GS TABLE GAMES: Portal Board Game Due Out 2014

There’s an increasing trend in the tabletop gaming market for video game adaptations, which – when handled well – can only be good for both industries. Past hits include Gears Of WarBioshock Infinite and Age Of Empires III, but they are all about to be trounced (trounced, I tell you!) by Valve’s entry to the physical realm: Portal, the ‘Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game.’  A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a post discussing this at and I got so excited I just had to share it with you.

Here are the key points for those of you who are just on the browse…Portal will be

A strategy game in which two to four players guide expendable Aperture Laboratories test subjects around a tiled board in an effort to “test in the most desirable test chambers,”

It’s a competitive experience: Once a player takes the lead, they win by eliminating their opponents’ test subjects — or their own. At times it can be a cooperative game, but only when people are teaming up to prevent another person from winning.

Valve worked on the Portal board game prototype for a year before approaching Cryptozoic in early 2013, hoping to enlist the tabletop publisher to lend its expertise and “add a final layer of polish.”

“This was designed to stand on its own, not as a promotional tool. While it may appeal more immediately to Portal fans, we tried to create something that was entertaining for everyone who tries it.”

Cryptozoic is aiming to release the Portal game late in the fourth quarter of 2014.

It seems like the right people are involved and for the right reasons, but can Portal truly make the transition to a tabletop environment? And how will it fare without the blissfully cruel tones of GLaDOS echoing around the test chambers? Only time will tell.

I can’t wait to find out though – how about you?

GS Reporter: Dion Winton-Polak

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