Portal is a unique video game released by Valve in 2007 where the player is challenged to use portals to complete puzzles. With many awards to its name and a fantastic sequel, here is your chance to learn what the buzz is all about if you haven’t already bought the game.

In the game you play as Chell, and little is known about this mute character except that she has been awoken from stasis in the Aperture Science facility. She is alone aside from the artificial intelligence named GLaDOS who provides her with instructions and guidance through the testing chambers. The only way for Chell to attempt to escape the facility is by completing the puzzles with the help of the portal gun.

The game’s main feature is the ability to use the portal gun to shoot two different coloured portals into solid, flat surfaces. This allows Chell to travel around the chambers and find solutions to the puzzles that would otherwise be impossible. Although the chambers are initially easy to solve, GLaDOS soon has the player putting their problem solving skills to the test. Sometimes momentum or gravity is needed to propel Chell further through the portals, or one of the weighted cubes has to be placed on a button to open a door. The levels increase not only in complexity but also dangers. Although Chell has special boots to prevent high falls from hurting her, in later levels she is confronted by turrets that are determined to shoot her, and a biohazardous liquid that causes instant death upon contact.

The finale and credits provide the perfect ending to this great game and nicely sets up players for the sequel. Anyone who is a fan of puzzle games will enjoy Portal, and even if you aren’t the best at problem solving, I still highly recommend this game for its storyline. GLaDOS will have you intrigued from the beginning and it is very easy to become immersed in the story. Overall this is a highly satisfying game; just remember that the cake is a lie.

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