The year is almost over, and most of the Blockbusters are already out (we’re waiting for Skyrim, though!). Still, we’re gonna call Portal 2 the Game of the Year. The physics-bending puzzle, first-person adventure Portal impressed everyone when it first came out thanks to its unique mechanics, and the second part, which turned out to be a bit more story driven than the first but just equally beloved have made the series a well known name in the gamer community, and even amongst non-gamers. And, as any great production in the world, it has spawned a series of tributes from and for fans. One of the most creative ones we found was ASCIIpOrtal.
As the creators explain in their website, ASCIIpOrtal was created by Joe Larson with sounds designed by Steve Fenton. The idea was based off of the original concept inspired by Increpare’s Portile game, Super Serif Bros, and Valve’s Portal (obviously). Playing is simple enough: you download the zip file, unzip, and play.
The premise is the same as the original game: escape the chambers creating portals, but this time, in just 2D and in ASCII, a dying art that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Larson has actually created a system which does feel retro but definitely is a lot of fun, while the enhancements the game received as time went on make the experience way smoother with each new release. In case you are curious about how it works, check this video where the author shows and talks about the game:
The detail we like is the ability to change the different views of the Portals, which pretty much tailors the experience to the user’s liking and avoids a lot of the confusion that most 2D demakes of Portal tend to suffer from. All in all, this is a creative demake and a great way to waste some time with the mechanics we’ve known and love until the guys at Valve learn to count to 3, and we get to play proper sequels. Props to the authors!
If you feel like seeing more demakes, check out Modern Goes Old School – 16 Bit Videogame Demakes, or if you would rather see something more Portal-related head over to the Portal 2 Wedding Proposal and the Portal Sticker for iPad articles.