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 (1,192 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.


“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 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
19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
The good: well executed concept, with maps that give you a real challenge and a thrilling soundtrack.
The bad: some mechanics are not explained clearly and may take a while to understand properly.
The ugly: some overlooked bugs and rare save-corrupting crashes.
Overall: 4/5
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13 of 19 people (68%) found this review helpful
45.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
This game is one of the most fun games based off a great game. Portal 2, everyone who plays it, loves it. Unless they hate puzzles and thinking. Anyways, Aperture Tag. Its time to think with Gels. The Gels from Portal 2 are now in your hands and ready to fire. Solving more puzzles and finding the secret areas in the levels. Can you find Ratman's Hideout? Can you find the secret song in area 3 (metal version of Still Alive)? Any one who plays this game and is not happy, download the communities maps. So much potential in a short game, and it has it all. You also have the ability to add Crushers to your own maps. Good luck Test Subjects.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2014
As an avid Portal fan, I loved hearing about this game coming out. When someone gave it to me I immediately started playing and finished it within a couple of days. Not that I'm complaining about its shortness- I'd pretty much expected that part. However, there were some glaring errors I couldn't ignore.

The concept was pretty sound, and the use of gels to complete tasks forced me to deviate from thinking with portals, which was hard at first. However, there were parts in which I barely squeaked by because the margin for error was so small, or required extremely exact placements that weren't intuitive in the game. During the action sequence somewhere around the middle of the game, I had to navigate an obstacle course on a time limit before the area blew up. Once I got the hang of it the area was fun, but I kept dying repeatedly because of the incredibly exact gel placements and timing it required. The course was long and arduous, requiring roughly 200 restarts until I was going along smoothly and almost making it to the end. I didn't mind being challenged by the game, but it kept feeling as if they hadn't adequately checked most of these puzzles to make sure they were playable. For instance, there was absolutely no room for error on the speed run. The time limit was such that even if you completed all of the jumps and slides well you'd die from running out of time first. Even a few seconds on the clock would have helped make it slightly more playable. It didn't have the smoothness of Portal 2, and harked back to some of the original Portal's problems with precise timing which had almost been eliminated with the latter game.

Surfer dude core (I believe his name was Nigel?) was alright, though not the best option for a guide. He seemed to be a cross between Wheatley and an Aperture scientist in that he was slightly bumbling yet spouting trite guidances for the player with a distinctly Aperture flair. I couldn't really get an edge on what kind of core he was, and he didn't have a theme like the rest of the cores in the original games had. In addition, hearing him telling me to hurry up or I'd die each time I'd have to restart the obstacle course became so irritating by the end I wanted to rip his handlebars off. I won't even speak about the ending here.

All in all? It was pretty fun. Mostly. The concept was good, at least. If you don't count the fact it needed to be tested thoroughly and cleaned up before releasing. That makes sense for an mod like this, but it's still disappointing. I can forgive the core, but I can't forgive sloppy testing. For science.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
There's things about this game that I like and there's things that I don't however overal, I'd have to give it a thumbs down. To start this off, I'll start with the pros (what's good) of the game and then I'll get to the cons (what's bad).

First off, the soundtrack is amazing. It's original and well done, there's not much more I could say about it. The game was fun at times although it certainly wasn't anything like Portal and I did like the idea of just testing with gels. Honestly my favorite part of the game was when I was testing in test chambers that were in Portal 2 meant for the portal gun instead of the paintgun. However it was a very short segment and was considered no time compared to all the custom test chambers the delevopers made. Personally, I would've liked to see more of this but I can't speak for the rest of Portal fans who were also disappointed to play this game. There's also a part where you're time and you have to go really fast. I attempted five or four times before becoming furstrated with the game (I'm horrible at timed games, it's too much stress). However what I didn't notice was that the developers were nice enough to have a button to skip it. I know there was probably a lot of effort placed into this game and I feel so sorry for siding with everyone who dislikes this game but there's just too many flaws.

Now to what's wrong with the game. I have to begin with all the broken test chambers. There's a lot of bugs and glitches in this game and for some reason my game hit pretty much all of them. There was a part where I was supposed to jump to a certain point with repulision gel but no matter what I ended up jumping either too high or too low and dying. This was never a problem when I played Portal 2. I ended up looking up a walkthrough and it showed everything that I was doing yet somehow the person got to the place the jump was supposed to get them. Another glitch I had was that in a level that needed propulsion gel, the gun wouldn't activate it for some odd reason (I once again looked online to find that I was doing everything right). For both levels, I was forced to use console because there was no other way to get through them. Another thing wrong was the aim in the game. The cross hair was a lot higher than where the gun would actually fire and it made me want to pull my hair out. Throughout the game, you're with a core named Nigel. At first I thought Nigel was kinda cute and funny but after awhile I began to realize how much I couldn't stand him. He was just so whiny (which at first was funny) and wouldn't stop talking. Another part about Nigel that I didn't like was that he wouldn't let you start certain tests until he was done talking (which sometimes felt like forever). In much later test chambers, Nigel would follow you around on a rail (I really don't remember what its called) like Wheatley from Portal 2 but to me this was a huge distraction. I disliked trying to solve a test chamber and having my eyes be confused by Nigel's rail, mistaking it for something that was part of the test chamber. The game also had next to no plot. There's no way that I could cause spoilers because there's no plot. You do test chambers with a core named Nigel and that's about it. It seems to me that this is a really dull portal fanfiction placed last second instead of just having the players go through test chambers. As a really big fan of portal (a person next to obsessed with it) I noticed several things wrong. For example, the first few test chambers look alike to those of Cave Johnson's (in fact I swear I saw the old Aperture logo somewhere) which is confusing because there's not really a reason to. What bothered me more is how much later test chambers had weird and very distracting backgrounds. I might be nitpicking here but personally it bothered me to no end. I forgot to meantion the worst part of this game. The autosaving is terrible. You could have been half way done with the map and lose everything (which is honestly fine, people need to save more often) but what was worse was when it autosaved me at broken points. The game has autosaved while I was failing a jump and about to die (several test chambers this happened to me), causing me to have to load an ealier save. The last and probably biggest point is that I paid four dollars (which is now seven dollars) for a game that has too many problems and isn't even a stand alone game. I don't want my money back but I still don't think that this should cost unless the majority of the problems are fixed.

I have yet to play the Steam community's levels yet I'm not reinstalling this game anytime soon.

This is all just my opinion, feel free to disagree. Though I'll finish this up by saying that this actually gets more hate than it really deserves.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
This was definitely interesting. I'll start off by saying I'd recommend the game at 30% off or better, as I got it for $4.89 and I feel that price was solid. The game made me want it to end faster, yet I wanted more by the end.

The major problem is, the game is not "there", not polished and ideal. Voice acting left a lot to be desired. Honestly, I picked it up as a fan of Harry Callahan's music, and a fan of Portal. The music is pretty great, but attaching it to in-level speakers means the volume is very inconsistent. Having your ears blown out by standing near the speakers is realistic, but the difference between max volume and minimum is too much. Maybe it's tied to Source, but I'd like to see the audio rebalanced.

Gameplay has some neat elements, but I think being gels-only makes puzzles too limited. There were several times I thought "Was that the solution?" as the technique I used didn't seem intentional. Gameplay is not the thoughtful style of Portal, but far more platforming. At the same time, gel is easy to apply everywhere, compared to limited portal placement options in the base game. This ability to coat most levels in gel enabled several boundary glitches and shortcuts. I was hoping for more interesting levels, as many were very flat in layout, where vertical challenges would've been nice. Workshop support does help to add more content, but that still doesn't add to the story. I feel like there must be more to the storyline, and I'd like for more content to be added.

A bit better story, stronger voice acting, and some level fixes would go a long way to make this game really appealing. Although the middle-section of the game made me wish it would wrap up faster, the ending left me begging for more. It's probably 4 hours long for most, putting 30% off as a good price-per-hour and enjoyment value. I'd like to see Valve show some stronger support for the mod, maybe connecting it to an ARG to show some information for Portal 3, but that's just a dream and a wish. But THAT would get me excited. For what is available here, it's decent enough as long as you accept that it won't have Valve's level of polish and quality.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
A nice mod. And I didn't find the voice acting to be NEARLY as bad as lots of people have said. It's not bad at all.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
I really enjoyed this mod. I'm a huge fan of Portal, Portal 2, and the original Tag game so this was right up my alley. While this game focuses little on the Portal mechanics, the Tag mechanics are quite enjoyable on their own. I found the puzzles to be interesting and the action sequences are fun.

The biggest problem I have with the mod is that it requires a lot of precision when executing certain sequences. For someone who isn't very skilled at twitch based gameplay, this was frustrating for me in a few places as I knew what to do, I just had execution problems. Of course the same could be said for certain parts of the Portal games. I think the most frustrating (and fun) part was the timed sequence. It was a bit unforgiving, but still a lot of fun.

Additionally the voice over acting and writing were fairly weak. To me this is a relatively minor issue though since I didn't buy the mod for the story.

I recommend it to people who like Portal 2 and/or physics based puzzle platformers.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
It's definitely worth the price. I tought the gels would make the puzzles easier, but when I played the game I was surprised: It' might be more difficult than the original portal.
If you're a fan of portal, buy it, you wont regret

+The story is good, unfortunately the backstory is missing
+Congratulations for the voicework, before I've bought it I read some reviews that was saying the voice acting was bad. The voice acting is really good (perhaps the voice is a little thin) but it fells like portal, the robot dialoging "with you" all the time
+Funny events in the game
+Easter eggs and secrets
+Alternative endings
+fun fun fun
+I haven't found any major bug, or something that will disturb the gamplay, I think its very polished
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
Once upon a time, Portal 2 was being developed as a game without portals. We all know how that worked out, but I’ve always been intrigued with that idea. The entirely new category of first person puzzler requires more than just portals after all, it needs some variety. The makers of Aperture Tag share my sentiments, and have lovingly crafted a Portal 2 mod campaign using only a paint gun and its gel mechanics. Portals are used sparingly as testing elements, but 90% of this run through Aperture’s test chambers will be spent bouncing across gaps and speeding around sharp banks, waiting for just the right moment to paint a surface or move a cube remotely. It brings a satisfying and quick new dimension to Portal levels, and even includes Workshop support for endless replayability after the main campaign is finished. Some may be put off by the idea of paying money for a mod, but anyone who takes the plunge will be pleasantly surprised by just how well this unofficial DLC stands up to the original’s sterling reputation.

Want to read more? Check out my review at Geekenstein.com! http://www.geekenstein.com/aperture-tag-review/
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
This game just isn't very good.

The paint mechanics are more or less the same from Portal 2, and it's just those same mechanics over and over again. Somehow, the game manages to do even less with them than Portal 2 itself did. It gets tedious and boring really quickly, and the AI talking to you isn't malevolent like GLADoS or charmingly stupid like Wheatley, he's just sort of annoying and dull. It would be better presented as a series of random puzzles than with that annoying voice buzzing in your ear.

The only reason this game sold at all was the association with Portal 2.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
Maybe if the same amount of effort went into making the actual game as the trailer..
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
i wanted a better ending mabby a boss fight other than that it was good
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
Takes one of my favorite games of all time, and adds gel guns? Get. Me. To. The. Hospital. NOW.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 13, 2014
Great DLC for an already brilliant game, despite the other reviews I'm a devoted portal fan and I found each test chamber new and invigorating, even if some are clones of original levels I feel its good to see how to use the new gell gun to solve the classics. Apart from some kinks and bugs this game has left me wanting to know more but at the same time left me asking more questions than the beginning. If you are like me and been trying to get your portal fix this is an excellent game and Like portal one don’t be fooled by your ending there is more than meets the eye.
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11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
Before buying this mod you should know that it is better for co-op rooms, not just solo campaign.

So you should have a friend with Aperture Tag ;) It is really much more fun with co-op, at least for me.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
I don't know about you guys, but I'm kinda fond of a little game we on the internet like to call 'Portal' and indeed its successor 'Portal 2'. However, there was a serious problem with these games, unforgivable some might say. They are too damn short! I've completed Portal 2 three times now and I'm one co-op achievement away from 100%ing it. I do not feel fulfilled in the Portal department these days.

But wait... could it be... a game with more portals...?

CORRECT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MORE PORTALS FOR ALL! You get a paint gun and you paint everywhere, the portals are back too and so are some familiar environments! There's a new guy talking to you who I find quite amusing (unlike every other reviewer of this game apparently...), the soundtrack is even better than Portal 2's somehow! What more could you ask for?! I don't know what the talk of bugs is, I've seen none! The game also seems to be getting some new content from updates recently too, so what are you waiting for?

Get down to your local Steam shop and buy yourself this here game. Aperture science got me thinking with... paint..?

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Aperture Tag.

I was skeptical at first but overall, I like it. It's a good expansion on the gel mechanic from Portal 2- and I can't think of much they could've done to improve on it aside from what's already been done.

The story takes place after Portal 2 sometime- and it takes you through several environments from and based around Portal 2. The story features an original character in the form of a core named Nigel. His voice acting is alright- and story is actually rather well done- but it takes a back seat to the puzzles and level design; speaking of which- the overall level design is clever and well thought out for the most part. It’s worth noting that the game is quite a bit more difficult than Portal or Portal 2. You'll likely find yourself dying far more often in this due to some occasionally unpredictable physics or just due to a lack of skill on the players part. The game has an original soundtrack as well- all of which are very fitting for their environments.

Overall- I'd say Aperture Tag is good enough to buy if it's on sale- but maybe not worth it if you have to pay full price. Of course- to play you need to own Portal 2- but who in their right mind wouldn't own Portal 2 if they're interested in Aperture Tag? Last thing to mention is that the game features workshop support- so you can design your own maps for Aperture tag- and play others maps as well- just like in Portal 2- which is a nice touch. The map community isn't as active for this as it is for Portal 2- but it’s still incredibly nice to have.

Definitely pick it up if you have a Portal itch that you just can't seem to scratch- even with workshop maps from Portal 2- or with Thinking with Time Machine (Another Portal 2 mod which is free).
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Good Portal 2 Mod with nice extensions of the normal game. Still has the good puzzling atmosphere from the original Portals and fits perfectly in the Portal Universe. Could be more content for the money I paid but I still love it.

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
Not much fun. I'm stuck pretty early on. I think I know what I'm supposed to do but I just can't get it to work. And the save point keeps waking me up before I've painted the surfaces. That's the thing. Painting is just too tedious when compared with shooting portals. You take time to figure out how to complete a puzzle, then doing it shouldn't take very long because the act of creating portals is basically instantaneous. But in this game, you have to spend time painting surfaces - not a fun part of game play. It slows the game down too much.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Huge Portal fan, was rather disappointed with this piece of rubbish. I can't say that it is all bad though, the visuals are all very well done for the most part, and the tests seem to show a curve in complexity that still maintains the puzzler status of the game; however, the voice acting is really attrociously done and seems as if little to no effort was put into it. It quickly became annoying and nearly ruined the game for me to where I can only tolerate play on mute. As a mod it's really not worth the price it is. I got it on sale, but I wouldn't put it as worth any more than 1.99USD for even a true fan. Otherwise, don't bother, PeTI is much better. 4/10
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