Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative is a Portal 2 Mod. It's time to think with Gels! The Portal-Gun is gone, but the testing must go on! Grab the Paint-Gun Device and solve brand new test chambers in ways you've never solved them before!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (1,388 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 15, 2014

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Community-Made Mod

This community-made mod requires that you have Portal 2 installed prior to running this game.

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Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative


Recommended By Curators

"Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative is a Portal 2 Mod but for money"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (16)

April 1

We Are Going Out of Business

It is a little bit sad that it has come to this, but there is no other way out unfortunately. Thanks everyone for their support this whole time. The team greatly appreciates it! It has been one hell of a ride.

You can buy out whatever is left.

Edit. There should be sale for 50% off. Steam is lagging a bit behind. I'm trying to get that sorted out.

Edit 2. Sale is up!

41 comments Read more

March 26

More subtitles added!

I have just published a new update with some extra subtitles for Aperture Tag. It's harder to keep track of the new files, so I will list the full list of subtitles available below:

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • italian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Romanian

If your language it's not supported, sorry. You may help out in


13 comments Read more


“If you're like me, when you played Portal 2, you covered every room in as much bouncy gel as possible. Well now it's a whole lot easier, and you can color coordinate the walls with orange gel.”

“A surprising and fresh revival of Portal 2’s familiar puzzle elements.”
Jeep Barnett

“It looks great, it plays well, and it lasts 2-3 hours, giving it good value for money.”

Steam Greenlight

About This Game

Aperture Tag: The Paint Gun Testing Initiative is a community-made mod for Portal 2, inspired by TAG! The Power of Paint. The familiar Portal 2 gels are now contained within the Aperture Science Paint Gun Device and it's your job to test it out!

Featuring a new personality-core and an original story with 27 polished levels; the mod offers an exciting and fun experience in varied and interesting new locations throughout Aperture Science.

Introducing gels as the core gameplay mechanic completely changes the way you solve puzzles, explore, and survive all the challenges thrown at you!

Key Features

  • New Gameplay Mechanics for Portal 2
  • 27 Original Maps and a Full Campaign
  • A New Character with Original Voice-Acting
  • In-Game Level Editor
  • Access to the Source Files used to create the Aperture Tag
  • Single-Player and Co-op Workshop Integration with Source Instances to create your own Paint Gun Maps
  • Steam Trading Cards
  • Full Developer Commentary
  • Completely original Soundtrack by Abarax, Harry101UK, and Christopher McEvoy

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 1GB XP / 2 Vista GB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b (ATI Radeon X800 or higher / NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or higher / Intel HD Graphics 2000 or higher).
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires a Steam version of Portal 2 Installed
    • OS: MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires a Steam version of Portal 2 Installed
Helpful customer reviews
149 of 153 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 28

+ Excellent Story Proccessing
+ 2 different endings
- Doesn't matches with Portal 2's story
- Aperture Science actually doesn't have A.L.S.S.E.R


+ Nigel is your only friend
+ Nigel sometimes gives you really good advices
+ Nigel reflects its emotions perfectly
+ Nigel talks at unexpected moments (such as when you do something that you actually shouldn't do)
+ Good sense of humor
- Nigel doesn't have a backstory


+ Old Aperture levels are amazing
+ At Test Chamber 3 (I think) you can see one of the darkest and biggest test shaft of all time
+ Excellent detailing
+ There are lots of alternative ways to solve puzzles
+ Behind the Scenes areas are really show you behind the scenes of Aperture universe
+ When you finish a test chamber, you have to use "transport tubes" (like Portal 2 testing apparatus transportation tubes) instead of standard elevators. And you'll see more behind the scenes areas while travelling in tube
+ Some levels don't require loading
+ You solve some old style puzzles in salt mine caves
- Some logical problems
- Cubemap, water reflection, and some visual problems (like lighting issues)
- Some textures repeating (and it's bad)

+ Awesome soundtrack
+ Sounds and musics supports environment very well
+ You can feel lots of emotions while listening musics
+ Steam Soundtrack support (without payment)


+ This game builded on same Source Engine version as Portal 2 uses, so graphics actually same as Portal 2
+ Awasome fog and lighting effect
+ Deep environment feeling
+ Nigel looks so good
- Repeated, streched textures

Voice Acting:

+ Lots of people don't like voice actor of Nigel, but for me, its good
+ Nigel can reflect his emotions very well

Overall score: 91/100

Thank you for reading my review.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
+Good commentary and voice acting
+Fun chase scenes and puzzles
+Great custom textures
+Workshop Editor
+Humor involved
+ Two different endings
+Game lets you mess around freely with gel
+Places neatly into Portal lore

-Little replay value, except for speedrunning

Overall Score: 9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
As far as mods go, this one is pretty decent.

This mod introduces more puzzles, new settings, new puzzle elements and mechanics, a new character and a bit more time in the world of Aperture Science.

Story wise it doesn’t really add on to the original story, nor does it really have a story of its own, but it’s fun none the less.

When you look at the trailer this mod seems more fast paced then either original Portal games, but in my opinion it isn’t. If anything I kind of felt that the paint mechanic slowed down the momentum of solving chambers. Sometimes the jumps can be hard to predict and shooting mid-air isn’t as easy as it looks. I’m not even ashamed to admit I started resorting to the old school F6 to quick save feature. Which I literally never used in any of the other games!

I got a little frustrated at times while playing through this mod because of the above reason, but not enough for it to ruin the experience for me. I still think it’s a good idea and a great little addition to the franchise. At times it weirdly reminded me of the Half-Life franchise, which I thought was intriguing.

The new character is… interesting. It doesn’t really make it clear who they are, why they are there or where in the Portal timeline this whole thing is supposed to be, but it is definitely interesting.
As far as characters go they aren’t as good as previous Portal characters. This character hasn’t the passive aggressive charm GLaDOS does nor the silly moronic charm Wheatley does. But they’re alright. They just had a lot to live up to, I suppose! Plus at the end of the day this is just a mod.

The voice acting isn’t amazing, but it’s not horrific either. It was acceptable I would say. Maybe that’s me just being a little harsh, but I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just so used to the franchise the way it is the change was uncertain for me.

All in all I liked this, it was fun. For a mod I would say the length is fair. It’s not like a whole new separate game but it’s not some short demo either. It’s fair.

If you are a fan of the franchise, I would say this is definitely worth a try. It’s a nice little addition but nothing too amazing.

TL;DR : Fun new puzzles/mechanics, a new (slightly questionable) character and a kind of story but-not-a-story storyline. An intriguing and great addition to the franchise but definitely not a Portal 3 kind of deal.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
These modders have game design down to a SCIENCE!!

Now that I got my funny out of the way, lemme be serious. No humour further on if you're looking for that, so stop reading.
I literally mean they have the game to a science. Imagine game design as a checklist: They did it... But this game, is suffering from what all modern games are suffering from: Lack of Fine tuning.
Oh yeah, I should get this out of the way: I am going to refer to this as a game, not mod. This is because, not only I payed money for it and now have high standards, but because it felt like something new, something different.

Since they completed the checklist, this game has what is required of them: It was fun, it was clever, it was unique. Gameplay-wise, it couldn't have been better!

But there are so many flaws that I could never get over: They bugged me from the moment I started playing to the moment I finished the game. I'm going to start with the characters: Nigel. I'm comparing Aperture Tag to Portal 2, so in terms of character development, the modding team for this game should have had higher standards. Nigel doesn't have a bad voice or character necessarily, he feels generic.
In Portal 2, it's obvious what each kind of character is: Adventure Core is an action-addict, Wheatley thinks he's clever, tries, but fails, Space Core has a childlike optimism, and the Fact Core is a dictionary that's occasionally full of himself. And GLaDOS... We all know who GLaDOS is. Each persolity is PERFECT.


Nigel seems so generic that it's hard to tell who he is, and the biggest factor is the voice: Just by listening to them, you can tell who each character is. The other characters stood out, I can quote off the top of my head something from each of them because their voice matched their character and stick out. All I know is that Nigel said a few things that make me chuckle. That's all I know from his character. Nothing about him stood out. Not a bad voice, not a bad character... But if he's going to be the Jiminy Cricket in my pocket, he needs to be special, unique, not generic.

Another thing that bugged me is the paint gun. Graphically, it's nice, the jigglebones inside the glass bits could've been better, especially should've reacted to gravity, maybe even copied from Team Fortress 2 liquids.
The biggest problem with it is that it had almost no animations. Portal 2, doing anything had an animation. Pressing E whenever there's nothing there jiggled the gun, firing portals made it react. The paint gun sits there, lifeless, almost unnecessary, especially since the paint comes from the middle of your face in the first person... That's a bit weird, I want paint to come from my gun, not my face.

Oh, and back on Nigel. His eye was reused from the fact core, just recoloured. Come on, guys! Even people in the Garry's Mod community know that's A VERY BAD THING. Even the shade of orange looks like the Space Core!

Penultimately, I feel like they reused a few too many resource from Portal 2 in the earlier levels. Now this isn't too big of a problem... Except that they have competition with "Thinking with Time Machine", which had custom visuals from the get-go! It felt like something new! Aperture Tag, on the other hand, reused resources when they had a chance to make new resources. Now I understand cannonically, that it would be difficult to make new resources... And in the later levels, it wasn't an ussue at all with the themed artificial nature, that was BRILLIANT!! But still, just a texture swap would've been nice.
The antique turrets were awesome.
Also, being able to load your saves would be cool too. Especially if you get stuck someplace impossible: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=392163421
Come on, guys.
This moves me onto last thing: Gameplay. So we all have that need to cover everything in paint, right? Turns out, a few times made me regret it. I'll splot blue paint throughout the entire room, but regret it because the cube won't stop bouncing. This particular level won't have orange paint, so I'll have to deal with it. They need to implement water whenever an alternative paint is out of use.
Anyway, this game is worth your time if you like fun... But there will always be one thing to slightly bother you. ALWAYS.
Hey, creators of this mod! Now make it so that you can play the Portal 2 levels with it! And Hydra support! And co-op in the campaign! Somehow! NOTICE ME.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
Do you like Portal 2?
Do you like Repulsion Gel?
Do you like Propulsion Gel?
Then you will love this mod... 10/10
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22 of 40 people (55%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
10/10 not enough cake references
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
This game is not the usual Portal game you might think it is, you don't shoot portals nor do you get frustrated about the fact that wheatly is watching your back. The big thing about this game is that it uses the gells that were used in Portal 2. Your gun uses the blue and the orange gell.
-It's different from the Portal puzzles.
-It has a new personality core that follows you around.
-It is challenging.

-Might be different from the puzzles you're used to do.

But afterall i really recommend this game to any fans from the portal series.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
I bought two copies of this game, one for myself and one for my son. We run Linux. The mod does not work out of the box. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Please see the following post: http://steamcommunity.com/app/280740/discussions/1/617321352330994236/#c619573787452815252
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 23
The idea of switching from Portals to Paintguns was one of the Mods ever made for the World of Portal 2.
It is a lot of fun, just like the original Portal 2 and gives you an fair amount of extra levels for the classic game.

10/10 Cause I said so!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
One of the best mods for Portal 2
it really brings out the feature they didnt used much in the main game
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9 of 16 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
i wanted a better ending mabby a boss fight other than that it was good
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 20 people (55%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
I've bin holding off on reviewing this mod for a long time, mostly cause someone bought it for me and said they wanted a positive review on it because of that. I told him I'd give an honest one, what I truly think of the game, but let me tell you right now, even though I don't recommend the game, doesn't mean its utter garbage.

Mod Base/Core Idea: The creator of this mod had a great idea, the gel gun, completely new testing element, never bin used with this game before. Although on the outset, I thought I was going to have control of not only a gel gun, but a portal gun as well which would have bin awesome, when I found out I wasn't, it was a huge bummer. None the less the idea of gels as the core testing element and virtually having full control of it (with the exception of having to account for gravity as the gel does come out in a straight line, but rather an arc) is a great idea and they should be commended for that. And although it could still use a little work, the idea is there, so for that it gets a 9/10.

Puzzles: It has some pretty good puzzles, but only like 5 in the entire game that I really think are great, the rest are kind of meh, they lack the fullness that the Portal and Portal 2 levels have. Now I'll admit it's not easy creating a puzzle where the main and sometimes only testing element is gel; none the less, most of them just weren't that great. They included auto portals in some tests that you controlled in various ways, but they only contributed slightly to the tests. I will say that some of the ways that they made some areas "non-gelable" were interesting, but it doesn't make up for what the puzzles are lacking in. Overall for puzzles, left much to be desired. 3.5/10 (Oh yeah, and generally, this game can be spedran in about 24 minutes, and exploits and unintended solutions abound, even if you aren't a speedrunner..boooo!)

Aesthetics: One word, shoddy. It's like the ppl that made it knew some stuff in hammer, but not that much, and certainly not enough to make a full mod out of (especially that they charge for). One of my friends (who did NOT work on this mod, but should have cause he's a hammer god) even said "We do not talk about the poor mapping practices of Aperture Tag." Of course I laughed, but because its true; if the ppl that made this mod knew half of what they should have bin doing, it might actually look good. The way it is now, very basic and like they wanted to give off the appearance of being hammer guru's, without actually putting the necessary work into it; well guess what guys, you failed. Now I'm not saying none of them knew what they were doing, I know Mevious worked on it (and most of his stuff is really good), as well as at least 2 others, but the rest of them need to go to hammer school, BAD. Overall, the aesthetics probably leave more to be desired than the puzzles, though they are a start, they should not be in a full mod, especially one that isn't free. There is also quite a bit of nodraw (a type of invisible wall) that you can see without too much effort, and its something that shouldn't ever be seen. Exhibit A of what i give it a 2/10 for aesthetics.

Music: Absolutely the best part of this mod! I've listened to the soundtrack on YouTube probably twice as long in hours and minutes then I've played the mod itself (if not more), honestly, I'd pay 7 or maybe even 10 dollars for the music by itself. The game? That's another story. I didn't love all the songs at first, but as I've listened to them they grew on me and now I love them all, so the music alone gets a 10/10. (In-game it's actually not really all that great cause you don't hear it everywhere like in portal, and it's kind of stuck in the background as a result, so use of music gets a 6/10)

Overall: It didn't do too well for me, whether i payed for it myself or not, it wasn't worth $7, I wouldn't even say it's worth $5 actually, 2-3 dollars is an ok price to pay for this one. So my suggestion to you after reading this if you are still interested in this mod (you're amazing for reading this far btw :p), wait for a sale that its less than $3, that way you wont feel like you've wasted your money.

Final Thoughts: It has workshop support, but the coop is the most irritating (it could be good, but its hit and miss to make the gel appear, even when its enabled; also, the person holding the gel gun is placing portals, and the one with the gels is holding nothing; that's just terrible, it also doesn't have a coop story mode), and the sp, well its pretty much the same story as the Portal 2 workshop, but there's not really much they can do about that.
The average of the 4 places i reviewed here is about 7/10, although I'd probably just give it a 4/10 for little details and nitpicks that aren't worth mentioning here that are also lacking in this mod. If you still think you're interested in it after all of this, you either don't know much about those little details, or you don't care, which is completely your deal. But now you know why I don't recommend buying this game, at full price at least.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
"You know,you were my first test subject. You will always have a deep place inside my gears! Farewell my human test subject!"-Nigel

I pretty much first knew this game existed when Znernicus did a speedrun at #AGDQ2015,and I decided to try it because it looked kinda fun
Aperture Tag is a mod for Portal 2,where instead of giving you a portal gun,you instead get a paint gun with the red and blue gels.
The red/blue gels in the game play a HUGE role in solving the puzzles,and in some cases require you to bounce off the blue gel or run on the red gel for a good amount of time to get enough momentum.
The puzzles imo were pretty cleverly done(albeit it being very broken with the shortcuts you can take x) )

Overall I liked how it was done with Nigel essentially being a Wheatley II,the portal gun being replaced with a paint gun,which made the puzzles interesting,and the music(there's even a Metal version of Still Alive during the credits ^^)

8/10 from me
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
You have to be a specific kind of person to enjoy this game. I personally like it, except for Nigel's voice acting.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
There's very little to say wrong about Aperture Tag beyond that I wish there was more. As an effective total conversion atop Portal 2, the 3-4 hrs you'll get from this tickles the Portal-sense of puzzle solving, as well as using the lore of Portal 2 well.

It's based on what the gel mechanics were in Portal 2, from "Tag : The Power of Paint", where in that game you actually shot paint to get the effects, as opposed to Portal 2 where you could only manipulate the flow of paint. Aperture Tag replaces the portal gun with a paint gun, while still keeping other Portal mechanics in play (including the use of portals at times, though you don't have the ability to set them). In addition, it adds a mechanic where the gun is fully or partially disabled passing through certain fields, which adds to the puzzle elements. Most of the puzzles become thinking more vertically in nature, an aspect of using the blue gel for jumping.

Most of the puzzles are generally straight forward in the game's first 3 chapters out of four - the last chapter gets much more "free form" in nature although the puzzles still typically only have one solution. The paint mechanics are used well, both for moving your character around, as well as how it impacts other objects. There is one puzzle that is very much time and reflexes-based - but wisely the game offers a short circuit if you cannot get the hang of this section as to not make it a stumbling block.

And of course, all this atop the fact it is a free mod. There's very little to really complain about at that price. This is very good production value, and would like to see more, whether from this team or the community, to expand on it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
well, i cant say it wasnt a good game

it is a good game iand the 5$ were worth it
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
Fantastic Mod!!! I loved recording it for YouTube! This Mod had fantastic game mechanics and as well as incredible voice acting! 12/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
A really cracking mod that delivers all of the humor, atmosphere and entertainment one would expect from a Portal game.

And for the price? It's definitely worth picking this up!
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Just finished my second playthrough of this game. Overall I'd recommend it for any Portal fan - it provides some great puzzles while we're all desperately waiting for Valve to count to 3.

I find it kinda sad that the top rated reviews are majority negative. The game isn't THAT bad! Yes, the storyline and voice-acting isn't all that fantastic, but then again it's not an official release. It follows more Portal's style of test chamber after test chamber, with little bits of story/escape stuffed in between. Personally I did not like the 50 second escape part, as the gun can be a bit finnicky at times, and your gel takes time to splatter. Very easy and common for you to land before your gel hits and you're pretty much dead. It also leaves very little room for error - when he says that you cannot pause for even a second he sure wasn't kidding. A bit more leeway (maybe bring it up to 60seconds?) would have been nice. Luckily, you can skip this part, and I chose to for my second playthrough.

Other criticism - you find yourself re-attempting jumps many times as you soon realise it's a lot more about correcting your jumps rather than placement of gels. It can however be quite frustrating because some jumps can be quite tight to make. Recommendation to manual save as the autosave isn't really trustworthy. Unlike Portal 2 where autosave kicks in at almost every minor obstacle passed, this autosave is spotty at best.

I liked the re-using of certain maps from the original Portal - it's really refreshing to be able to use an alternative method rather than the portals that we all know and love.

Plus points for being able to speed around like a maniac to save time.

Overall I'd recommend this game only on sale. While I think that it's a decent addon/mod to Portal, it's debatable if it's worthy of its SGD5.50 price tag. Otherwise, it's a good way to re-immerse yourself in the Portal world for a good couple of hours. 7/10
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
45.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
The goo is fun, but the coop maps are usually very weak since they seem to have been written by 8 year olds with little challenge involved. Portal 2 is by far the better game.
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