How young was your child when they first played this?
How does your child play this? Alone, with friends, with family? How did they discover it and what kept them coming back for more?
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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Portal 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall and updated 3 weeks ago.
You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be watched and tested by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS. You have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one orange, the other blue. If you walk through the blue portal, you emerge from the orange one and vice versa. Through a series of increasingly ingenious (and malicious) test chambers, you must use your gun to escape. As you progress, the stages become ever more challenging to solve, requiring lateral thinking and experimentation to find a way out.
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.
The result is a game that offers a mind-bending challenge paired with an enticing story only hinted at; behind the puzzles is the bigger mystery of where you are, and what these tests are for.
This game is good if you want to:
- Play prestigious games
- Play your first shooting game
- Fall in love with science
- Re-think your assumptions
- Use games for social skills therapy
- Play your first video game
This game has been the inspiration for the following activities:
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.
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.
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:
- 11-year-old: Discovering Stories Of People Past
Portal: Companion Collection
Portal: Still Alive
Portal: Companion Collection brings both Portal and Portal 2 to the Switch. This includes local and online multiplayer for Portal 2.
The Android version of the game can only be played on NVIDIA SHIELD portable, SHIELD tablet, and SHIELD Android TV devices and requires a controller.
Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2022
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox 360
Content Rating: PEGI 12
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Accessibility: 25 features
Components: 3D First-Person
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