Portal is a single player 3D puzzle game that revolutionized puzzle games. Released by Valve in 2007, Portal introduces players to the Aperture Science Laboratories. In this game, player will take on the role of Chell, a human test subject that has one goal, complete each test to proceed through the lab and hopefully, find a way to escape.
These tests are administered by an unhinged artificial intelligence named GLaDOS. These tests use the portal gun, a gun that opens a small wormhole between two places. The portal gun is a genius bit of game design that offers unique mechanics unseen in any other games of the era.
Portal, even after more than a decade is still heralded as one of, if not the best puzzle video game to ever grace the world of gaming. It’s addicting yet challenging gameplay is still cutting-edge to this day and has served as a blueprint for many other successful puzzle and FPS games. However, you may be one of many that has played this and is still hungry for more.
Well, we have you covered. Here are twenty similar games to Portal that you should try out:
Top 20 Games Like Portal
Portal 2, the second instalment in the Portal video game series, brings players back to Aperture Science Laboratories, but this time with the addition of a multiplayer mode and a much more comprehensive and fleshed out single player campaign.
Single player game mode brings back GLaDOS, the unhinged artificial intelligence that runs the Laboratories but also introduces Wheatley, another AI played by Stephen Merchant. The story is great, the humour is superb and overall, it’s a huge step up in quality when compared to the original game in the Portal game series.
Players will solve new complex puzzles and explore new areas of Aperture Science Laboratories, team up with old adversaries and use new Portal gun mechanics, all of which leads up to one of the most intense finales in gaming history.
In cooperative mode, players must rethink how they approached Portal puzzles on their own and work together to solve them. Portal 2 was published in 2011 by Valve and it’s available on PlayStation, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, and Linux.
The Mirror’s Edge series ais a story driven action packed set of games that takes place in a world where information is heavily monitored, and runners are tasked with transporting sensitive data away from prying eyes.
Step into the shoes of Faith, a runner who finds herself being hunted after her sister was framed for a crime. Mirror’s Edge allows players to soar and parkour over the city while fighting enemies and trying to stay alive.
It’s a blend of action and puzzle gameplay that plays unlike anything out there and for this reason, has a dedicated cult following. Not to mention a huge speedrunning community. So this game is perfect for puzzle fans that have been looking for something a little more fast-paced.
Mirrors Edge was published by Electronics arts in 2009.
Mirrors Edge Catalyst
If you liked the above listing, then how about more of the same? Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed game, Mirror’s Edge. This is a great game that has players step back into the shoes of Faith, a runner who transports sensitive information away from prying eyes.
In this reboot in the series, Faith is fighting for freedom in the City of Glass, a high tech utopia on the outside with a terrible secret on the inside. This game had a mixed reception as it didn’t fully utilize the game engine and, despite holding a steady frame rate, the game looked unfinished, unpolished and generally quite rough around the edges.
However, the game does make The City of Glass, an open-world, parkour sandbox and makes fighting a much more stable mechanic. Overall, the original might be the better choice for puzzle fans, but we think this one still deserves a mention.
Human Fall Flat
Human Fall Flat is set in a world of floating dreamscapes. A light hearted and fun puzzle game, Human Fall Flat allows players to have a fun time either alone or with friends.
Players will try to solve mind bending puzzles with their wobbly humanoid characters. However, things often go hilariously wrong, as the characters accidentally fall off platforms, ropes, or even get pushed by other players.
No need to worry though, the characters simply return back to the dreamscape ready for more hilarious shenanigans. Human Fall Flat features free updates, Steam Workshop support, and entertainment for hours. Curve digital published Human Fall Flat in 2016.
Biped is a cooperative adventure game where two players take control of two bipedal robots named Aku and Sila. Together players will control the robot’s legs using either joy cons or the left and right mouse buttons; this allows them to move and climb while working together.
It also allows players to operate things like machinery and other advanced actions. This puzzle game is similar to Portal due to its unique mechanics, its cutesy, futuristic art style and it’s unique way of handling physics, movement and traversal.
Biped is a cute, simple, and great game that allows players to explore the world as two cute little robots. Biped was published by Next Studios on March 26th, 2020.
Supraland combines Zelda, Metroid, and Portal into one fun Metroidvania puzzle game. Players will explore a large interconnected world with a minimalist storyline. The game has only one overarching goal, explore and solve puzzles. It’s as simple as that.
The game has a super cute art style which places you in a fantasy world of tiny toys, but don’t be fooled. This child friendly aesthetic is a front for a game that requires cognitive thinking, acute puzzle solving skills and an eye for discovery. So fans of Portal that like combat and the freedom to explore will love this one.
Supraland was published by Supra Studios in 2019.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Now we have everyone’s favorite Bandicoot, Crash, in his most recent adventure, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Now, I know what you are thinking. Isn’t this a action platformer game?
Well, yes, but we would argue that because the game’s level design is so meticulous, clever and deliberate, that this one also plays like a puzzle game too. Just a very reaction-based and fast-paced one.
Probably the best example of this are the Crash Rewind Tapes which you can play through. These are very meticulously hand-crafted levels which play like the bonus areas found in standard levels.
These can only really be handled in one way. So you’ll need to have the platforming mechanics down to a tee, but you’ll also need to be an adept puzzle-solving whizz to work out what the game wants from you in the first place. So if you are a Portal fan on the search for a nostalgic 90’s Platformer, this is the one for you.
A Hat in Time
A Hat Time is a 3D platform game that features adorable graphics. Players step into the shoes of a little girl with a spaceship and a big top hate.
When she loses her fuel across a nearby planet, players are tasked with helping hat girl find her fuel. They’ll meet different characters and explore the planet, all while switching hats for new powers.
This one gameplay-wise isn’t like-for-like when compared to the Portal series. However, when you take into account the need to use unique game mechanics/powers by using the various hats, you begin to see the similarities. Another one to check out if you like this would also be Super Mario Odyssey.
A Hate Time is an open world game and contains five different worlds to explore. A Hat in Time was published by Gears for Breakfast in 2017 and it’s available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, and Classic Mac OS.
You may have seen the wonderful documentary, Indie Games: The Movie, which focused on the development of this one-man developed masterpiece. Fez looks like a simple 2D platformer game but as is often the case with indie games, looks can be deceiving.
You see, this game employs some of the most unique and wonderful puzzle game mechanics found within games of that era. Allowing players to rotate a 3D map to reveal four different 2D landscapes to explore. This makes this platformer a cognitive puzzler which is a joy to behold.
This one much like Portal, uses creative, intuitive and unique mechanics to deliver a puzzle gaming masterclass, so if you were a fan of the Portal gun, why not check out what mind-bending tricks Fez has up it’s sleeve.
If you are on the hunt for a first person puzzle game that will have you ripping your hair out with it’s complex, yet addictive puzzles, then The Witness is a game that simply cannot be ignored.
This game sees the player explore an open-world island, interacting with grids and panels dotted around the map that correspond with the environment around the player. The game doesn’t tell you in as many words, as hand-holding isn’t something this game wants to do, but your goal is to uncover hidden pathways, uncover the secrets of the island and master the art of discovery.
This game is a spiritual successor to Myst and is masterfully designed to non-verbally communicate the objectives the player needs to complete, leading to moments of epiphany which will come without any hints or tips from the AI.
This game much like Portal, is heralded as a seminal puzzle game and therefore, you should check it out.
Moss is a virtual reality, action packed adventure puzzle game that combines compelling characters, gripping combat, and world exploration with new VR gameplay features.
Players will step into the shoes of Quill, a mouse who dreams of greatness beyond her settlement. Quill finds a mysterious Glass Relic that awakens ancient magic.
Now her uncle in peril, and she needs the players’ help to defeat the darkest of enemies and solve the hardest of puzzles within the forgotten realms. Moss was published by Polyarc In 2018.
INSIDE is a narrative driven puzzle platformer that combines intense action with challenging puzzles. Play as a boy who finds himself hunted in a world where the population are under mind control by evil corporations. It’s a dystopian nightmare and you, somehow, have a chance to free everyone from this hell.
INSIDE is critically acclaimed for its dark and moody art style, unsettling atmosphere, and ambient soundtrack. Plus, if you like this one, you might also like Limbo, Little Nightmares and 7th Sector.
INSIDE was developed and published by Playdead in 2016.
It’s rare that a puzzle game will have such a profound and lasting effect on the FPS landscape, but in the case of portal, it absolutely has. You can see its influence in games like Unreal Tournament, Overwatch, Team Fortress, but perhaps no more so, than Splitgate.
This FPS title released in 2019, is a game that marries intense, competitive FPS gameplay with methodical puzzle solving. Player’s will take turns, creating portals akin to Portal’s orange and blue ones, and gunning down their enemies. However, here’s the fun part. Every action you make loops after your turn ends.
This leads to an FPS game that plays more like a game of Chess. It’s unique, it’s hard to get your head around, but when you do. It’s a whole lot of fun. Plus, it’s free to play, so be sure to check it out.
Portal: The Flash game
Is this cheating? Well, it’s our list and we have made the executive decision that we will allow it. Portal: The Flash Game is a free to play flash game that seen major popularity in the 2000’s, you know, before flash games were ripped away from us and made us feel old. Just me? Alright then.
Anyway, this game uses the same portal based mechanics as the original, only in a condensed, 2D format. You would think that this would make the puzzles pretty limited in scope but to the developer’s credit, the puzzles are all varied and rather challenging too.
We would say go and check out the flash game but since that isn’t an option anymore, you’ll just have to check it out on Youtube and take our word for it that it was great. Failing that, you may find a mobile game for android and IOS on their respective app stores that do a decent replication.
Want to understand where Valve’s inspiration for the Portal Gun came from? Well, then you’ll need to check out half Life 2.
Half-Life 2 brings players back into the world of Half-Life, an alien infested planet. Players step into the shoes of silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman, who must now face the abominations he unleashed at Black Mesa research facility and save the world.
Half-Life 2 is a world where the players’ actions affect everyone and everything around them. Half-Life 2 was published by Valve in 2004.
Area 86 is an escape room fun puzzle game based on physics. Players control a little robot who is stuck on a secret space station with Artificial Intelligence that is corrupted.
Players will solve puzzles and escape rooms by pushing, activating, destroying, and picking items up. If players save their fellow robot brethren, the play will become more powerful.
Each level has multiple ways to complete it, allowing players to use their imagination and puzzle solving skills. Area 86 was published by SimDevs on April 15th, 2020.
ChromaGun brings players into Chroma Tecs test lab, where they will be testing new military grade color technology called the Chroma Gun.
The goal of the game is simple, escape the chambers through the doors while avoiding the worker drones. Paint the walls and worker drones to beat the levels and reach the exit door. ChromaGun was published by Pixel Maniacs in 2016.
Ever wished you could be in two places at once? well, The Swapper is a game that offers a set of intricate and nuanced puzzles which allow you to do just that.
In the swapper, you will be able to create an identical clone of yourself in otherwise unreachable areas of levels. They will mimic your moves and actions exactly and in real-time. So your goal is to use this to your advantage, solve puzzles and ultimately, clear a path for yourself to move onto the next mind-bending puzzle.
This is a super game which offers a unique core puzzle mechanic like Portal and therefore, deserves your attention.
Impulsion is a first person puzzle platformer that is designed to be fast paced have player’s rely on their twitch reactions to succeed. The game has 25 levels that are increasingly more difficult.
Players will manipulate physics and shooter force fields to slow down or speed themselves or the environment up. Impulsion features fast paced gameplay, a funny science fiction story mode, competitive mode with Steam community leaderboards, and lastly, a speed run mode for players that want a challenge. Impulsion was published by Dear Villagers in 2018.
Quantum Conundrum places players into the shoes of a young boy who is dropped off at his uncle’s house only to find him missing. Now the gamer must find and save the young boy’s uncle using his newest invention, the Interdimensional Shift Drift or IDS.
The IDS allows players to shift between dimensions to solve puzzles and navigate through the weird mansion. Quantum Conundrum was published by Square Enix in 2012.
- Talos principle
- The Stanley Parable
- Stardew Valley
FAQs about Portal
What kind of game is Portal?
The Portal series is a Sci0Fi 3D puzzle platform game. The game focuses heavily on completing complex puzzles in order to complete each level, and it is set in a sci-fi world of Half-Life.
Why is Portal so popular?
Portal series is popular because its a fun, challenging game, set in a world that players are already familiar with. Portal balances an intriguing story, humor, and challenging gameplay to create a game that has infinite replayability.
Is Portal multiplayer?
The original Portal is not multiplayer. However, Portal 2 does have a cooperating mode that allows for two players to complete puzzles together. Portal 2 also has a separate storyline for the cooperative mode, allowing for dynamic gameplay and replayability.