What do you get when GLaDOS merges with a Bridge Constructor core? Bridge Constructor Portal of course!
Portals meet Bridges
Published by Headup Games and developed by ClockStone, the makers of the Bridge Constructor series, Bridge Constructor Portal mixes the gameplay of the Constructor games with the familiar assets of Valve's Portal series.
The game starts you off in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center as a lowly underling. Your task is to follow GLaDOS's orders to solve puzzles that will allow for other underlings to drive their carts from one area of the map to another whilst utilizing already placed Portals to achieve that goal.
Plays on most platforms
The game was released on Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows in December 2017, and is now available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. So whatever your gaming platform flavor you have a plethora of options.
If you're on macOS you can buy the game on Steam for $9.99 USD.
If you're on iOS, you can find it in the App Store for $4.99 USD.
If you're playing on Nintendo Switch, you can get it in the eShop for $14.99
It's not Portal but it kind of is
No, this is NOT the Portal 3 we've all been clamoring Valve for. In fact, Valve is only involved in offering the Portal assets to the game. Of which, frankly, the developers do a great service to. I won't deny having a silly grin on my face whilst GLaDOS chastises me prior to a task. The use of familiar elements such as the Aperture Science Propulsion Gel and the "I-come-in-peace-esque" Turrets during puzzle solving have me giddy in a nostalgic sense yet I still feel satisfied with this game given what it is (i.e. not a Portal sequel).
As a big Portal series fan, I wanted to thumb my nose at this Portal-in-name only title. Except that as soon I heard GLaDOS's digitally dark voice, the synapses started firing and the endorphins started flowing and I was immediately engaged. The developers have used the same voice actress and she delivers the lines with the expected sarcasm and acerbic wit.
I've gotten through about 15 of the 60 puzzles as of this writing and I had to remind myself to put it down as I was having too much fun. Don't get me wrong, this is not a hardcore video game. This is a casual, pick up and play puzzle game but it's engaging enough to keep your interest peaked.
What about Valve and a true Portal successor
Valve Time is real folks and if Valve can at least offer it's assets to give us a game from the Portal universe and if they've no intention on creating one themselves then so be it.
But that being said Valve doesn't deserve the criticism it gets for not giving it's fans true sequels to Portal, Half Life, and Left-4-dead. Valve has single handedly jump started room-scale VR with it's release of the Vive wands and basestations licensed to HTC when Facebook and Oculus were initially happy to let room-scale only creep in slowly.
Valve's been busy
Valve has also created new VR hand controls called the "knuckle controllers" that are in developers hands now, announced a card trading game called Artifact based on the DOTA universe, and have announced that Valve is developing 3 full fledged VR games with dates and details yet to be determined (Valve Time not withstanding).
Is Gaben et al at Valve sleeping on piles of cash generated by their behemoth digital storefront Steam? Probably. Can Valve rest on its laurels and just rake in even more cash. For sure. Licensing Valve's assets to third parties rather than creating new games internally seems to prove that they in fact know this truth. But Valve seems to be waiting on a revolution in gaming. It seems that Valve's current focus on VR is perhaps where, if a revolution takes hold, Valve wants to be at the forefront of.
Whether or not you believe Valve is still making an impact in gaming there is no denying that Portal Bridge Constructor is a nice, fun, engaging casual game in it's own right. What about you? Will you give the game a try? Let us know in the comments!
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