Portarius is a 2D puzzle game in which you use portals to move your character and sometimes parts of the environment to get to your goal. It is clearly inspired by the successful Portal series, down to using the same colors for its main mechanic (orange and blue). The moment it starts up, you see that it is not in any way made for the computer. Huge buttons, simplistic level design, no options menu to speak of, a 4:3 aspect ratio with ugly black bars on each side, the list goes on.

It tries to bring a 2D Portal experience, that nobody asked for, to PC while looking like it belongs on the first iPad from over eight years ago. Sadly, Developer Dmitry Poznukhov did not understand what made Portal‘s gameplay great: Varied, interesting puzzles that make you think. A difficulty curve that is just that bit over your current skill level, so you get better with every step you take. Even just a simple thing like controlling which portal you shoot is nowhere to be found. Portarius uses basic level layouts that require next to no skill and uses convoluted level layouts only to pad out its play time without offering anything in return.

You can get through the 3 stages with 29 levels in around an hour, a good 20 minutes of those will be spent on getting the portals to do what they are supposed to do. And this is the main problem of Portarius: since you have to alternate between orange and blue portals and can’t choose which one you shoot, you will find yourself shooting one portal on the spot it already is just so that you can adjust the position of the other portal a little. Rinse, repeat.

Furthermore, it sometimes glitches without any obvious reason, like this piston that just glitched into the ground while just playing normally.

But, all of that could be forgiven since it comes from a developer who obviously doesn’t have that much experience, as this is their first game. Though looking at the $6.99 price tag, what little good will I had has been dashed.

Portarius is a small game that tries too much, can’t get some of the basics right and charges as much as an average meal for one hour of playtime without giving you even 10 minutes of quality.