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Aperture Science is a secret weapons research organization in competition with Black Mesa. Chell is a test subject at the "Enrichment Center" facility who awakens to find an A.I. construct called GlaDOS requiring some tasks to be completed. They are testing the Aperture Handheld Portal Device (aka Portal Gun) which is able to create portals in space, allowing Chell to move from one point to another without actually crossing the distance. Chell is promised cake should she be able to overcome the obstacles and perform the necessary tests.

She has to use her new gun to fling, jump and fall her way through 19 puzzles. These include obstacles but also androids that fire at her. Although the game is played as a first-person shooter, a large amount of strategy and puzzle-solving is involved. After completing the game, two additional game modes become available: Challenge where the game needs to be completed in either as little time, as few footsteps or as few portals as possible. The other mode is Advanced, where levels are made harder through additional obstacles.

Portal is set in the Half-Life universe and it is considered the spiritual successor to Narbacular Drop, some of whose original developers worked on this game. The Windows game can be bought stand-alone, while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are only available in The Orange Box.


Portal Windows Look for these tags indicating the right way
Portal Windows Your lovely weighted companion cube
Portal Linux Title screen and main menu
Portal Windows Me, myself and my portal gun

Alternate Titles

  • "ポータル" -- Japanese spelling
  • "포털" -- Korean spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Fun but extremely overrated casual-type puzzle game Windows Ferragus (48)
perfect design, but the fun only lasts a few good hours Windows Pixelspeech (955)
A fun game, but way too short Windows Mae Spencer (5)
An exercise in how to tell a story without cutscenes Windows snuf (2915)
Interesting idea, but not much of a game. Windows Tom Hell (183)

Critic Reviews

GamerDad Windows Oct 30, 2007 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks Windows Nov, 2007 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Common Sense Media Windows Apr 09, 2008 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
GamesCollection Windows Feb 27, 2008 9.5 out of 10 95
Pelit Windows Nov, 2007 92 out of 100 92
GameSpy Windows Oct 10, 2007 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Cheat Code Central Windows Apr, 2008 4.5 out of 5 90
IGN Windows Oct 09, 2007 8.2 out of 10 82
Meristation Windows Oct 19, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Jeuxvideo.com Windows Oct 16, 2007 14 out of 20 70


Topic # Posts Last Post
Free until May 25th, 2010! (on Steam) 14 Adzuken (818)
May 23, 2010
Valve re-writes the ending. 2 Adzuken (818)
Mar 05, 2010
Steam can't so I can't play 3 Foxhack (12652)
Nov 20, 2009
Incorrectly grouped 5 Sciere (329124)
Feb 17, 2009
The Device Has Been Modified 2 DJP Mom (11110)
Jan 17, 2009
Portal and Steam 14 hydra9 (3831)
Apr 29, 2008
Some glitch videos... if you want to look at 'em. 3 Pseudo_Intellectual (45139)
Apr 15, 2008
2D Flash version of Portal 1 Pseudo_Intellectual (45139)
Jan 28, 2008
Still Alive 15 St. Martyne (3539)
Nov 07, 2007
Portal != Portal 4 Pseudo_Intellectual (45139)
Oct 25, 2007


1001 Video Games

Portal appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

In some German versions, the colour of blood was changed to grey.


According to a boardroom projection in the game, GLaDOS stands for Generic Lifeform and Disk Operating System.


  • Eurogamer (UK)
    • December 28, 2009 - Game of the Year 2007
  • Games for Windows Magazine
    • March 2008 - #1 Game of the Year 2007 (PC Game Awards)
  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – Best Puzzle Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Best Character of the Year (for GlaDOS)
    • 2007 – Best Sidekick of the Year (for The Weighted Companion Cube)
    • 2011 – #8 Top PC Game of the 2000s
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • March 28, 2008 - Most Innovative Game Mechanics in 2007
Information also contributed by jean-louis and LepricahnsGold.

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Contributed to by GTramp (44254), Sciere (329124), Kabushi (143143) and Dakota Bob (71)