Valve’s Portal has blown some minds in its day. The 2007 cult favorite and its 2011 sequel featured reality bending gameplay that would leave your brain as warped as the portals you’d jumped through. Now a new homebrew project out on the Nintendo DS might just blow your mind again. Aperture Science DS is a portable tribute to Valve’s masterpiece and it looks and plays surprisingly well. Be sure to check out the footage below!
Developer Jordan “Smealum” Rabet and an artist who goes by the handle “Lobo” worked on homebrew title. Smealum talked about the specifics of bringing the project to Nintendo’s DS (and why it wasn’t made for the newer 3DS) in an interview with gaming news site Polygon.
“I mean think about it; essentially what we were trying to do was get all the core mechanics of a 2007 PC game to run on a 2004 handheld, whose hardware was already outdated when it was released,” he said. “That in itself is an interesting challenge, and basically means I have to think hard about how to get everything running correctly in spite of all of the console’s restrictions.
“This project was in big part interesting to me because of the challenge it represented and because I wanted to push the DS,” Smealum continued. “And I don’t think porting this to anything else would be very interesting. Not to mention, people like me can’t really work on the 3DS right now, so even though I wouldn’t mind trying a couple things on that, I can’t.”
Portal was the sleeper hit of Valve’s “Orange Box” collection back in 2007, which included Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2, and Team Fortress 2. Portal was the unknown on the disc, a weird indie-ish game among a bunch of great FPS content. But once folks gave it a shot, they were converted and Portal became a cult smash. Critics and players alike praised Portal for its unique, reality bending gameplay, great characters and twisted sense of humor
Smealum has yet to hear from Valve about his DS homebrew tribute, but he hopes the company will view it positively.
“Of course I hope their reaction won’t be a C&D letter… we’ve tried to be very respectful of their IP and not outright steal anything,” he said. “I would also really like to hear what they think about it, even though it’s not in the most polished of states yet.”
You can download a playable build of Aperture Science at Smealum’s website. It’s a work in progress and you’ll need a flash cart and a program called NitroFS to load it on your DS.