We're being trolled, right? Maybe? I honestly can't tell if the titling for this is an attempt to draw interest by capitalizing on a popular brand or just misguided confidence in a product. Either way, Better Than Portal [$0.99] invites a comparison that it can't live up to in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I'm not going to waste anymore of my time comparing the two because POPS Worldwide didn't bother to try to do anything remarkable with this game. It is just another run-of-the-mill 2D puzzle game with flat writing, uninspired art, oodles of fail states, and a portal gun.

In Better Than Portal, you control a kid with whacky hair and a portal gun across a host of chapter-based levels that range from a reactor to an underground lab to a forest. In each level, the goal is to reach a purplish orb thing, usually tucked well and away from the kid. Getting to the orb requires use of the portal gun, which when used, can create tears in the universe allowing for easy teleportation of the kid and other objects such as, say, boxes. As the game ramps up, it introduces obstacles like laser grids, which you'll need to turn off by, generally, finding a box to drop onto a switch.

Where the game starts running into problems is in the controls. Simple taps in the world make portals, but there's just one type of portal, meaning every time you mess up you'll need to make two brand new portals instead of just one. This is wicked frustrating in a lot of the later levels, as you'll have to repeat entire sections of a puzzle (or even have to restart) if you accidentally touch the screen while moving your character.

There's also the issue of just being plain unambitious. The puzzles I've seen so far are Standard Video Game type of stuff. Now, the game might take it to the next level in the last two areas, but nothing I've seen in the mechanical build-up so far indicates that it will. Regardless, the first hour I've spent with Better Than Portal has been lackluster at best.

Anyway, you can see it for yourself today if you'd like. It's available worldwide right now for iPhone and iPod touch. We'll continue plugging away, just like the folks in the game's thread.

  • Josh Dombro
  • SmackDatButt

    This game is shit.

    • gukibupytew

      my co-worker's mother-in-law makes $81 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for seven months but last month her check was $18753 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on  Zap22.c­om

      • zombierevolver

        Stick your iphone right up you mom's a55

      • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

        It isn't HIS mom's, its his co-worker's mother-in-law.

      • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

        Wait, so why don't you do what your co-worker's mother-in-law does? Like you are so excited about it that you spam Touch Arcade about it, but you don't want to do it yourself? Cause if you did the same job you would have said "I make $81 hourly on the internet"--you wouldn't mention some extremely distant acquaintance of yours. Maybe you would and say, "My co-worker's mother-in-law AND also me too." Do you have a better job and so you don't want to do the same thing you co-worker's mother-in-law does??? Like, do you already make $82 dollars an hour just working on the internet for a few hours? if that's the case then why don't you talk to us about your own job instead of your co-worker's mother-in-laws?

        I'm so confused...

      • grammatonfeather

        It's a great example of how criminal minds use idiotic hooks to try and get people interested. Your logical reply is just what's needed.

  • Diaboliq

    Thanx for the warning, just save me .99

  • Cheeseball

    When you name a game that's supposed to be better than the game you're naming it after, you have to make sure it's better.

    This game... is pretty much shit (not THE shit, more like brown shit). Luckily, Apple's customer service granted my refund request ~30 minutes after I buying and trying it.

  • dibdib

    I'll give them some credit. The name is attention grabbing, and I wouldn't discount the potential for a mobile Portal-type game.

    Even a 2D one, there was a homebrew for DS called Still Alive that seemed popular.

  • http://matt-curtis.me/ Matt Curtis

    A portal for iOS done right would be awesome, though. Especially one similar to Portal: The Flash Game.

  • Adams Immersive

    "the first hour I've spent with Better Than Portal"

    Now that puts in perspective the kind of work TA does for us!

    • toxiccheese

      It isn't a review... In fact he says at the end of the article that he will keep plugging away at it. This is more of a first impressions article. And sometimes that's a good thing.

    • toxiccheese

      I'm not sure if you were mad or what... But I thought I'd add that I thought you were upset. If not, then it's all good!

      • Adams Immersive

        Ha! Yes, the lack of tone can be a confusion online!

        To be clear, though, I'm not mad at all: I was genuinely impressed that someone spends a full hour with a new game--and then, even if the game doesn't seem that great yet, plans to spend even more time! (Not to mention writing an article or three along the way, and maybe recording a video.)