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 (66 reviews) - 77% of the 66 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (2,253 reviews) - 76% of the 2,253 user reviews for this game are positive.
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



“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).
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires a Steam version of Portal 2 Installed
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (66 reviews)
Mostly Positive (2,253 reviews)
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1,488 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
85.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
I. LOVE. THIS. GAME!!! The Paint Gun adds a new spin on things, the recycled levels from P2 were a bit tough, especially the one from The Surprise (Was it the first one?). This is very good, as it is a nice challenge when away from the Portal Gun. Still, that level was EXTREMELY hard with the Portal Gun.

I played the HECK out of this game with my Steam Controller (Newest as of now) and it was AMAZING!

Multiplayer was a small bit "Buggi", when you have the Portal Gun and the Paint Gun. One player has nothing, which actually is the Paint Gun, and the other player has a "Paint Gun", which is actually the Portal Gun.

Overall, it is an EXTREMELY good game! Also not to mention, the Community Made Levels are AMAZING!!!
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
Almost as good as the original, some bugs here and there, a little short, but for 80 cents on sale a must-have for Portal 2 fans!

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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
-=DO NOT=- Be fooled into buying this. After watching the tutorial video a friend of mine bought 2 copies. We launched the game to find out that there isn't actually co-op. Sure you can get workshop modded games to get co-op, but the game doesn't have the right to state it's CO-OP if there isn't a SINGLE BASE CO-OP option. We then said screw it and started downloading workshop co-op maps as that's the only way to do co-op. Small issue however, is that your paint gun disappears and only works sometimes. After walking through the Paint Gun Activator on one of the maps. I found that if I looked at the floor, I couldn't paint, only if I was staring at the ceiling or aiming up above everything, would it fire, and only about 60% of the time did that work. The game is completely unpolished and is falsely advertising co-op. The main page states: Single-Player and Co-op Workshop Integration with Source Instances to create your own Paint Gun Maps.

It doesn't state


Yet they have this listed:


(NOPE, we fooled you..... you have to download the mods in order to get this feature. We aren't offering it, but we are stating it's here for you, just not through us.... because... well... we want money for a portal 2 workshop paint gun.)

Steam Cloud
Commentary available
Captions available
Partial Controller Support
Includes level editor
Includes Source SDK
Steam Trading Cards
Steam Workshop

I understand this game just came out on the 15th. So hopefully the developer pulls his head out of his a.s.s. and makes it co-op in the base game, and fixes the portal gun for the modders. It plays just like a damn early access beta game, and it's supposedly finished
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
345 of 364 people (95%) found this review helpful
31 people found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 28, 2015

+ 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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1,775 of 2,186 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
After playing the game through to completion, I can tell you right now that this is not worth your time. The paint gun makes puzzles FAR too easy, especially when they begin recycling levels from portal 2 itself. The voice actor I'm sure tried his best, but it was not good, I'm sorry, making the personality core sound like a shoddily modded dimwit. Also, the core is never actually used as a core. It could have remained unrevealed for the entire game and it would have felt no different.

Gameplaywise, I spent a considerable amount of time shouting at the gun's physics. Some levels require you to move quickly spraying gel in front of you, but the physics-based gel BARELY MOVES FASTER THAN YOU DO - as a result, you have to KNOW something is there and spray it long before reaching it or the gel won't register as it lands at the same time you hit. Fail to know, and the level - there's one specific level I'm griping about - becomes a chore where you have to memorize every single thing and prepare for it long in advance - before you can even SEE it.
Other than that, the gel idea just felt too lazy. The whole game felt too lazy. I have seen more effort put into many workshop maps on portal 2 itself.

Would I complain normally? No. But this mod actually has the gall to CHARGE MONEY. And when so many mods are out there that are FREE for Half Life 2, Portal, so on so forth - hell, the entire GAME of team fortress 2 being free, this mod is NOT worth any money, period. It is unpolished, buggy, feels VERY lazy the entire way through, and has a terrible ending that leaves you thinking "That's it?". It tries many times to crack jokes also in relation to the Cave Johnson style in Portal 2, but the bad voice actor coupled with terrible, very obviously poorly scripted dialogue makes it simply an annoyance.

Now, on the other hand, the music is fantastic. A++. Someone give the composers an award. It's one of the only reasons the mod remains playable with all it's issues, lame recycled art style, lame concept, bad dialogue, bad voice actor, bad physics reliance, etc. The music was beyond fantastic and I hope they release it for purchase or download or something.

I was also very impressed with the audio system that utilized speakers to send out music, which rather than simply having some strange background music playing in a game gave a bit more of a sense of immersion, as you know the core is playing the music and that it was intended as part of the level, while also giving the developers a chance to toy with the music using dialogue from the core too.

The only other thing that impressed me was a single plot twist, but personally, I do not find it enough to justify paying for this when so many games that are entirely free can out-match it on all levels.

All in all? DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS. If they ever make it free, which they won't because they're probably getting a ton of cash right about now and don't frankly care, then it is worth it as an above-average mod. As a paid mod, which I can consider a full game? What else can I get for this price...

Well, you wait for a steam sale and literally every single game is as much or less than this mod...
The entirety of the tomb raider franchise is available, with each game costing the same or barely more than this mod...
Civilization 3 is cheaper, along with Binding of Issac, Plants vs Zombies, Half Life: Blue Shift...POSTAL...Half Life Opposing Force...Any of the sonic the hedgehog games (classic ones, which are great)... I'm just running through the list of games under $5 right now and finding ones I know are good. This mod at full price is $7.

DO. NOT. BUY. IT. As mentioned, if it's FREE, it's worth your time. If it's PAID, spend your money elsewhere. Do not support this new "money for mods" deal, because you know others will follow suit if this takes off.
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236 of 312 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2015
I wouldn't complain about this mod if it were free, but charging for it doesn't make sense. It's significantly lower quality than a lot of free mods (Time Machine and Mel for example) and feels uninspired like the creators weren't actually into Portal as a series. The more difficult puzzles, as other reviewers have said, are based more on fake difficulty like requiring timing or luck over actually figuring out complicated solutions.

To put it simply, it's good, but not worth selling. Got tired of it fast even though I didn't pay for it myself.
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337 of 468 people (72%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2015
It's an insult to charge money for this mod, when larger, infinitely better mods (Portal Stories: Mel) are available for free. Further more, I found this mod frustrating more than anything else. On the last puzzle I tried I had to try a jump about 30 times before finally making it. I've played about a hundred different community levels for Portal 2, so I know my way around the game. When a puzzle is so finely tuned to doing an action within a few milliseconds in order to succeed, I find it more frustrating than fun. This mod was just frustration upon frustration, without a single element of actual fun. It's definitely not worth the money, and it became the first game I've actually requested a refund for.
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542 of 773 people (70%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
I played this for a few hours and it's buggy, incomplete, most of the puzzles require actually doing the objectives, you can typically just blue gel off a couple ledges and bounce yourself to the end. The main voice is identical to how it sounds in the second video if you want a preview; it doesn't really feel like I'm even in anything related to Aperture Science at all as far as aesthetic goes. You can download the same number of hours in content for essentially the same thing playing a wide number of the PeTI maps that over-use gel, especially any ones made in Hammer. Because of that, this really isn't worth the money. If you don't mess around and just do the puzzles, I imagine it's maybe 6 hours of gameplay. At $6.99 you're paying more than a dollar per hour of content.

Deal breakers
-Voice acting
-Writing/story & lack thereof
-Tests aren't blue-gel shortcut proofed
-Fizzler doesn't always disable your gel gun, which causes serious game-breaking issues
-More than an hour of hand-holding for puzzles, including portions where the VA gives you a turn-by-turn, literally, on one of the levels

Deal makers
-The map design is thoughtful: there are a few, albeit non-interactable, ratman lairs and such
-A good couple handfuls of the tests can't be bypassed completely with just blue gel, as far as I've playtested
-You can get like $1.00 back selling the Steam trading cards, while this is new, at least
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494 of 715 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
How disappointing.

At first I was really looking forward to this game as I enjoyed both Portal games a lot and coop in Portal 2 was great. The price is quite high for such a short game (and a mod at that) but I really thought it would be worth it. Oh how wrong I was.

I played just under three hours now, the first 30 minutes I spent adjusting the settings (who the ♥♥♥♥ uses a default resolution this low? - ♥♥♥♥ed up all my windows) and trying to play coop. The almost complete absence of coop maps was a pretty big letdown, the two maps that were working were awfully short. Also the host using the portal gun was somehow missing his weapon, I as player two was shown using the paint gun.

After that I decided to give the single-player campaign a try. The graphics are somewhat mediocre, not terribly bad but far from excellent (those fugly turrets, seriously).
Don't get me started on the voice acting. The original Portal games featured _amazing_ voice acting, some of the funniest ♥♥♥♥ I've ever heard in a video game. And then there's this crap. Some dude with a speech impediment trying to emulate GLaDOS and failing miserably. After roughly the third or fourth test chamber I seriously considered muting the game because it sucked so bad.
Gameplay. Well. I think the basic idea is pretty good as I quite enjoyed the chapters using gels in Portal 2 and most of the puzzles were quite enjoyable but ♥♥♥♥ that jumping. I HATE jumping puzzles in FPS games and for example in chamber 3 there's a rather small margin of error and I died quite a few times over the course of the game.
In my opinion the puzzles were somewhat unique although, having played through Portal 2 two or three times, a lot of elements were familiar and as such not terribly difficult.
Which brings me to my next complaint. It's ♥♥♥♥ing short. Not even close to the five or six hours mentioned elsewhere, two and a half at most. The story has little replayability and there's no multi-player content so that's it. Three hours, five bucks. Killing Floor is five bucks (on sale) and I have nearly 700 hours played there, just for comparison.
Also the end. Seriously guys. You think that's a proper ending? I won't post any spoilers here but I will say it's pathetic.

Bottom line: do not buy. At least not at this time, with an official coop campaign included it may be worth it.
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Recently Posted
Wibble199 『GB』
3.2 hrs
Posted: October 13
A great new idea that means you have to think differently to Portal 2. I enjoyed playing with the gels in Portal 2 and so I enjoyed using them in Aperture Tag.

Overall the story felt rather short and left me wanting more puzzles. I was able to finish the main campaign in about 2hr 30m. I picked this game up for about 80p and so it wasn't a big deal however I feel that if I were to pay £4 for this mod with compartively short gameplay compared to some other Portal 2 mods I would feel rather disappointed. I would recommend waiting for the product to come on sale before purchasing.

Another thing to be aware is that although the game has community maps avaliable, the game does not have an official co-op campign.

Some of the levels are recycled from the original game and you have to to a new approach to figure out how to solve them using gels rather than portals. There are a bunch of new levels and the environments are really well made. Towards the end of the game the levels have a theme to them, such as a forest theme with tree and wallpaper on the walls of the test chamber. That made a very nice change from seeing room after room made of the aperture science panels.

The narrator orb, Nigel, is the only character in the game you will meet. He's a fun, quirky character and the voice actor is rather good. You encounter him in person later on in the game and he follows you around on a track, which I found a rather neat concept.

Being able to utilise the level creator from Portal 2 and being integrated with the Steam Workshop means that there are a bunch of levels available to play besides the base game, which helps keep you amused for longer. I did not try the co-op community levels, but by the sounds of it they are a little buggy.

All in all a great mod, and I encountered very few bugs and no crashes, though I'd wait for it to come on sale before purchasing. 7/10
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10.1 hrs
Posted: October 13
[Might add more later]

Good mod, but the voice acting could be improved on.

My suggestion is that you get the mod on sale. I got it for 50 cents.

Voice acting 8/10
Music 9/10
Puzzle design 9/10

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0.9 hrs
Posted: October 13
The mod is not worth money... protal stories mel was fan fuken tastic and it was free... the mod is good, the puzzels are a bit too easy and the voice acting was ok but it is not worth money... i mean , when u see mods like (mel and thinking with time machine) that are free u cant just say that this mod is worth money..(i am sorry, this is my first negative review i ve done..)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.8 hrs
Posted: October 12
Now your thinking with Gel...Jello? Overall this game is pretty good and fun. But the 4th chapter, I just, really don't like it. The game has a problem where it feels luck-base, what I mean by this is that 90% of my Deaths from my game is beacause the Blue Gel had me Over/Under Jumped,which is fine, but chapter 4 made me hate the Paint Gun.Its good at the first 4 puzzles, but after the 4th puzzle the rest of the chapter 4 puzzels are just rage-inducing. Overall the rest of the 3 chapters are pretty neat, and overall fun. However, if I were the game developers, I would remove Chapter 4, The 3rd Chapter had a really climatic ending as well, unlike Chapter 4 which was completly the opposite. Get this game, but beware of Chapter 4.
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4.4 hrs
Posted: October 10
This game is frustratingly fun, it gets you thinking as did the other portal games.
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Toilet Princess
5.3 hrs
Posted: October 10
Always wanted to play with paint.

Now I can without killing myself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.0 hrs
Posted: October 10
This mod is 2 years old and still full of ♥♥♥♥ing glitches.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.2 hrs
Posted: October 10
It's a nice game, but not too impresive, (three stars out of five).
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[iFC] McBro
3.1 hrs
Posted: October 9
If you're like me the game wouldnt boot up. It goes through the loading screen and crashes. Sucks right? Well theres a pretty simple fix.

- Locate Aperature Tag's files by doing the following:
- Click on Finder, at the top of the screen to the RIGHT of the Apple button click "Go" then click "Go to folder...".
- Type: ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common
- Locate the Aperature Tag folder
- Once inside DELETE the folder named "bin"
- Then go back and open the Portal 2 Folder
- Once inside COPY the "bin" folder
- Then go back to the Aperature tag folder
- Lastly once inside PASTE the "bin" folder you copied
Boot up Aperature tag and it should hopefully load, worked for me and a few others


No doubt a very good Portal 2 mod, i enjoyed every bit of it. If you're a protal fanatic (like me) its a must have.

The only thing that dissapointed me was the ending. Other than that it was a great game.

Also I would of loved to see more levels that included the high speed reactions like when exiting the reactor.
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Chicken Lord
5.7 hrs
Posted: October 9
After doing a full play through, I think I can give a decent review for the solo gameplay.

TL:DR; if you can get this for cheap, do it. It is worth it 10 times over.

I was actually surprised at how much fun this was. It, at least for the most part, had unique levels, and was a blast to play through. I personally thought that it was going to be extremely repetitve, given some of the reviews, but probably 90%+ of the levels were specially made for the mod it seemed to me. Even the reused chambers were interesting to do, given a distinct lack of portals. I do agree with some of the reviews, Nigel's voice is a little boring and uninteresting at times, and having that in your ears was irritating at times, especially when it would delay a level from loading.

My only real issue with the mod is saving. If you get stuck somewhere thanks to autosave, you have to reload the entire level with the "restart" command, which got to be very bothersome at times. Easily a quarter of the 5 hours I spent playing through was because I made a mistake, and wanted to go back to a prior part of the chamber (i.e.: trying to go back and do the escape in chapter 3 after accidentally skipping it), or redoing a significant part of the chapter. I got over this quickly after chapter 1 though, especially after finding out that f6 is a save hotkey, and f7 loads the last save, just in case you mess up really badly, and don't want to redo a bunch of work.

Overall though, a REALLY good mod for the 99 cents I spent on it. 5$ is rather expensive for just a mod, so I would encourage waiting for a sale. It is really worth it in the end!
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