Parents say

(out of 24 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
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
Adult Written bymagreen9 September 3, 2014

The cake is a lie!

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 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
Parent Written byFreela June 1, 2015

My family loved this game!

It's very rare for my three kids (13-year-old boy, 11-year-old girl, and 8-year-old girl) find a game that all three of them like, and even rarer for me to want to play along with them, but this game was a blast for all of us to play through as a family. It's a first-person shooter without any actual shooting and with very minimal graphic violence (pretty much limited to some blood spatter on the wall behind you if you're hit by turret fire.) The physics-based puzzles are smart and require thought, strategy, and creativity to solve... I've rated this 10 and up not because my 8-year-old was upset or frightened, but simply because she could not have gotten through some of the later test chambers without help. I had to ask my far more game-savvy son for help a few times when I got stuck! The writing and voice work is top-notch (featuring Ellen McLain as... pretty much the only voice in the game, including the adorable end credit song.) More sensitive kids may be upset by the dark humor, which is vaguely unsettling at first and progresses to flat-out passive-aggressive hostility towards the end, but this wasn't an issue for my kids at all. Even my 8-year-old thought GLaDOS was hilarious, and she is much-quoted around our house at this point. Finally, my 11-year-old daughter was enthralled that this is essentially an all-female game. The player character, Chell, is female when you are able to glimpse her through well-placed portals, and GLaDOS, the main antagonist, is female (or at least female-voiced) as well. Even at 11 my daughter is frustrated at how there are few females in games that are not portrayed as eye candy or as the victim that the male player-character needs to rescue... having the opportunity to play a game that comes down to a battle of wits between two tough, resourceful female characters was very gratifying for her.
Adult Written byCastiel July 11, 2010
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byHoneyTherapy June 29, 2013

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 byEatMoreVeg February 23, 2013

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
Parent of a 12 year old Written bywulfblood January 15, 2010

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
Adult Written bysusan l. October 25, 2016

portal two is better.

It has violence and is very dark. but this game has puzzles and requires your mind
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byTheApprover September 3, 2016

If your child likes repeatedly getting hit by a turret, you might not want to give it to them...

turrets are robots that shoot you if you recover by hiding, and then come out again repeatedly, you get blood splatters on the wall like leonardo da vinci painted it himself when he was angry.
What other families should know
Great messages
Easy to play/use
Adult Written bychrush January 4, 2016

a review + a suggestion

Portal is an excellent puzzle game that I want my future kids to play. It really stretches your mind and has some amazing (albeit a tad bit dark) humor, which is why I recommend it for teenagers, who are reaching a point in their lives when they can understand when something is a little messed up and not take it as a norm. That being said, compared to the vast stretch of games out there, it is quite low on violence (you knock over robots and blow up the the evil Artificial Intelligence at the end by solving a puzzle). The "gun" itself only shoots portals that you walk through, and it represents the only "weapon" in the game. Minor violence and some mildly dark humor are the only issues that someone could possibly find wrong with this game, which are far outweighed by the benefits of a well-made puzzle. As far as its short length is concerned, go buy Portal 2, which is much longer and has a mode where they can play alongside, and work with, a friend. I was really surprised that this website doesn't recommend the game "Antichamber", which can be purchased on the computer from the website store.steampowered.com Antichamber is an incredible puzzle game that has stumped me pretty hard, and I'm a mathematician. It's a simple, yet wonderfully logical game for older teens who want a challenge. The only reason that I suggest it to that age group is simply because how difficult it is to complete it, but anyone would have fun wandering through this mind-bending fun house. Essentially, take the first-person shooter puzzle nature of Portal, and insert it into a game that is constructed to look and behave like an M.C. Escher painting using Alice in Wonderland logic, and you have Antichamber. It challenges you to look past the assumptions that we make based on spatial reasoning and figure out the logic of the room, rather than where an exit or goal should appear. One of the very first puzzles involves walking around a corner into a room to find two stair cases, one going up and the other going down. Upon choosing a stair case to traverse, you go up or down, turn a corner, and run into a another set of identical staircases. After choosing between several identical staircases in this manner, you realize that you are being sent back to the beginning of the same room each time, and that you must choose the one path that you haven't selected, which is to go back the way you came, and when you turn around to go back around the corner you find that room you came from has changed into a tight corner that makes you run around in circles of changing corner (almost as though the corner was a post in the middle of a room that changes as you walk around it), and then it spits you out onto an exit that takes you out of the puzzle and back to the beginning of the maze, which is what the game is... It's amazing. If you have a teen who eats through puzzle games like they're nothing, you should get them Antichamber. There's no violence, no dialogue (so no language), no sexual stuff, no money,... nothing bad to speak of, except that it's a devilishly inspiring and mind-blowing puzzle. Sorry to seem like I'm advertising, but I tried to find if you guys had even heard of this gem, but there's no review for it on your website, which is a shame.
Adult Written byHonesty20 December 13, 2015

An uneducated and sadly bad summary.

I would like to start out with the fact that humanity is still alive and well in the game and it's squeal. They are just outside Aperture. The same cannot be said for the scientists,who, through story telling, are found to be wiped out by nuerotoxin, although this is not shown in the game. I have played both games and found them great. I am an avid gamer and can closely relate to many people's situations. That being said, this is a great title. I would especially recommend Portal 2 for father-son time as well.
Adult Written bygryphona July 3, 2015

Great game

Portal 1/2 is a great game, however it has some statements that could be offensive if not understood properly, so make sher your kid has a understanding that the statements are not meant to offend anyone rather then just make the bad guys look more bad.
Adult Written byBirchMonkey857 June 15, 2015

Why the T rating?

I played this game through before I let a child I know play it, and the story is suitable for pretty much anyone who has seen an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine(one of the not-too-creepy ones) and was not freaked out by it. in Chamber 16, there is one mild swear word(the "H" word), but you can turn off sound for that one. GLaDOS says slightly creepy, but mostly humorous things, (Example, "Good job! As part of a required test protocol, we will stop enhancing the truth in three, two, [static].") the "behind-the-scenes" portion is more creepy, but not really at all.
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Parent Written bymanowar April 24, 2015

dark I say not

Well its a fun game in a facility that glados killed everyone
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Adult Written bytairabiteru July 13, 2014

Just perfect.

Portal is my absolute favorite game. It is the only game I consider to be perfect. I've thought long and hard about what on earth could be wrong with this game, but my mind always seems to draw a blank. Part of this I feel is that the premise of portal's mechanics are fairly simple: get from point A to point B without dying...oh, and you also have a gun with the ability to shoot interdimensional portals which can instantly teleport you between any two places you can shoot at. GLaDOS is possibly my favorite video game character of all time. Her dialog is dark and mean, but funny and smart. I think though that it should be 13 and up. Less because of the violence (only a bit of blood from turrets) and more because I feel the ability to fully comprehend the situation in the game is important. The need fully understand the dialog and the logical reasoning required to figure out why things are the way they are are both salient points required to get the most out of Portal. And remember, the weighted companion cube will never threaten to stab you and in fact, cannot speak. :)
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Educator and Parent Written byHaveAnEpiphany August 14, 2013

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

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