Not being plugged into the gaming world, I found out about this by accident, from listening to guild chat last night.

Oh, and no, I’m not part of the gaming world.

I’m part of the WoW world.

I don’t have any real gaming anything on my links or feedreaders or whatever. I used to follow the various gaming sites and have subscriptions to gaming magazines (owning multiple platforms, my favorite was Game Informer from EB Games), but years ago I accepted that I am no longer a person that buys games all the time, no matter HOW many platforms we have;

I just play WoW.

I think it’s because I’m a man on a budget, and as long as I’m going to be paying a monthly fee for a game, I find it ever harder to justify spending more money on them, as long as I’m happy with this one.

There’s nothing quite like having a sensible, responsible fiscal plan and basic math skills for ruining the fun of blowing thousands of $$$ on new video games that last 5 hours each to play.

Why look! A new game costs $50, it lasts 4 to 8 hours, and then it’s off to find another one. So, 3 to 4 games a month, times 12 months, times however many average dollars, equals ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND?!?!

So. Do your part to be a fiscal conservative, and play WoW.

Even in my cocooned little word, I heard about Portal.

When it was released, Portal almost instantly captured the snarky segment of the gaming world, and plaintive cries of “The cake is a lie!” began to ring throughout Azeroth.

Baron Soosdon even rocked my world with a machinama mixing WoW and Portal, called “The Device Has Been Modified”, making me really, really want to play this whole “Portal” thingie.

But, like, dude… the game costs $20.

$20!

So, I didn’t buy it. Thought about it off and on, but never got it.

Are you like me? Did you always want to try Portal and see what all the fuss was about, but didn’t have the cash to satisfy your curiosity?

Grats! Level up!

It’s now free!

For a limited time….

Here’s the deal. Until May 24th, Portal is free for the taking through the Steam game download and purchasing system.

The only string is, in order to get it, you have to either have a Steam account, or create one and then use Steam to get Portal.

The link is here. <=========== Right there. Come on, click it!!

Seriously. That’s it. Create a Steam account, install Steam (which takes seconds), get your Portal, download it and start playing.

I did it this morning, and I’m darn near done with the first 19 levels. I burned through them in a frenzy of “This game ROCKS!” jubilation.

 I now know where such phrases as “The cake is a lie” come from, and I am richer for the experience.

Damn, it is a good game. Brilliant, AND snarky! My favorite combination!

It is a first person shooter… without the shooting part. No, really, it’s freaking brilliant. Well, okay, there is SOME shooting. But you don’t do it. And saying more is a spoiler. So, darn.

I am disappointed that stacking four broken camera heads on a button switch doesn’t provide the weight to trigger it. I spent five minutes balancing those cameras, damn it.

You know those games that say “We encourage you to find alternate ways of winning without just hacking and slashing?”

That is what Portal is all about.

So what are you waiting for? Another Heroic?

Try something new for an afternoon. Go ahead, you can do eeeeet!

36 Responses to “Portal free for the taking!”
  1. Kurn says:

    Oh wow, I also just got to find out what the fuss is all about with regards to Portal and I just had to comment and say that I love it, too.

    And also that I am EXTREMELY disappointed that stacking those very same cameras does not provide the weight to trigger the button! I think I might have spent longer. My balancing-foo is clearly weak.

    (I’m stuck on 17 although I think I now understand what I have to do, and if that’s the case, HOLY GEEZ.)

  2. Kyong says:

    Portal is really awesome. I bought the Orange Box pack that contains Portal, when it was cheaper. Even though it’s pretty short and I did’t tried to clear the achievements, it’s one of the best computer games out there.

    And now I’m waiting for Portal 2. Hoping to get cake this time.

  3. For the Pie says:

    The Cake is a lie.

  4. Kurn says:

    Whoops. That’s stuck on 18.

  5. Keristrazja says:

    Damnit, now I have to choose between the Starcraft II Beta and Portal.

    Such a hard life…

  6. Russ says:

    And for those WoW players who have Macs, Steam for Mac just went live with 64 games last Wednesday, including the free Portal offer. I was SO happy to see that! Downloaded it immediately, and it plays great on my iMac. Extra coolness for more people = win! :)

  7. Brian says:

    And a Jonathan Coulton song at the end…

  8. Wikid says:

    I’m doing this cause I trust you 3B!

  9. Goad says:

    I absolutely fell in love with portal, and eagerly await the sequel. Like you, I was late to the party, and like you, I tore through it in a frenzy! I applaud the minds who masterminded this masterpiece.

  10. Andy says:

    @Keristrazja – get Portal! You can finish it in around 3-5 hours (depending on how quickly you start thinking with portals), leaving you plenty of time for the SC2 beta :)

    It’s really quite a strange feeling once you’ve finished the game and are fully “in the zone” with regards to how portals can be used. It comes to seem so natural that watching someone else play for the first time is frustrating because they’re missing “obvious” things.

  11. Rowtan says:

    I just found this the other day too, after months of the odd comment in guild chat about it – got so caught up in it nearly forgot about tea that evening! It is very cool and really makes you think – those ones involving forward momentum really freak me out!

  12. xmolder says:

    Portal is amaziiiiiing. The best part is when you manage to make it through certain levels without actually using the stuff you’re supposed to.

    ZOMG HAI KURN.

  13. bigbearbutt says:

    My son watched me play for a bit, beating my head against the wall on level 18, and wanted to play sooo bad, I installed it on his computer. He has now been playing, and I made sure he understood it wasn’t an action game, as much as a thinking and puzzle solving game. He’s at level 6 now, and atching him is amazing. He finds out you can shoot the portal at the cameras to pull them down, and then he sets up a portal on the floor at 90 degree angles to one fixed on the wall, and pushes the camera head he broke off into the hole on the floor, where it tumbles out of the wall and into the hole in the floor, forming a recursive loop.

    Makes me feel stupid. I never thought to try shooting the cameras.

  14. bigbearbutt says:

    My mistake, he’s on level 10 now.

  15. Katie says:

    You gotta love the way kids think :)

  16. bigbearbutt says:

    Okay, he’s at 14 now. I’m so proud!

  17. Minos says:

    I don’t have a gaming-caliber windows computer, so this was doubly excellent news for me. Not only is it free, but it’s available for the Mac, too!

    I never thought to push an inanimate object through an infinite loop, I always tried to do it to myself.

  18. Deandre 0 Dalaran says:

    Now I too am thinking with portals.

  19. angelofrawr says:

    You get an achievement for shooting all the cameras, I believe, to boot. And there’s a secret area that references them.

  20. Portal is a lot of fun! My favorite part? “I’m not even angry, I’m being so, sincere, right now.”

  21. Kattrinsaa says:

    The cake is not a lie, you see it at the end… :-)
    I had to ask google for help on 18, it was a timing thing.

    I had fun in that giant room on 19 with all the droids, I would pop a portal right behind them and duck out of sight, pop my other portal, walk in behind them and pick them up. then toss them over a ledge.

  22. Melpo says:

    I love this game. I blew through it in about three hours when I got it back a couple of years ago. Can’t wait for the sequel.

    Also, if you haven’t given it a try, if you have the orange box version, Team fortress 2 is awesome fun, even for those of us without the twitch gaming reflexes to play a FPS. Inventive and fun, even if I tend to die a lot.

  23. Kattrinsaa says:

    anyone know how to get new maps loaded into the steam version?

    “Assume the ‘Party Escort Submission Position’ or you will miss the party.”

  24. Tesh says:

    Hey! You’d have known about it if you’d come to my place on Saturday. :P

    Yeah, I’m on the late bus, too. I played the Portal demo, and really liked it, but didn’t want to pony up money for the full game. It’s hard to argue with free, though. (Though, tangentially, the $180 or so that WoW would cost me per year I’d rather spend on a dozen or more games on sale. My gaming dollars go farther that way, since I can see a greater variety of games. Since I work in games, it’s probably healthier that I do more than play WoW.)

    It’s just such a refreshing game compared to the “mainstream” that it’s well worth playing if only to see what it’s about. The story might be offputting to some, but the pure mechanics of the game are brilliant. It really does warp the way you see a first person game world. That’s good brain exercise.

  25. Adam says:

    I’ve never played it – however thanks for bringing my attention to the freeness! I’ve always wanted to play but never wanted to pay. Anyways the thing that got me hooked on Portal other than “The cake is a lie” and whatnot was the speed demo archive of the record fastest for beating the original portal..it’s epic. Especially the last couple levels…suggest downloading and watching when you have the time:

    http://speeddemosarchive.com/Portal.html

  26. dorgol says:

    I’m in 100% agreement with you BBB about spending money on games that last a few days. My wife agrees even more.

    I picked up Portal last year during Steam’s holiday sales. Portal, Half-Life 2 Ep1, and HL2 Ep2 all for like $6.

    Played through Portal that night, loving it.

    I still haven’t finished the first Half-Life 2 Episode. Maybe my wife is right – I don’t need any other games. :)

  27. aliasundercover says:

    It’s a title worth raving about. Just hearing the word “portal” puts the song into my mind and I starting singing along and grinning and want to play it again :D

    Regarding the price of games, now you’ve got Steam you can watch for the deals they have every week. I’ve picked up Civ 4 and all it’s expansion packs for $10US just recently, and previously got a bundle of racing games (DIRT, DIRT2, FUEL, Grid, Toca3) for the same price. I check the following thread on Saturdays to see what the current deals are: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=518670

  28. Kattrinsaa says:

    a long while back i got the x-com bundle for 20 bucks, x-com1,2,apocalypse, enforcer, and interceptor.
    they have pretty good deals.
    too bad that the x-coms are all dosbox ports not remade to handle current tech. (bet it won’t even run on my new dual core x64 win 7 box.)

  29. Necrodin says:

    I’m a newb to this Steam thing.
    I’m slowly downloading Portal. Does this mean after I get the game I can uninstall Steam, or is it going to be like a gateway/launcher for the game each time?

  30. Necro –

    Steam is a gateway/launcher. Don’t discount it yet. I’ve downloaded $100 of games for $30 recently, they run deals all the time. I recommend Civ4, Tropico 3, Portal, Counterstrike: Source(only if you like FPS), or EVE online(for a new MMO flavor). Also, Plants vs. Zombies! I think I need to write something up on the awesomeness that is Steam. I’ve been using it since since Valve ‘forced’ (wasn’t mandatory, but they made it seem like it was) Counterstrike players to use it circa ’04/’05.

  31. froonium says:

    I tried.
    I really tried.
    I was sooo0o looking forward to Portal BUT
    it made my computer all spastic when I tried to play it.
    I updated drivers to boot.
    /sigh

  32. Naturalregis says:

    What’s kind of fun is putting a portal in a ceiling and one in the floor and putting yourself through an infinite fall.

  33. Natural – Later in the challenges that becomes a valid way of solving some puzzles.

  34. niceas says:

    … Damn you Bear. I euthanized my first companion cube this morning.

  35. Delerius says:

    Due to a previously established test protocol, we will cease enhancing the truth in 3..2..1..

    PORTAL IS AWESOME!

    And the cake is a lie.

    I found out it was free last week, downloaded it, and proceeded to clear the entire game that night. I finished all the advanced modes the day after. Sooo much fun.

    It is very different from any other puzzle or shooter game I have played before. It is so simple, and yet so complex at the same time.

    If only I could find where to make your own maps… and my wow career may be doomed.

  36. froonium says:

    IT WORKS!

    Okay, I had to turn down my settings on my vid card OC to factory BUT IT WORKS!

    Damned simulator sickness gets me now, lol. FPS games do it to me every time. Anyone got some ginger?

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