Portal is a game that instantly puts the fabric of temporal space in your hands. This remarkably futuristic power is quickly put to use, helping you to traverse through a cognitive strip mall of puzzles. It’s the sort of game where every minor success makes you feel like a genius. If you're a fan of challenging puzzles, then these 16 games like Portal are sure to leave you scratching your head for more.
The Portal series has pierced through multiple levels of pop culture in ways most games can only dream of. Originally released in 2007, it basically redefined what people thought of as a modern puzzle game, with its clever sense of humor and convention-defying mechanics. Its fingerprints are very clearly seen on many of the games following its release. It even followed it up with a sequel that did the unthinkable and somehow topped it by a large margin. Do you think Portal 2 is better than the original? Are you among the vocal minority that the original will never be topped? Wherever you stand, it’s amazing to think that this all started from a DigiPen Institute student project.
Though a future entry in the Portal series seems unlikely, here are a few immensely enjoyable games like Portal and Portal 2 that might fulfill your search for similarly visionary experiences.
Portal Stories: Mel
This one's pretty obvious, considering it's a mod of Portal 2. Developed by Prism Studios, it's basically an official love letter to the Portal series. Taking place in the Aperture Science facility, it includes many of the same gameplay elements, and the puzzles are, surprisingly, just as challenging, if not slightly more so at times.
Why it's worth playing: While Portal and Portal 2 are more linear, this one's a bit more open. It also adds a handful of new features and, on average, takes eight to 10 hours to play from start to finish.
Platform(s): Windows, OS X, Linux
Genre(s): Puzzle platformer95Up for the challenge?
Q.U.B.E., or Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion, is an engaging first-person puzzle game where players activate various color-coded blocks in order to advance in the game. Each color represents a different function (yellow blocks, for example, let you make stairs and red blocks can be used to push or pull your enviroment). Like Portal, Q.U.B.E. relies heavily on slowly building up the mysterious story, which, in the end, is definitely worth the time invested.
Why it's worth playing: If you were to describe Q.U.B.E. in word one, 'polished' might be the most appropriate. The gameplay is extremely fluid, the graphics sharp, and the puzzles are constantly engaging. In addition to a director's cut (akin to a DLC), Q.U.B.E. 2 is also on the same level.
Platform(s): Android, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U
Genre(s): Puzzle95Up for the challenge?
Obduction trades in portals and prying robots for other worlds and aliens. Following in the beloved lineage of Myst, the player finds themselves exploring a seemingly deserted locale while trying to uncover the nature of the abduction that started their journey. With a great implementation of full-motion-video, this game has a charm like no other.
Why it's worth playing: The puzzles are presented in a less defined manner, than that of Portal. They consist more of poking around, looking at things, and trying to piece how they go together; drawing more of its cues from point and click adventure games.
Developer: Cyan Worlds
Genres (Video game): Adventure, Puzzle
Platforms: PlayStation 4, macOS, Microsoft Windows84Up for the challenge?
Rather than violence — solve it with science! At least that’s what Quantum Conundrum proclaims, in its environmental puzzle challenges. In concepts not far-flung from Portal and Portal 2, the game employs the ability to trip between rifts and harness the unique physics of four different dimensions to solve various dilemmas. If the level design of this game feels familiar, it might come as a surprise that the person in charge, Kim Swift also worked on Portal.
Why it's worth playing: By altering the fabric of reality, the player can shift between multiple dimensions in order to change the properties of objects around them. This opens the gateway to ambitious solutions, based around how you can warp the relativity of your surroundings.
54Up for the challenge?
- Release: 2012
- Developer: Airtight Games
- Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Platform game, Action game, Adventure, First-person Shooter
- Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows