Common Sense Media says

Innovative puzzler with first-person action.

Users say

(out of 138 reviews)
age 10+
Review this title!
Adult Written byfgh8ud May 17, 2010

Good game with a story too dark for younger children.

This is an amazing game, one of the best of all time, and it would be appropriate for younger kids if the storyline wasn't so dark. GLaDOS is a robot who will twist and manipulate you and later on the game, try to kill you with things such as turrets, falling cubes, poison water, and an attempt to incinerate you. Don't get me wrong, the storyline isn't so dark and twisted that it deserves an M, I think it is fit for a T, maybe even an E10+. Plus, it might be appropriate for younger kids, if they don't listen to the storyline on games really. But, it's not recommended for young kids. While GLaDOS is very manipulative, she is also likeable and very funny. The game is humorous, in a dark sort of way. GLaDOS is also creepy, because of everything she says, and what she has done (you will learn this at the end of the game, if you haven't already figured it out by the clues they gave you before you got there.) Overall, this is an amazing game, and even though it is short, I wasn't expecting a big 10-20 hour game on a disc with 5 games on it. 10/10
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written byGoodReviews330 April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written bynsvv April 30, 2011

A near perfect game, but unsuitable for under 13s

From a gameplay point of view, Portal is simply one of the best and deeply though out games I have ever played in my life. The puzzles are at times maddeningly difficult, but never impossible. Although Portal is now 5 years old, the graphics are still nice and run fluidly even on older machines. Now for the problems. In the later levels, there are turrets that shoot at you, with moderately realistic blood splashing onto walls behind you. Turrets are also heart-breakingly adorable, and they make you love them even though they want to kill you. The main enemy of the game (GLaDOS) constantly taunts you with messages meaning to hurt you, and may upset younger players. Nevertheless, she is an excellent character and is undoubtedly one of the best video game characters of all time despite the fact that she is a megalomaniac who has wrested control over a science facility. A final problem is the last level, where the player is running through the 'behind the scenes' of the facility. The environments are at times scary and disturbing, that unsettles even me. Portal's fantastic puzzles create an excellent challenge for teens and above, but the mild violence and negative themes makes it unsuitable for pre teens.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Teen, 15 years old Written byWell Informed Pizza September 11, 2011

Well...

The word h-ll is used once during the game, and some of GLaDOS' s taunts can get pretty-- ehh.... but most kids couldn't understand that until they're ready for it anyway. One thing I would like to point out is that the "violence against inanimate objects" is garbage. Really. The cube you are forced to "incinerate" isn't actually destroyed by the fire- only charred.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent Written byTheNardDog June 7, 2013

Portal - Innovative First Person Shooter Puzzle Game

Portal is an outstanding first person puzzle game where you have to shoot portals on walls to get out of a testing facility. The game can be a little spooky at times though. There is a creepy robot named GlaDos who runs the facility and wants you dead, but in a humorous way. Also you may be fired at by turrets and players can see minimal blood on the floor. Overall an outstanding innovative game. Thanks for reading this review!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bySciDude February 22, 2013

Now You're Thinking With Portals

Valve Software's hit title Portal is nothing short of the best. The game forces you to think outside of the box to solve puzzles using a device that creates two connected wormholes in walls, celings, and floors. Physics are constanly being used in new and inventive ways. For a game with not much story, it does get quite dark and intense towards the end. The game's overseer, GLaDOS, tries to kill the player in a variety of ways, only one of which shows blood. However, the game does bring forth a message about not giving up and persevering to get to your goal.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byJester™ April 20, 2011

One of the Best Games Around!

This is one of my all-time favourite games. Portal is an exciting, mind-bending puzzle-solving game. I only marked violence as a concern because there are approximately 2-3 levels in the game that include having to navigate around turrets, these small stationary robots will shoot at you and, if hit, there is a noticeable spray of blood on the walls/floor. The reason i said it was educational was because it makes you think and teaches you to use your brain in different ways to solve unusual puzzles. Portal will totally change your perspective when problem-solving. The games movement controls etc. are easy to grasp while the puzzle-solving will take a bit longer. However, i highly reccommend this game to all audiences because it is one of those few games that is relatively non-violent and encourages creative-thinking. (*NOTE* The OFLC (Australian) rating for this game is MA15+, however, do note that Portal was originally a simple bonus feature added to the Orange Box, a set of shooter games, and was not individually released until a while later.)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 November 14, 2009

Might be too scary and bloody for younger tweens.

This is a great game, I love it! I rate it iffy for 12+ though because the blood is graphic and realistic and some parts of the game can be really dark and creepy, and useually funny as well. In one level, you can find this off to the side room with "THE CAKE IS A LIE" written over and over again in blood on the wall.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byHaydenW March 16, 2014

Fun game for anyone who loves puzzles and humor.

The only reason this game is 6+up is because the younger kids might get confused and become bored. The dark humor mentioned in other reviews will fly right over younger children's heads. It's a good game for adults or younger children.
Teen, 17 years old Written byWREN345 July 1, 2012

Valve pulls off another amzing First-Person masterpice

Portals mix of dark humor and fast paced first person puzzles mixes perfectly for an amazing first person expirence. The blood to me though is a bit concering(tons of blood splats on walls when you are shot by turrets) but nothing a 10 year old cant handle.This is a must buy if you are in for a exclent game
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old December 15, 2011

Educational

Educational, but a little violence, 5 pauses, 0 offs, 3 ons, 2 12s, 0 6s, 3 9s, 5 10s, so its pause for 10+
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byAlphaZK93 April 20, 2011

Absolutely amazing, but hard for younger kids

No concerns for anyone over 10. Anyone younger may find the game creepy and/or too difficult to play (some levels are so hard they make your head hurt)
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written byCollege_Reviewe... October 12, 2010

Ignorable dialogue's dark humor might be 'iffy' content.

Although the game itself seems on the surface a physics-based puzzle game with "portals", the dark humorous dialogue might be too much for older teens who would actually pay attention to it. Younger kids would probably ignore the unimportant dialogue in the background as the game is beaten (as well as not understand it), but for older kids who would probably listen in: it may be iffy content.
Adult Written bymagreen9 September 3, 2014

The cake is a lie!

Teen, 14 years old Written byPikachuthemistborn May 24, 2014
Kid, 12 years old August 17, 2013

First Person Puzzle Game Great for 10+

This is my all-time favorite game, and includes mild violence and minimal blood. If you kill the turrets, they merely say, "Deactivating". The game is creepy, but that shouldn't really be a factor for buying the game. Just don't watch the conspiracy videos about the companion cube (You'll understand if you play Level 17). Also, the official review here on Common Sense Media says that humans are absent and have come to a disturbing end, but I disagree. The character you control is trapped in a mysterious science facility, and you only see a glimpse of the outside world in the post credits scene after you beat the boss, so there is likely humans everywhere, just not in the science facility with you.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old June 8, 2012

Addictive

Really fun, great game, played for several hours. Difficult yet fun puzzles, took me a while to complete. Nothing inappropriate, just blood that can be seen on the walls and floor when you are injured.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old May 15, 2011

Great game, Awesome

Perfect for teens and adolescents
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Kid, 11 years old April 18, 2011

Brilliant puzzle game, some violence and blood, one slightly creepy character, 11+

I love this game. It is educational, fun, safe and easy to play. The aim of the game is to create portals to solve increasingly difficult puzzles. I haveo finished the game and was fun and it's good because it requires logic and thought. Young children might find GLaDOS a bit creepy but definitely on for 11 year olds and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written bythe-ultimate-ownage March 10, 2011

Great for tweens

It is the best game ever
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value

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