with more importance given to split second hand-eye coordination and challenge. The result is a deadly challenging game with tons of maps and a healthy fan made map community. The one strike against it is the controls. Since it uses normal typing control, to run you have to hold down the arrow key and wait a second for the key to start repeating. So you are really going to want to change your keyboard options to reduce this lag as much as possible and ramp up the repeat speed.

Mini-reviews of Portal games.


  1. Ellen McLain (voice of GLaDOS in Valve's Portal games) is slotted to star in a new web series by the Aperture & Lab Ratt filmmakers at Synthetic Picturehaus. They're in the midst of a Kickstarter for the project featuring several video clips with Ellen McLain as the Fairy Godmother of the world's only wish granting service company, Wish It, Inc. Check it out and spread the word before time runs out!