Several months ago I bought the Orange Box (at Target in Charlotte, wow, that was nearly 18 months ago…) and installed it on the desktop. Unfortunately there are various reasons (computer location, other games, time) why I never got around to playing any of it’s games – aside from a brief dabble in TF2, stopped due to slow internet – but the other day I put it on the laptop. And today I played Portal.
The inspiration was the credits song. It’s been showing up in my Pandora station at work and I decided to investigate. To be honest I was expecting the game to take longer. I think I completed it (beginning Test Area 1 to the credits) in about 5 hours, maybe 6.
That said, it is a fun game. While it’s short, and in most places I found easy, it does present it’s challenges. Essentially it is a single player puzzle game, where the narrating voice is that of “GLaDOS” – a computer in a testing lab for Aperture Laboratories. It’s job is supposed to be to guide you through the various testing phases of the Portal gun they are developing. However, something has gone awry and GLaDOS has taken over. The rest I’ll leave for you to learn in game, if you so choose.
There are 19 levels, the last of which extends out into several challenges. The final one is to destroy GLaDOS herself.
I would probably rate Portal at about 3.5 out of 5. It’s a great game, it really is, it’s just really short and I personally didn’t find it too challenging. I had problems with some of the puzzles but it was more my inability to get the game to do what I knew needed to be done, if that makes sense. Largely related to using a trackpad on my laptop instead of a real mouse, and trying to multitask (which I should just not do).
Here is hoping that Portal 2 is longer, and maybe more (or differently) challenging.