If you ask 100 gamers what game they’d recommend as a game everyone should play, you’ll get 100 different answers. It’s a testament to how far games have come as a medium that we’ve got so many differing opinions on not only what makes a game exceptional, but also that those 100 different people likely wouldn’t be wrong in their recommendation.
With that being said, it didn’t take long for me to think up my answer. It’s a game that’s not only adored for its clever yet incredibly simple level design, but it’s writing too. It’s a game that seemingly came out of nowhere when packaged in a bundle with bigger, more popular titles. The cake is a lie ladies and gentlemen. Yes, My Game Everyone Should Play is Portal.
I think most people would argue that Portal 2 is the better game. And you know what? they could be right. It’s bigger in scope, longer and perhaps even more charming. For me however, Portal is the pure essence of a great puzzle game.
Portal totally exemplifies what games are so good at: making the player feel like a superstar when they work out how the world around them works. In no other medium is that possible. Even today, 10 years later we see games looking at Portal for instruction on how best to design their own first person puzzle games.
Away from all that. Portal is also an incredible well structured game. There’s no fat, no chaff; it’s a tight experience that doesn’t linger. You get in, enjoy the experience and get the hell out wanting more.
And that’s why I think it’s a game that you, I and everyone that’s ever picked up a controller should play.
Check back tomorrow for Day 13: A Game You’ve Played More Than 5 Times