Interview + Portal

I did an interview with the lovely Isha Crowe for the Ink Pantry – mostly about writing and GreenSky, but also about games. And that got me thinking – have I raved about Portal? I don’t think I’ve raved about Portal. So I’m going to. Because IT’S AMAZING.

First, you need a computer that can cope with a computer game. Then you need Steam and an internet connection to download it. Then you need about two days and a brain.

You’ve got all those, I know you have.

Portal‘s a puzzle game, where you wake up in a facility with a gun that shoots portals – one blue, one orange – and anything you put through one comes out the other (including yourself). You’re in some sort of testing facility, and you have to solve the puzzles in each chamber to reach the next one – but they slowly get harder and harder, and there’s more puzzles, more dangers (although the Turrets – above – are weirdly adorable) and the AI’s voice slowly gets more and more sarcastic…

Ah, who am I kidding. She’s thoroughly sarcastic, and it’s one of the best parts of the game. Definitely play with the sound on!

I love it because there’s no creeping dangers; you know where the turrets are (even though getting shot isn’t great) and everything’s a really nice, solveable puzzle. It doesn’t get boring, either, despite the fact you’re using the same basic tools: there are a huge variety of ways to put the obstacles together which means each chamber requires a new approach. The game isn’t too long either, which is nice, but you can save and come back easily.

There’s a second one too, which has a different feel (but just as good!) so it doesn’t feel like a repeat of the first – and you get to see different areas of the facility, as well as meet different people. And potatoes. And robots. The co-op mode in Portal 2 is amazing, as well; Atlas and P-Body are great fun, and you can drop each other in gunk! Accidentally. Honest.

So if you haven’t come across it and you like puzzles and sarcastic humour, definitely play Portal!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.