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Video GamePortal (Series) Review
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Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer, @JonahMonaghan and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of increasingly ingenious (and malicious) test chambers, you must use your gun to escape. It’s a mind-bending challenge, but the real interest is the darkening tone of GLaDOS, who seems bent on foiling your progress, and the signs of previous test subjects spotted behind the scenes. As GLaDOS’s dysfunction turns to straight-up sociopathy, you must take on challenges with her tormenting discouragement ringing in your ears. The isolation is heightened by the introduction of a lifeless companion cube, which mocks your friendless predicament.

Portal is a series of puzzles that you solve with physics and lateral thinking. But behind the puzzles is the bigger mystery of where you are, and what these tests are for. This persists through the different games in the series:
  • Portal (2007) originally releases as part of The Orange Box pack. It was then released stand alone on PC, Mac,
  • Portal: The Flash Version (2008) was a spin-off for the web browser with lots of new test chamber puzzles using the portal gun,
  • Portal: Still Alive (2008) is a version for Xbox 360. This added challenges from the existing test chambers.
  • Portal 2 (2011) was released on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. It introduced two-player puzzles and featured a floating droid named Wheatley (voiced by Stephen Merchant).

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1-2 (2 online)

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 4 hours and 9 hours to complete.
 

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 2-player online game. Portal 1 is single player. You can play Portal 2 co-operatively in split screen mode, with one player taking the lead if need be. The time to complete the game ranges widely as it depends on how fast you solve the mind-bending logic puzzles. You can play cooperatively online with the Switch version, but not the other versions.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

 

BenefitsBenefits

This game has helped players develop their Knowledge as part of the following pathways:

This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:
Dr Who
FILMS AND SERIES

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for Moderate Violence, Mild Swearing.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language. From a first-person perspective, players solve numerous physical puzzles as they navigate through post-apocalyptic environments. Players use a "portal gun" to open transportation gateways. Throughout the game, players must avoid hazards such as stationary gun turrets, toxic substances, poisonous gas, and giant pistons; some sequences are accompanied by realistic gunfire. Robot droids can also be destroyed; for example, in one boss battle, players must defeat a robot by throwing small bombs. The words "damn" and "hell" can be heard in the dialogue.From a first-person perspective, players solve numerous physical puzzles as they navigate through post-apocalyptic environments. Players use a "portal gun" to open transportation gateways. Throughout the game, players must avoid hazards such as stationary gun turrets, toxic substances, poisonous gas, and giant pistons; some sequences are accompanied by realistic gunfire. Robot droids can also be destroyed; for example, in one boss battle, players must defeat a robot by throwing small bombs. The words "damn" and "hell" can be heard in the dialogue.
Portal Still Alive is rated PEGI 12 with language and violence. ESRB rated it TEEN with blood and mild violence. Players must avoid various hazards including gun turrets, which fire upon the player when encountered. When the player is shot, blood splatter can result on back walls of hallways and rooms.

Portal 2 is rated PEGI 12 with language and violence. ESRB rated it EVERYONE 10+ for fantasy violence and mild language. Players must avoid hazards such as stationary gun turrets, toxic substances, poisonous gas, and giant pistons; some sequences are accompanied by realistic gunfire. Robot droids can also be destroyed; for example, in one boss battle, players must defeat a robot by throwing small bombs. The words "damn" and "hell" can be heard in the dialogue.

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. One family told us, "My boys were 7- and 9-years-old when they enjoyed Portal 2 together. They worked to complete each level and spent some time joking about (lots of trust fall type scenarios in Portal 2). Here's a video of Dylan when he was 6 and playing Portal 1. The things they work out on their own is amazing."

Our Game Pathways reveal how 11-year-olds play this game:

CostsCosts

Portal usually costs £1.69 to £14.99.
 

Portal

Steam Store PC £7.19
App Store Mac £7.19

Portal 2

XBox Store Xbox One £14.99
Steam Store PC £7.19
App Store Mac £7.19

Portal 2 - The Final Hours

Steam Store PC £1.69
App Store Mac £1.69

Portal: Companion Collection

Switch Store Switch £13.49

Portal: Still Alive

XBox Store Xbox One £9.99
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. Portal: Companion Collection brings both Portal and Portal 2 to the Switch. This includes local and online multiplayer for Portal 2.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Portal Accessibility Report documents 27 accessibility features:
Portal does not provide closed captioning for the tone of the speaker, however, the environment sounds are captioned.

Note, Portal can be modified using an in-game console to provide a more accessible experience. These console modifications are not included in our list of accessibility details.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

 
Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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