Portal, the Uncooperative Cake Acquisition review

We got to play it at GenCon and pre-ordered it soon after: Portal, the Cake.

It’s a very stylish proposition. The game comes in a faux-aged box (well done too, at first glanced it really looks damaged), and first thing you’re greeted by is a fake 1970’s manual, in the style of a scientific testing protocol:

The very retro Portal manual
The very retro Portal manual

The game isn’t particularly like the video game in the sense of testing and puzzles, but is more influenced by the little cartoons that were used as advertisements for Portal and Portal 2. It’s also very chaotic. The rooms move from one edge to the other quite quickly and triggering powers requires killing off your dudes (who respawn even quicker).

Portal: Cake Game, including illusion inducing board
Portal: Cake Game, including illusion inducing board

The game is very low-randomness as far as dice rolling or similar, but very “random” in the sense that with so many options available to everyone else, any sort of long term planning is by-design impossible. It very quickly devolves into a mad rush and murder simulator that never progresses towards a final round, inasmuch as it just suddenly stops and whoever is ahead at that instant wins.

Only exception to that that we found is the Opera Turret card’s winning condition (usually triggered by the card Greg). That one you can sorta plan for, but since firing both of those requires 2 cakes and a 1 test subject, you’re pretty much on track to win anyways.

It’s a great game if you don’t take it too seriously. Especially since all your friends will want to try it at least once, guarantee it.

GenCon: Portal draft review

Cryptozoic was previewing a draft of their Portal board game.

It’s not a lot like the video game (on purpose) and a bit more like a competitive version of the little informative cartoons that came with the game.

Portal board game, from Cryptozoic
Portal board game, from Cryptozoic
The entire game board is constantly moving towards the right as pieces fall into the incinerator, so the players are constantly trying to move left while keeping their cake alive.

The gameplay wasn’t super deep yet, and in particular the GlaDOS contribution was minimal at the moment (purely decorative), but at the same time I can 100% guarantee I will buy it since, well, Portal.

Good lunchtime-at-work game as well, seems to run ~30 mins assuming people play aggressively.

Legendary Encounters

Cryptozoic’s Legendary Encounters with jon and erin at tabletop commons. we won with one player left standing

Legendary Encounters
Legendary Encounters

bonus in pic: heidi keeping up with the ruleset, alex in back

Epic Spell Wars

Cryptozoic’s Epic Spell Wars with brancy

Epic Spell Wars

fun little lightweight thing. simple combos are possible, but it’s really a drunk party game where you don’t have to think too deeply