Game of Phones: Every week I’ll pick a game for iOS or Android that’s perfect for long journeys, the commute or just when you want to switch off from the outside world.
If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to play the game Portal or Portal 2 you will know what it’s really like to exist in a world where the robots have won.
The physics based laboratory games were masterpieces that combined humour with a blood-boiling set of physics puzzles. Bridge Constructor Portal brings just the smallest slice of what made the originals great, and brings it to your smartphone.
The premise is simple: you are new employee at the Aperture Science test lab. Your life is completely expendable, as are the lives of just about everything else in this building aside from the person in charge and a psychopathic AI called GLaDOS.
Your job is to get the vehicles from one side of the test room to the other by building bridges, avoiding obstacles and making full use of the many, many teleportation portals (hence the name) that are dotted around the room.
Fail in your job and your colleagues will sadly perish in a number of extremely inventive ways whether it’s falling into a giant vat of acid, being cut down by a sentry turret or just hitting the floor really hard.
All the while GLaDOS kindly reminds you of both how utterly useless you are and just how futile life is anyway.
It’s enormous fun and brilliantly funny, especially as the puzzles get harder, and believe me they will get a lot harder.
It eventually reaches the point that GLaDOS cheerfully announces that in one room the task is simply impossible, do not attempt it. But attempt it you will, because just like the games that inspired it, Portal’s charm is in its ability to make you furious, and yet completely hooked.
If Bridge Constructor Portal has any flaws it is that it suffers ever so slightly from becoming a little repetitive. Rather than adding new features, by the end the game is simply overwhelming you with just lots more of everything.
It is a blunt, but effective way to increase the difficulty.
Thankfully though, for the vast majority of the time you’ll spend playing this game you’ll have a grin on your face.
The writing is as funny as the originals and it’s a wonderful feeling being able to return to the Aperture Science test lab on your smartphone (as let’s face it, there’s never going to be a Portal 3).