All parent member reviews for Portal

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parents say

(out of 19 reviews)
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written byfgh8ud May 17, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written byAlphaZK93 April 20, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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
Parent Written byTheNardDog June 7, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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
Parent Written byEatMoreVeg February 23, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Yes!

After seeing this rating, I played Valve's Portal and was very surprised. This game is a relatively easy puzzle game, but a puzzle game nonetheless. There are small traces of dark humor and a slightly sinister back story, but nothing children can't handle. Violence is NOT an issue, the only example of it being small, non-humanoid, immobile robots that shoot you if in their view. They can be killed by pushing them over, where they shoot wildly before turning off. Blood splatters on a wall behind you if you're shot, but it's hardly noticeable. The player can also die by falling into a toxic fluid that looks like melted crayons, or being hit by a "High Energy Pellet", which is a slow moving star that needs to be sent to a receiver. In both cases, the player's point of view falls to the ground, and no blood or even the player's body is shown.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byCollege_Reviewe... October 12, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

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 byCastiel July 11, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written bywulfblood January 15, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

can take a small ammount of blood tha appears on nearby surfaces if a turrent happens to shoot you

I see no problem with buying the game for anyone over 8
What other families should know
Educational value
Educator and Parent Written byHaveAnEpiphany August 14, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Fantastic puzzler... challenging for younger kids

Played this with my 8-year-old daughter after we fell in love with Quantum Conundrum and went exploring to try to find other games created by the same team. Portal was actually created first and was surprisingly suitable for both of us. The puzzles are quite challenging -- she enjoyed playing them with me but would've gotten stuck on her own. I clicked the "violence" button only because of the presence of guns, bullets and blood. As scary as that might sound, the guns and bullets are entirely confined to the "turrets," which are inanimate objects that shoot at you when you're in range. If they hit you, a blood spatter will be left behind you on the floor or other surface. This was incredibly mild and frankly it's hard to describe how charming the turrets really are. You do have to disable them, hence the "violence against inanimate objects" component in the complete review on this site. GlaDOS is a riot. The darker elements of her humor will be lost on younger kids. To me this is a little like a Pixar film -- there's hilarious content that the kids won't get. I'm sure Portal wasn't created with kids as the target audience, but to me there are no concerns here. I rated it as appropriate for 7 and up because we would've played this when my daughter was younger had we known about it. All in all, I'd say this is truly one of the better computer games I've personally ever played. It's educational in that it forces you to think about physics and it presents some mind-bending challenges. With great music, a well-thought-out and entertaining script, what is arguably the greatest voice-over work ever (thank you to Ellen McLain for that), and a really engaging story, this game is a winner! Oh and... um, there's cake!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byHoneyTherapy June 29, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Cake

This game is educational. "Portal" can be played at Wabash college for class credit.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byTheRightReviews May 4, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

This is good for...

Portal is a fantastic game by Valve. In the game, players are a test subject put through difficult puzzles. If your child is under 10, and easily scared, this may not be the game for them. The whole game you are accompanied by an off settling robot. The games atmosphere is also somewhat sinister, because there is not another human in sight, and sudden malfunctions happen to the robot. Overall, a mature 9-year old and up could handle this game, and if you yourself are a gamer, i strongly advise checking it out. I hope this review helped you decide, thanks for reading, and have a nice day.
Adult Written byPvt. Sokolva January 5, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

This is just an Incredible game. Buy it.

This is an absolutely gorgeous game. Great $$$, short, sweet, to the point, no lose ends, great gameplay, great challenge yet not too hard...I literally played the whole thing through in 5 hours (it would probably take a kid longer because the puzzles are quite hard). This game is subtly creepy in the very best way possible; not a slasher, very little blood, but there's a constant feeling of unease, of threat, of being trapped and watched. And you are trapped and watched. I don't think it would really scare a kid though....the creepiness is subtle enough that I'm pretty sure a five year old could watch it and the creepiness would go right over their heads without even touching them. Gave me chills sometimes though! But this game is one of those that is going to go down in gaming history. It will be remembered forever, just like the companion cube, in our fondest memories.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written bymurrayzz1 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A game that improves skills and entertains

Portal is a refreshing change from the usual bloody violence of first person shooters. The player has to work out what to do, and has to solve puzzles that really make you think. Added to that, the teleporting means that the player also has to plan ahead, and the frequent unnatural changes in orientation mean that playing the game improves spatial awareness. A nice touch is the sardonic computer voice-over, which gently mocks the player throughout the game, and there's a healthy dose of visual humour. Despite the short gameplay, both my kids find this game totally engrossing and return to it again and again. Overall, Portal is a game that's low on violence and high on educational value and good humour. I wish that there were more games like this.