"You're doing very well," a machine voice blurts through a state-of-the-art monitoring system. "Please be advised that a noticeable taste of blood is not part of any test protocol, but is an unintended side effect of the Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grille, which may, in semi-rare cases," it adds, "emancipate dental fillings, crowns, tooth enamel, and teeth."

Rarely does a game hit with the impact of Valve Corporation's Portal. An instant success among critics and fans alike, the downloadable puzzle game carved itself into the enthusiast hive mind. Part of the reason is due to the quirky, yet sinister GLaDOS, a machine overseer of the game's unique sterile observatories. Its one-liners (see above), fictitious warnings, and promises extract chuckles within a  serious tonal framework that challenges without bringing users to their knees.

Of course the bigger reason for its success is tied to the game's name. Portal is a first-person game built with the Half-Life -- called "Source" -- engine. But unlike its Source counterparts, Portal shirks conventional teeth-gnashing, bullet-spewing visceral action. Solving and casual exploration composes its core, with the characteristic portal gun being the chief object of accomplishing both these concepts. When fired twice, the portal gun opens up teleports that users can then use to navigate and interact within their white-walled, three-dimensional world.

Portals are key to discovering new routes within each of the game's many confined puzzles (the protagonist is trapped in a series of "tests") that need to be solved before another can be tackled. Reduced to the essentials, most puzzles break down into a traditional "keep the button pressed and a door will open" mold but there are other spots of puzzle design at work. Momentum, platforming, and even threat avoidance all have a place.

// There's nothing like Portal yet on an iDevice (even though some brave legal ice-skaters may still be porting the title with Unity - see video above). I've yet to discover a narrative with the same wrinkles or even design with the same complexity and care. But there's no reason to keep yourself from exploring what Portal has to offer; Until May 24th, 2010, developer Valve is offering a download of the game for free.

A Macintosh version is now available for free as well. Valve just opened up their Steam platform, which is something like iTunes for videogames, to the Cupertino crowd. The celebration, I suppose, is in full swing -- over 60 titles are to be available soon for Mac users, with more are set to come each Wednesday... but none are free like Portal.

I realize Portal isn't an iDevice title -- although that idea tickles me -- but it's silly to ignore how unique and compelling Portal is. If for whatever reason you don't have the hardware to run the game right now, go ahead and give it a download anyway. It'll stay tied to your Steam account forever, just like an iTunes App Store download. Oh, and do enjoy the cake on your way out.

  • Tkun

    I was going to, but then I realized I already have the Orange Box, and there's no use in creating an account for a game I already have. Everyone that doesn't already have this game, should definitely download it though. It's an ingenious game that all gamers should play.

  • Tkun

    I was going to, but then I realized I already have the Orange Box, and there's no use in creating an account for a game I already have. Everyone that doesn't already have this game, should definitely download it though. It's an ingenious game that all gamers should play.

  • http://myspace.com/battlebornmusic Battle Born

    The cake is not a lie!

  • http://myspace.com/battlebornmusic Battle Born

    The cake is not a lie!

  • Lukeb

    Why does this article include a photo of the game running on an idevice?

    • Lukeb

      The title should read "Not an iPhone game, but you should download it anyway"

  • Lukeb

    Why does this article include a photo of the game running on an idevice?

    • Lukeb

      The title should read "Not an iPhone game, but you should download it anyway"

  • Brad Nicholson

    Read the article and you'll see.

    • Lukeb

      Kind of a cheap trick to get someone to read the article, since the title the gives the first impression that an iPhone version may have at least been already announced. Anyway, thanks for the info.

  • Brad Nicholson

    Read the article and you'll see.

    • Lukeb

      Kind of a cheap trick to get someone to read the article, since the title the gives the first impression that an iPhone version may have at least been already announced. Anyway, thanks for the info.

  • Vidya

    "iphone game or not", no it's not. Why is this on this site? Christ

    • Torsktunga

      Eh. Dont be so but hurt. Go play a great game for christ sake.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jayrossss jay

      He is making the assumption that people who visit the site have: ipod touches/iphones and thus might have macs, and are interested in games.

      "Christ"?

      • Eggbert

        He's not even assuming that. It's also free for windows.

      • ImNoSuperMan

        Its free for both Mac and PC as long as you are willing to create a steam account and download it before 24th of May.

    • LD

      Because it's pretty big news, and he thought Toucharcade readers might be interested.

      Don't be a whining jackass, if you're not interested skip the damn article. There are a million better things to waste your precious time complaining about.

    • newman

      Um... He got paid to write it?

    • Harry Smoke

      Some people just love to bitch...

  • Vidya

    "iphone game or not", no it's not. Why is this on this site? Christ

    • Torsktunga

      Eh. Dont be so but hurt. Go play a great game for christ sake.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jayrossss jay

      He is making the assumption that people who visit the site have: ipod touches/iphones and thus might have macs, and are interested in games.

      "Christ"?

      • Eggbert

        He's not even assuming that. It's also free for windows.

      • ImNoSuperMan

        Its free for both Mac and PC as long as you are willing to create a steam account and download it before 24th of May.

    • LD

      Because it's pretty big news, and he thought Toucharcade readers might be interested.

      Don't be a whining jackass, if you're not interested skip the damn article. There are a million better things to waste your precious time complaining about.

    • newman

      Um... He got paid to write it?

    • Harry Smoke

      Some people just love to bitch...

  • http://www.robotplague.com robotplague

    Here here!

  • http://www.robotplague.com robotplague

    Here here!

  • mattll

    there is a portal like game on the appstore called v is for vortex

  • mattll

    there is a portal like game on the appstore called v is for vortex

  • Stan Winstone

    Also funny howthe PC habits they ported over to the Mac version. Like a dock icon and desktop Shortcut- what's that? Default to Open at Login. Oh and bugginess and lagginess. Other than that it's totally awesome.

    • http://www.microsoft.com Synther

      Portal is awesome, and I don't experience lags or bugs at all on my Windows desktop, laptop, and my old laptop. Mac users should stop saying Windows sucks because it doesn't work, because thats just bullcrap.

      Oh, and something else Mac users should worry about;

      If there are going to be more demanding games for Mac, like Crysis, Empire:Total War, Dirt2 etc. Mac users will probably notice even the best Mac pro GPU's sucks compared to my 11,6" laptop's GPU (m11x, Nvidia GT335M).

      All GPU's Apple uses are ancient compared to decent up-to-date GPU's. Oh ofcourse, you can put 4 prehistoric GPU's in a Mac Pro. Sounds fast doesn't it? Well it isn't. For the money you get 4 shit GPU's you can get a high end GTX 470.

      Plus, you need to spend a rediculous ammount of money on a Mac that's actually able to handle these ancient GPU's, a 15< MBP for a GT330, or a 27" mac for a HD4850.

      Wtf.

      Buy a windows PC for gaming, saves you alot of money.

      • Kite111

        Yeah, for gaming there's no reason to get a Mac. The ONLY reason to get a Mac is everything else.

      • heh

        If your idea of functionality is Safari...YOU MIGHT BE A MAC USER

  • Stan Winstone

    Also funny howthe PC habits they ported over to the Mac version. Like a dock icon and desktop Shortcut- what's that? Default to Open at Login. Oh and bugginess and lagginess. Other than that it's totally awesome.

    • http://www.microsoft.com Synther

      Portal is awesome, and I don't experience lags or bugs at all on my Windows desktop, laptop, and my old laptop. Mac users should stop saying Windows sucks because it doesn't work, because thats just bullcrap.

      Oh, and something else Mac users should worry about;

      If there are going to be more demanding games for Mac, like Crysis, Empire:Total War, Dirt2 etc. Mac users will probably notice even the best Mac pro GPU's sucks compared to my 11,6" laptop's GPU (m11x, Nvidia GT335M).

      All GPU's Apple uses are ancient compared to decent up-to-date GPU's. Oh ofcourse, you can put 4 prehistoric GPU's in a Mac Pro. Sounds fast doesn't it? Well it isn't. For the money you get 4 shit GPU's you can get a high end GTX 470.

      Plus, you need to spend a rediculous ammount of money on a Mac that's actually able to handle these ancient GPU's, a 15< MBP for a GT330, or a 27" mac for a HD4850.

      Wtf.

      Buy a windows PC for gaming, saves you alot of money.

      • Kite111

        Yeah, for gaming there's no reason to get a Mac. The ONLY reason to get a Mac is everything else.

      • heh

        If your idea of functionality is Safari...YOU MIGHT BE A MAC USER

  • http://Www.demasseur.me Remon

    Loved this game on my pc!

    So is this game ever going to come to the iPhone/ipad?

  • http://Www.demasseur.me Remon

    Loved this game on my pc!

    So is this game ever going to come to the iPhone/ipad?

  • Hitch

    YES! Awesome game. Downloading now. Thanks TA!

  • Hitch

    YES! Awesome game. Downloading now. Thanks TA!

  • Victor

    cool I see portal is never coming to iPhone then based on that "powered by unity" screen shot there.

    but yes downloading portal right now on my macbook. thanks valve! <3

  • Victor

    cool I see portal is never coming to iPhone then based on that "powered by unity" screen shot there.

    but yes downloading portal right now on my macbook. thanks valve! <3

  • ossto

    downloading now.. :)

  • ossto

    downloading now.. :)

  • Dylan

    Portal is Friggin awesome! Download it!!!

  • Dylan

    Portal is Friggin awesome! Download it!!!

  • Shadowsfall

    Beat the game in about 7 hours :D... THE CAKE IS A LIE!!! A LIEEEE....

  • Shadowsfall

    Beat the game in about 7 hours :D... THE CAKE IS A LIE!!! A LIEEEE....

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Portal is one of the best video games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I worked thru it as part of the Orange Box on my X360, but any version is a solid play. I do hope it comes to the iPhone platform.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      FWIW, Half-Life 2 is prob the best game I've ever played.

      • Lukeb

        Yeah HL2 is so good that I've deliberately left the version on my Macbook unfinished for a couple more years, even though I began the game years ago on the xbox 360 during the brief time I owned one.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Portal is one of the best video games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I worked thru it as part of the Orange Box on my X360, but any version is a solid play. I do hope it comes to the iPhone platform.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      FWIW, Half-Life 2 is prob the best game I've ever played.

      • Lukeb

        Yeah HL2 is so good that I've deliberately left the version on my Macbook unfinished for a couple more years, even though I began the game years ago on the xbox 360 during the brief time I owned one.

  • TheFamousEccles

    I appreciate the announcement, even though it isn't working for me. I download Steam, it starts updating, but once its finished it says it isn't connected to the internet. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out by the 24th.

  • BR

    no one points out that the app store owes a tremendous amount to steam, the first truly viable dd service.. Valve are way and above most game devs it's untrue

  • TheFamousEccles

    I appreciate the announcement, even though it isn't working for me. I download Steam, it starts updating, but once its finished it says it isn't connected to the internet. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out by the 24th.

  • BR

    no one points out that the app store owes a tremendous amount to steam, the first truly viable dd service.. Valve are way and above most game devs it's untrue

  • darwiniandude

    Portal is great. Actually, most my face indie games not no longer require the windows reboot - braid, world of goo, torchlight. Bob cam in pieces looks cool.

    Anyway, Steam working fine on the Mac here. Portal is old anyway. If I turn off AA it's silky smooth in 2560x1440 (native res of 27" imac, i have the base model not the quad with the better card)

    Thanks for the heads up for those who didn't know... PC'ers too. It's a great game.

  • darwiniandude

    Portal is great. Actually, most my face indie games not no longer require the windows reboot - braid, world of goo, torchlight. Bob cam in pieces looks cool.

    Anyway, Steam working fine on the Mac here. Portal is old anyway. If I turn off AA it's silky smooth in 2560x1440 (native res of 27" imac, i have the base model not the quad with the better card)

    Thanks for the heads up for those who didn't know... PC'ers too. It's a great game.

  • larrybeo

    This game is as old as my grandma! Wow. If Apple wouldn't be so monopolistic in it's business practices Mac users would have been able to play this game a long time ago. I've been playing this on a custom-built PC that is able to do far superior graphics than anything you'll buy out of Cupertino. It's just such a shame Steve has a God complex and doesn't allow access to their hardware like normal people would.

    • SstakK

      Man youre right. I have a custom built PC too and its cheaper than a mac with 27" blah blah mac and screen in one stuff.

      And my pc is better at everything, faster gaming, making documents, surfing, editing videos ect.

      But this is good news as its good to know that MAC finally gets a bit of good games. And maybe this will also lead to better gaming hardware for MAC :)

  • larrybeo

    This game is as old as my grandma! Wow. If Apple wouldn't be so monopolistic in it's business practices Mac users would have been able to play this game a long time ago. I've been playing this on a custom-built PC that is able to do far superior graphics than anything you'll buy out of Cupertino. It's just such a shame Steve has a God complex and doesn't allow access to their hardware like normal people would.

    • SstakK

      Man youre right. I have a custom built PC too and its cheaper than a mac with 27" blah blah mac and screen in one stuff.

      And my pc is better at everything, faster gaming, making documents, surfing, editing videos ect.

      But this is good news as its good to know that MAC finally gets a bit of good games. And maybe this will also lead to better gaming hardware for MAC :)

  • omg

    Portal is soooo 2007.

    • Harry Smoke

      You took the time to post that comment?

  • omg

    Portal is soooo 2007.

    • Harry Smoke

      You took the time to post that comment?

  • menom

    @ larrybeo

    well, I've not been short of games on iPhone and PS3 for the past few years

    now I've got Portal for free and loads more stuff for good value on Mac

    good luck in trying to slant this as bad news for Apple, but you're pissing into the wind on that one

  • menom

    @ larrybeo

    well, I've not been short of games on iPhone and PS3 for the past few years

    now I've got Portal for free and loads more stuff for good value on Mac

    good luck in trying to slant this as bad news for Apple, but you're pissing into the wind on that one

  • Heronymo

    Pretty sure you have to pay for it after the 24th no matter what. From the wording on the website, it seems to be a "trial" period.

    Quote:
    So you only have a few days to decide if your free copy of Portal is worth the price we're currently charging.

    • Selidor

      Judging by the tone of the rest of the page, I'm pretty sure that's just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying "It's free so hurry up and download it already." The price they're currently charging is nothing.

  • Heronymo

    Pretty sure you have to pay for it after the 24th no matter what. From the wording on the website, it seems to be a "trial" period.

    Quote:
    So you only have a few days to decide if your free copy of Portal is worth the price we're currently charging.

    • Selidor

      Judging by the tone of the rest of the page, I'm pretty sure that's just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying "It's free so hurry up and download it already." The price they're currently charging is nothing.

  • side note

    Just a friendly clarification: Half-Life uses the GoldSrc engine (which is a modified QuakeWorld engine, technically). Source is used for Half-Life *2* (and a plethora of other titles, Valve and non-Valve alike). I know nobody here probably cares, but on the off chance the author is as anal about details as me I figured I'd mention it. :)

    • dyscode

      You know there is a SOURCE Version on Half-Life on Steam?

      Also Black Mesa Project will bring the original Half-Life Experience
      as a free Half-Life 2 Mod.

      besides that:
      GEEZ, people complaing about something they get for FREE!!!
      how sick is that????

  • side note

    Just a friendly clarification: Half-Life uses the GoldSrc engine (which is a modified QuakeWorld engine, technically). Source is used for Half-Life *2* (and a plethora of other titles, Valve and non-Valve alike). I know nobody here probably cares, but on the off chance the author is as anal about details as me I figured I'd mention it. :)

    • dyscode

      You know there is a SOURCE Version on Half-Life on Steam?

      Also Black Mesa Project will bring the original Half-Life Experience
      as a free Half-Life 2 Mod.

      besides that:
      GEEZ, people complaing about something they get for FREE!!!
      how sick is that????

  • araczynski

    found the pc demo boring years ago, and then still a year ago... but to each their own.

  • araczynski

    found the pc demo boring years ago, and then still a year ago... but to each their own.

  • Rychiar

    game won't even run on my 24" imac. booooo

  • Rychiar

    game won't even run on my 24" imac. booooo

  • gonzalo

    Thanks for this post TA, this is one of the most awesome games I've played in a while!

  • gonzalo

    Thanks for this post TA, this is one of the most awesome games I've played in a while!

  • http://mohammadfauzitaib.com along123

    I already bought the orange box with portal in it for the xbox 360 but got stuck and also my xbox got the rrod. After, awhile i send it for repair and i can play my xbox games again. So, errr ..actually i immediately download it via steam after finding out that it's free!

    It's definitely a good game and have i already said that it's free?

    A must download for mac or pc!

    Hope, maybe, it'll come out for the iphone though. Hehe.

  • http://mohammadfauzitaib.com along123

    I already bought the orange box with portal in it for the xbox 360 but got stuck and also my xbox got the rrod. After, awhile i send it for repair and i can play my xbox games again. So, errr ..actually i immediately download it via steam after finding out that it's free!

    It's definitely a good game and have i already said that it's free?

    A must download for mac or pc!

    Hope, maybe, it'll come out for the iphone though. Hehe.

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