This feels like a simplified but almost equivalent app version of Portal. Yes, if you know about Portal then you know how large of a statement this is. I’m willing to put myself out there and say that Portaball might be one of the most challenging, interesting renditions of Portal I’ve played. Released by Bartosz Ciechanowski, Portaball is available on our portable devices on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad for $0.99 and in a Lite version.
Graphically, there isn’t much to look at. The clean design, the shadowed walls, and the portals you tap into walls, and the obstacles are minimalistic but all together, it’s actually quite beautiful. Gameplay has a ball that bounces off walls, triggering traps, and falling into holes. You’re task is to guide the ball safely to the goal area. To do this, you tap once on highlighted walls to create a blue portal and double tap another wall to create an orange portal, the other side. Once your ball rolls into one portal, it gets teleported to the other portal automatically. Manage the portals and carefully guide the ball into the goal. You know what? Why am I bothering to explain this? The game is, in my mind, equivalent to Portal because they teach you the game’s mechanics slowly, intelligently, and with a gradual build up. It’s very well designed and at no point did I feel frustrated, confused, or cheated.
Ok, that last sentence might not be 100% true. SOMETIMES, the stages do reach a very high difficulty. Some puzzles require a few playthroughs and the amount of multi-management and extremely quick portal building can be very challenging. Despite this, once you pass a stage, the feeling of success is like getting a candy bar after passing a big test; it feels great.
Portaball is a fantastic game and is the 3rd great game I reviewed in a row. I sometimes feel strange when I give apps a 5 star because sometimes I feel that maybe my opinion isn’t what the majority feels. Then I remember that I have the privilege of being a reviewer and these reviews will always be biased to the writer’s own personal preferences. So let me just make this statement official: I love this app like I loved Portal.
To clarify, I played through Portal more than 10 times and did speed runs just for fun. I really really like Portaball and highly recommend it. There is a Lite alternative. I know I do this a lot, but: Do it. Get it now. Do it. To add emphasis to this, let me quote the Governor of California: Put the cookie down! Give these people air! Get to the Choppa! Play Portaball! It’s not a tumor!
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