Portal 2

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Overview:

Portal 2 is the long awaited sequel to Portal, made by Valve, the same developer of half-life, Team Fortress 2 and Counter strike.  The puzzle game challenges people to use their mind and navigate through the now decrepit Aperture Science facility with only a portal gun in hand to try to escape. Along the way you may find yourself solving test chambers the evil AI GLaDOS has set up, exploring the buried old Aperture Science facility and meeting new characters like Wheatley, an AI personality core that assists you as you escape.

Mechanics:

Other than the unique portal mechanic added with the first Portal, all new mechanics have been introduced to enhance the puzzle solving experience. Some of the new mechanics include lasers, laser redirecting cubes, bridges of made of light and gels that give surfaces and objects new properties.

Features:

One of the most long awaited feature is the 2 Co-op mode. Named the cooperative testing initiative, you play as 2 robots built by GLaDOS, Atlas and P-body. In the co-op mode, there are all new maps and puzzles to solve, pushing for communication and co-operation between the 2 players. Another new feature is the The Perpetual Testing Initiative, allowing players to make their own puzzles for others to solve.

Image result for cooperative testing initiativeAtlas on the left, P-body on the right

Story:

[Spoilers]

The game occurs an unspecified amount of time from the original game, but the state of the surroundings show that the time difference is quite sizable. You play as Chell, a portal gun wielding test subject from Aperture science. Woken up by Wheatley, an AI personality core, you try to escape the facility, accidentally reactivating GLaDOS. Eventually you defeat GlaDOS, and Wheatley takes charge of the facility. This drives Wheatley mad with power and knocks you down into the old Aperture facility. While doing so, he also puts GLaDOS into a potato. After exploring the old facility and uncovering the backstory of GLaDOS and the Aperture Science, Chell together with GLaDOS find a way back, put GLaDOS back in charge and send Wheatley to space.

Conclusion:

This is a great game with compelling story and interesting characters and the feeling of finally solving a puzzle on your own is a very rewarding one.

Photo courtesy: http://www.astrolabe-melun.fr/cms/articleview/id/1264

https://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Cooperative_Testing_Initiative

Pony Island

Pony Island

Before you assume that this is a  game made specifically for girls, I assure you that it is not one of those games. I do not want to give away a lot of spoilers so the information here may not be a lot. By the way, this game is on steam and is released only this year on 4 Jan 2016.

First off, you will be forced to play this game called “Pony Island” inside this game Pony Island.

Gameplay

When playing any “Pony Island” in this game, you will play as a pony and has to jump over the white bars. Overtime the game will get increasingly ridiculously difficult and may even make you rage quit. You will get wings and be able to shoot laser beams later on in this game. While playing, the in-game programmer of the game “Pony Island” will try to talk to you and try to persuade/threaten you to not cheat.

Later on in the game there will be puzzles like the one shown above. It tests your intellect and tries to make you rage quit. Most of the time you get to this screen when you are “hacking” in the game.

Story Line


I will not be talking a lot about this because the main attraction of the game is the plot/story line. As you progress in the game, you will discover many secrets and have many questions and you still will even after the completion of the game. A person named “Hopeless soul” (the one in the picture) will guide you through the entire process and is the one hacking for you. The main goal is to destroy the 3 core files. I will leave one spoiler at the end of this review.

Bosses

For this one, I will not show any pictures as it will be very obvious what the plot is after seeing the pictures.

1st boss name: Azazel

It will give you 4 puzzles for you to solve to destroy the 1st core file and it will try to ruin it for you. After that, once you open the menu for the deletion of the core files, he will use his own cursor to close it and this is testing on your speed.

2nd boss: (name unknown)

It occurs in the game “Pony Island” which you have to dodge the projectiles shot by him and kill him with your laser.

3rd boss : (I will not reveal it yet)

It uses many, many tricks and smart ones also. You don’t need any skills to win it as all you need to do is to LISTEN and FOLLOW its instructions CAREFULLY and I really mean it. To win him all you really need to do is FOLLOW his instructions. By the way he is very difficult to win and you can end up rage quitting.

I will leave the final boss for you to discover on your own.

The secrets are for you to find and this is available in steam and there may be a sequel.

 

Photo courtesies of: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTH674unXEgaB5nKkxJ8urFheIukeBLhn1zJluzBC6eLf57E61E-g

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https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSaCPzbd_ARyZimGRSFA9ad4qxBL3E_2e6z22TKvUiBDmtNRl5Y

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/steamtradingcards/images/c/ce/Pony_Island_Foil_1.png/revision/latest?cb=20160105064827

 

Polarity

Polarity is a first person puzzle game. With both a single player campaign and a co-op puzzle adventure. In Polarity, you play as a high-tech hacking robot. Solve your way through the different levels with this simple concept in mind. Blue passes through Blue and Red passes through Red.

This game takes place in a series of small rooms where you have to solve the puzzles that once solved will give you a huge sense of achievement. Polarity is really simple and you would be thinking about how you would manipulate certain objects, colours. Since it is on the web store Steam, many users compare it to Portal, the puzzle game made by Valve. There are lots of similarities and also lots of differences which makes Polarity stand out. Here’s an analogy for it. Imagine that you have a really fun game in your hand and you cannot wait to play it. But you cannot afford a super fast computer. Instead you only can play on a laptop which has not the best graphics. You don’t get the best you can get. But you get enough so that you can have fun.

Polarity cost SGD$11.50 and is on sale right now for the cheap price of SGD$0.23. So overall in my opinion, this game is a must try for Portal fans. For other gamers that want to try something different they may want to get this when it is on sale.

Photo Courtesy http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/315430/header.jpg?t=1405092662

Portal

Portal is made by Valve Corporation as a test experiment on a different type of game genre. Instead of the typical shooters Valve has made portal was a first-person puzzle game where the player is given a device called the “Aperture Science Hand-held Portal Device” where you’re able to shoot a blue and orange portal on certain surfaces and allows the player to walk through it.

In the game, you play as a test subject and have to complete test chambers in the Aperture Science Testing Facility. When you first start up the game, you wake up and is greeted by a robot named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) and it explains what you are going to do. GLaDOS then promises you cake after completing all the test for going through all the trouble.

Throughout the game, you get to play many of the fun-packed levels, each with it’s own unique and special way needed to solve it which would definitely prove to get one’s brain thinking if it isn’t already. There are endless possibilities you can do with portals, for example, you could mess around and make a small bowling alley where you would shoot a prop at turrets to knock them over. As you progress further into the game, you will soon discover the secrets of the facility.

Gameplay Footage

You will discover the use of physics in this game like catapulting yourself by jumping from a high position into a portal and flinging yourself out of the other portal, allowing you to travel long distances with ease. Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cubes can also be used to push down buttons to activate certain things like doors. As you reach to the end of all the test chambers, GLaDOS would give you the surprise.

Aperture Science has a lore too, it was founded in the early 1940s by a man named Cave Johnson. During that time the company was known as ‘Aperture Fixtures’ and it was primary dedicated to the manufacturing of shower curtains but was soon changed to ‘Aperture Science Innovators’. Cave Johnson’s company soon changed their focus to science due to the name and he purchased an abandoned salt mine where the Aperture Science’s Enrichment Centre was built. However in the early 1970s Aperture Science was financially unstable and in the 1980s testing was necessary for all employees and Cave Johnson became gravely ill himself with experiments from moon rock poisoning which were used as a portal conductor.

In conclusion, Portal is a great choice if you’re looking for a puzzle game that has simple yet challenging puzzles. It is not that pricey either as it cost only S$1o.50 on steam and is sure to keep you entertained throughout the game.

Photo courtesy of:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/400/

http://www.ign.com/blogs/rcc97/2014/01/01/game-review-portal-2007

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/02/valve-explains-why-portals-companion-cube-had-to-die/