Portal is a single-player puzzle-platformer developed by Valve Corporation. The game was released in a bundle package called The Orange Box for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on October 9, 2007, and was released as a standalone retail product on April 9, 2008.
The game consists primarily of a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (ASHPD, also dubbed the "portal gun"), a unit that can create inter-spatial portal between flat planes. The player character is challenged by an AI named GLaDOS to complete each puzzle in the Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center using the portal gun with the promise of receiving cake when all the puzzles are completed. The unusual physics allowed by the portal gun are the emphasis of this game and are an extension of a similar portal concept in Narbacular Drop; many of the team members from the DigiPen Institute of Technology that worked on Narbacular Drop were hired by Valve for the creation of Portal.
Portal was acclaimed as one of the most original games of 2007, despite being considered short in length. The game received praise for its unique gameplay and darkly humorous story, created with the assistance of Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek of Old Man Murray fame. It also received acclaim for the character of GLaDOS, voiced by Ellen McLain in the English-language version, and the final credits song "Still Alive" written by Jonathan Coulton for the game. The game's popularity has led to official merchandise from Valve including plush Companion Cubes, and fan creations such as recreations of the cake and portal gun. A sequel, Portal 2, was announced in March 2010 for release during Q4 2010, but has now been given a release date of February 9, 2011.
In Portal, the player controls the protagonist, Chell, from a first-person perspective as she is challenged to navigate through a series of rooms using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (portal gun or ASHPD). The portal gun can create two distinct portal ends, orange and blue. The portals create a visual and physical connection between two different locations in three-dimensional space. Neither end is specifically an entrance or exit; all objects that travel through one portal will exit through the other. An important aspect of the game's physics is momentum redirection. For example, a common maneuver is to jump down to a portal on the floor and emerge through a wall, flying over a gap or another obstacle. This allows the player to launch objects or Chell herself over great distances, both vertically and horizontally, referred to as 'flinging' by Valve. As GLaDOS puts it, "In layman's terms: speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out." If portal ends are not on parallel planes, the character passing through is reoriented to be upright with respect to gravity after leaving a portal end.
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Official Site: Valve
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