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:
Very Positive (35 reviews) - 88% of the 35 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (2,195 reviews) - 76% of the 2,195 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
Very Positive (35 reviews)
Mostly Positive (2,195 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


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1,461 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Recently Posted
5.4 hrs
Posted: September 24
Worth your time. Fairly well designed but obviously there isn't too many places to go with the initial portal mechanics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.5 hrs
Posted: September 20
Highly recommended! :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
22.6 hrs
Posted: September 19
there is one thing i want to know i was messing about with noclip and theres a button near the end but i cant seem to find out what it does please tell me awsome mod worth the money i would really like to se you guys make another mod please?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
16.3 hrs
Posted: September 19
Good story and great graphics.

if you are going to buy this, I recommend you wait for it to go on sale I got it for $1.76
but don't wait forever
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tricky Ric
3.8 hrs
Posted: September 17
A fair edition to the Portal Universe.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mc Screamy Bear
9.3 hrs
Posted: September 16
all i can say is this is a cool mod! plus if u wanna bounce or speed THIS GAME IS FOR U!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: September 15
Another great mod guys :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mystery Science Spycrab
4.2 hrs
Posted: September 11
Amazing mod with amazing test design. The only problem I have is that the physics of the gels get confusing at times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.3 hrs
Posted: September 10
NOT Recommended !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
84.3 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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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
339 of 358 people (95%) found this review helpful
29 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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1,771 of 2,180 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person 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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235 of 309 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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336 of 465 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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493 of 714 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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198 of 277 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2014
Ok, I feel I have to make this review, difficult though it is.
Aperture Tag is a feld of contradictions, and I really am not sure whether to reccomend it or not, and whether or not to review it as a mod, or as a paid-for game, whether I should compare it to Portal or view it as a standalone. And furthermore, I'm not sure if I should review this as the big Portal fan I am, or just as a general gamer.
As gameplay goes, it is fun, that much is easy to say, the makers obviously have a lot of experience with Portal on the workshop most likely, and each chamber is fairly well finished. The puzzles are challenging to an extent, which is as it should be, and only being able to use gels does give an interesting element to gameplay.
As many have said before me, it does fall down a bit in areas like cohesive-ness. The general storyline is 'Here are some tests, solve them' which isnt bad in and of itself, but the problem is this is based off Portal, something well known for its good story, and was one of the main things that made the two games memorable. Additionally, there isn't that much of the gameplay, it's about the same size as the first Portal game. When compared to its big brother, it doesnt stand up because it simply can't, this is a mod, made by a few fans, and it shows through in places like the story, and how the core that shows you around is fairly badly recorded, and basically has a one dimensional personality. The references to Portal 2, even putting you in a few chambers from the game, and how 'Nigel' is a bad mirror of Wheatley show how it is straining to live up to the original in ways it never can.
But I'm nit-picking this in ways that some of you may think is unfair, I shouldn't compare it to the game because it is just a mod etc. But the problem is this isn't just a mod, if it were I would say A+++, and be done with it. No, the thing is you have to pay for this, which makes it a product, which means you have the right to have your say because you're paying for it.
At the end of the day however I just need to review this, so here it is: I enjoyed it, it was fun, challenging tests, new gameplay idea, great soundtrack courtesy of the ever brilliant Harry Callaghan, and for me as a big Portal fan I don't really regret buying it.
Yes, at times it has the slightly unpolished feel of something that belongs on the steam workshop rather than the store, and yes the story falls down a lot, but it's fun, which is what a game should be.
So, if you are a fan of Portal, and you're willing to pay this much, I would reccomend you do. If you are looking for a cheap puzzle game to spend a few hours on (only a few mind), then again, reccomend it. But if you are hesitant, or not that big a fan of Portal, or not that prepared to spend money on a mod, I wouldn't, go spend it on something you're sure of.

TL;DR Fun, challenging puzzles, bad story, short play-time: If you're a portal/puzzling fan, reccomend buying, if you're not, wouldn't reccomend buying.
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62 of 75 people (83%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
3.3 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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140 of 204 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
This game is a bit of a mess but there's some nice puzzles to be had.

+Levels are thoughtfully designed
+Modeling and texture work are great
+Soundtrack is Portal-esqe while still good on its own merits

-Apocalyptically bad writing.
-Even worse voice work
-Paint Gun is buggy and sometimes unresponsive
-Puzzles have limited solutions early on

This game is something I can't recommend at full price. For $1.99 I can let it slide but for $5 or the full $7 they want for it pass. I like the idea and the actual gameplay is well done but they didn't capture what made Portal so good. The writer's idea of a joke is annoying heavy metal music being played at the start of a test and the narrator scrambling to turn it off but at the end of the test the narrator says "the music was intended" or some dumb ♥♥♥♥. Really, the crap storytelling is the dealbreaker.
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