Gateways is a 2D platforming game set in the lab of a scientist named Ed. After an outbreak from one of his experiments, Ed finds himself trapped in his lab and must now escape using his coveted gateway guns.
It is hard not to think about Portal when playing Gateways. The gameplay is essentially the same concept: solve puzzles using a gun which shoot out 2 holes that act as linking doors. You walk through one hole and end up out of the other one. But rather than make puzzles based on just the one gun, like Portal, Gateways adds in other elements to mix things up.
There are four different types of gateway guns to use in solving puzzles. There’s the basic gun, shrink/grow gun, time travel gun, and rotation gun. They pretty much are exactly as they sound: the shrink/grow gun can either make you smaller or bigger, the time travel gun allows you to create time loops of yourself, and the rotation gun can manipulate the map so you can walk on the ceilings or walls.
These four guns make for some interesting and challenging puzzles, especially when combining them together. This is especially true when you need to use both the time gun and gravity gun in the same puzzle, which can be very tough. However, these puzzles never did feel cheap or too hard to figure out. Like Portal, it just took some careful thinking and planning and this is why Gateways is so much fun.
Even should you have any troubles, there are help points which will either solve the puzzle for you or give you hints as to if the puzzle is even solvable at the time, at the cost of some orbs you collect. This is a nice feature because near the end of the game the puzzles become frustrating and time consuming and the option is good to have.
The only issue I can think of is that Gateways uses a metroid/castlevania type map. So you will find yourself going back to areas you couldn’t reach before. This got pretty annoying at times as I found myself having to backtrack from one end of the map to the other quite frequently.
Also, The game doesn’t have much of a story, so you won’t be getting quote worthy writing like Portal. In the end though, the game was fun enough that it didn’t matter to me.
Gateways took me about 6-8 hours to beat, but it really depends on how fast you finish the puzzles. I would recommend giving Gateways a try if you are a fan of Portal or just like puzzle games in general. You can download the demo or buy the game for $10 on the Smudged Cat Games website.
Summary: Gateways is a fun platformer which provides interesting and challenging puzzles using unique gadgets. Though it lacks the story and charm of Portal, it’s certainly a great 2D take on the Portal concept.
Verdict: 8 out of 10