Lately I’ve been playing a game called Portal. I expect most of the people who read this blog have at least heard of it. It was described to me as a puzzle game. That’s accurate. It’s also nothing like any puzzle game I’ve ever seen.
The more I play it, the more I think of it as a cross between a first person shooter and an old Windows95 game called Chip’s Challenge. The goal in Chip’s, as it is in Portal, is to navigate an obstacle course using limited tools. The first person perspective in Portal just increases the difficulty for me. I’m used to the sort of thinking a puzzle game requires, but fps has never been my thing. It’s interesting to work my way through.
I find Portal a difficult game to describe. I’ve described it to 3 different friends, and each of them thought it sounded terrible. I sat them down at my computer and had them try a level and they all 3 loved it. I think most of my favorite games sound terrible but play fun.