INTRODUCTION / OPENING PARAGRAPH1
Valve—creators of the legendary Half-Life and Left 4 Dead series—released an unusual title called Portal. This odd first person exploration and puzzle solving game seemed so peculiar at first but it would soon become one of the most fun and innovative titles released by Valve. Portal’s success has been seen in the form of comics, two games and a whole slew of memes that still exist online even today. That is why we here at Honey’s Anime took it upon ourselves to make a list of games that reminded us of the Portal series. Welcome to our 6 Games Like Portal recommendations list.
First person puzzle solving and exploration features aren’t easy tasks to accomplish in the gaming market. Sure you can go online and find a tsunami of titles that cater to this gameplay mechanic, but a lot of them end up just being mediocre or easy to beat. Portal wasn’t simple and required a lot of thought and clever solutions all while presented in a world that begs for exploration. That is why our list of games like Portal down below are similar in that regard, if it’s not world exploration focused, then it’s puzzle solving or situational quick thinking, maybe hybrids of both ideals. While the cake may be a lie in Portal—though some beg to differ—these amazing games like Portal are far from lies and we know you’re going to love them.
Similar Games to Portal
1. Magrunner: Dark Pulse
- System/Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
- Developer: Frogwares
- Release Date: Jun 20, 2013
What should have been just a simple experiment turns horrifying in Magrunner: Dark Pulse. Dax—one of the several chosen souls—ends up participating in an experiment using a new piece of technology. As Dax enters the facility made by the MagTech Corporation, something horrible seems to happen. The training course changes and now, if Dax wishes to survive, he will have to rely on technology he’s barely used to solve dangerous puzzles and hopefully escape.
We start off our list with a title that contains so many similar themes to Portal it’s scary. However, don’t take that as it’s a clone because we can tell you Magrunner: Dark Pulse does a lot of different things with its first person puzzle solving. Players will use an odd device that allows Dax to manipulate magnetic materials for various puzzles in game. Though what is different from the Portal series is that Magrunner: Dark Pulse takes some big themes from the Lovecraft lore to infuse into this world a dark and creepy setting that makes it almost a horror game at times. Magrunner: Dark Pulse is an exciting puzzle solving title that may mimic a lot of ideas found in the Portal series but it never is a mere clone and always feels original thanks to its game mechanics and story.
Magrunner: Dark Pulse- PC Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
- System/Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, Android, iOS
- Publisher: Playdead, Microsoft Game Studios
- Developer: Playdead
- Release Date: Jul 21, 2010
Waking up you find yourself in a dark forest all alone. As you move forward you see something off in the distance; it seems to be a young girl. You rush forward to catch up to her but to no avail she has somehow disappeared. Now you have a new goal; one that is harder than you initially realize. You must somehow escape this forest alive…
That feeling of being alone in a creepy place is captured fairly well in Portal but even better in LIMBO. This black and white colored game has players controlling a young boy as they navigate several locations all while trying to survive against various environmental hazards as well as enemies. LIMBO begs players to ask why as they play and will make them question what they witness. With no written dialogue and no speech in game, LIMBO is an experience that leaves many ideals and theories up to interpretation. If you love puzzle solving and love stories that aren’t straight forward we here at Honey’s Anime fully recommend LIMBO.
LIMBO Trailer | E3 2013 (Official Trailer)
3. The Swapper
- System/Platform: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, PS Vita, PC
- Publisher: Facepalm Games, Nintendo (JP)
- Developer: Facepalm Games, Curve Studios
- Release Date: May 30, 2013
You land on a space station that seems devoid of all of its occupants. As you explore and read entries from the missing crew, you begin to notice something strange must have occurred. As you explore the station, you find a device that allows you to clone yourself in certain situations but this clone isn’t just a husk; It is you. However, if you wish to navigate around this ship and through areas that have been damaged, you’ll need to create clones to help you accomplish this task. What’s more important: your life or your clones?
In puzzle games like Portal you tend to ask a lot of questions. Why are you solving puzzles and why are you here? In The Swapper you ask an even harder question, is what you’re sacrificing worth it to solve a puzzle? Players who partake in this odd but interesting sci-fi journey will have to solve treacherous puzzles and rely on their wits—as well as the cloning technology—if they hope to learn what happened to this space station and its crew. The Swapper is truly a unique side scrolling puzzle game and fans of the Portal games will enjoy the narrative and the puzzle mechanics in equal measure.
The Swapper- Launch Trailer | PS4, PS3 & PS Vita (Official Trailer)
Any Games Like Portal ?
4. Half-Life 2
- System/Platform: PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3
- Publisher: Valve
- Developer: Valve
- Release Date: Nov 16, 2004
The Black Mesa incident is far from Gordon Freeman’s mind now. Having been put in a coma for some time, Gordon is woken up as he is traveling on a train to some unknown station. Once he arrives Gordon finds his old familiar world has changed greatly and people are being oppressed by beings called the Combine. Now Gordon will be tasked with somehow seeing if he can save the world once more as he joins old familiar faces in a resistance group. Gordon once more arms himself with his HEV suit and his trusty reliable crowbar in Half-Life 2.
Our 6 Games Like Portal list wouldn’t be complete without Half-Life 2 on it. This FPS title—from developers Valve who also created Portal—has players once more assuming the legendary scientist Gordon Freeman. While Half-Life 2 focuses more on killing aliens and other baddies, Gordon’s mind—in this case, the player who is controlling him—must occasionally solve puzzles that hinder Gordon’s forward progress. Half-Life 2 is seen as a legendary series by fans and even those who have never played the original, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give this amazing game a try.
Half-Life 2 on OS X- Free Yourself (Official Trailer)
5. The Stanley Parable
- System/Platform: PC
- Publisher: Galactic Cafe
- Developer: Galactic Cafe
- Release Date: Oct 17, 2013
Poor Stanley isn’t by any definition unique or special. As a typical office worker, Stanley is basically just another series of numbers in a corporate world. However, Stanley is about to find his whole world turned upside down when a peculiar incident happens at work. Stanley was once more just working on his computer but then found he needed assistance as it seem to stop working. Leaving his office,—something Stanley rarely does—he notices everyone is gone. What happened to all of his fellow coworkers and what will happen to Stanley? Find out in The Stanley Parable, look Stanley is now important he has his own game.
Portal and The Stanley Parable aren’t in the same realm in terms of puzzle solving per say but they do share a narrative thrill ride with many twists and turns making them a perfect fit. In The Stanley Parable players take the role of Stanley in this first person adventure game. While the Portal series is centered on puzzles, The Stanley Parable only makes a few to alter where Stanley’s path goes. The Stanley Parable isn’t tough but how many endings are available you’ll realize the world Stanley is one giant puzzle waiting to be solved. Players who love story focused games—a great element of Portal 1 and 2—will find The Stanley Parable full of dark humor and great narrator. Also can we praise the narrator, he is awesome.
The Stanley Parable Launch Trailer (Official Trailer)
6. Mirror’s Edge
- System/Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Windows Phone
- Publisher: Electronic Arms
- Developer: EA DICE
- Release Date: Nov 11, 2008
In Mirror’s Edge players assume the role of Faith Connors as she lives in a world free from crime and social anarchy. However, a side effect of this is that people have lost the will to have freedom of movement and thought and live under constant watch from the police. Faith happens to be a runner—a carrier of various items and services that avoid being scanned by the police—who one day gets caught up in a situation that involves her sister. Faith must now avoid capture and help her sister by doing one of the things she’s great at, running…
Mirror’s Edge may not give players a gun that can open portals but it gives a freedom in being able to parkour like no other game. Players will have to run, jump and slide their way across buildings and narrow scaffoldings to reach the end of each area. Faith will also have to deal with various police like foes but luckily Faith is a capable fighter or she can choose to run if that’s an option. Like Portal, Mirror’s Edge is a liberating experience thanks to developers at EA DICE who created something truly jaw dropping. Our list ends with what we felt was a great example of what a game can do when breaking from cliché mechanics and themes, that game is Mirror’s Edge in every regard.
Mirror’s Edge Trailer (Official Trailer)
Portal is one of those titles that seems like a risk that fortunately came out successful. On paper the Portal games sound silly and odd but in execution these are some of the best uses of first person puzzling solving we’ve ever seen here at Honey’s Anime. The titles above harken to that same ideal and that is why they aren’t any less amazing. Though with that our list comes to a closure and we must part ways again folks. However, don’t be gone long we’ll be back to make more lists of games like as well as other gaming articles here at Honey’s Anime. If you want to show us some love in the meantime though, throw a comment down below and we’ll be sure to read them.