‘Portal’ Has Been Making People Feel Smart for Ten Years


I think Portal is Valve's best game.

While the Half-Life series is possibly more revolutionary, and I admire the design of the Left 4 Dead games, Portal is, to borrow a phrase from good old Trent Reznor's most popular song, closer to God. It is one of the best-loved puzzle games of modern times, a superbly, tightly designed experience that started life as Narbacular Drop, a student game from a bunch of very smart young people at DigiPen.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/xwgjqq/portal-has-been-making-people-feel-smart-for-ten-years


I love this. Portal was more or less the game that got me into PC gaming (and by extension any gaming beyond the Nintendo handhelds I’d mainlined pretty much until high school), and has a really special place in my heart because of that.

Its “now you’re thinking with portals” quote/tagline has since become a bit of a meme, but for me it epitomizes what Portal and other great puzzle games/puzzle platformers/physics puzzlers manage to do—make their central mechanic feel like a natural mode of problem solving rather than a construct to be worked through again with each new level.