Recommendation: Portal 1 & 2
Windows | Mac | Linux | PS3 | Xbox360
It’s hard to understate how big the Portal games have been, not only in terms of estimation, sales, and adoration, but also in design influence. The first game is still heralded as the best “tight” story-driven experience, breaking plenty of new design ground and telling an intriguing story with an original, now-iconic, character all in only a handful of hours. The second Portal is far more ambitious and lengthy, diving deeper into the backstory, introducing multiple new characters and much lore. In my mind, it’s no worse the wear for it, adding plenty of its own puzzle design ideas to the mix and playing with much larger and more interesting spaces. Neither game should be missed for any puzzle or storytelling fan.
Reasons You Might Like This
From incredibly clever puzzle design that will break your brain on first attempt to its delightfully malevolent antagonist, there’s a whole lot to love about these two classics. Your first experience playing Portal and running through its initial puzzles will stick long in your memory as a key moment that expanded your idea of what this game is and what games in general can do. Both games also feature some of the best comedy writing ever put to script for a video game.
Reasons You Might Not Like This
Some people are born hating puzzles and I suppose there’s no helping them. Furthermore, it is possible to get stuck in sections without a guiding hand, as it is in any long-form or narrative-driven puzzle game. Puzzles are kept to short sections or “chambers” to prevent things from getting too out of control but some puzzles do have quite a number of moving parts so some patience is required. Also some folks say the second doesn’t nearly live up to the compact brilliance of the first game but they’re just plain wrong.