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Valve releases free ‘Portal’ spin-off ‘Aperture Desk Job’ for Steam Deck, PC

By Kara Santos Published Mar 03, 2022 1:27 pm

Video game developer Valve has just released Aperture Desk Job, a free game set in the Portal universe for its newly launched portable gaming system, the Steam Deck.

The studio behind the Half-Life series and hit puzzle game Portal, released the free playable short, set in the universe of the Portal games, on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

The mini-game was designed to teach players how to use the controls on the Steam Deck, a new handheld gaming system that can is playable either as a handheld or connected to a monitor in the same manner as the Nintendo Switch.

The Steam Deck will automatically add games from your Steam library, giving PC players a powerful and convenient gaming platform they can take wherever you go.

The portable gaming PC launched last Friday (Feb. 25) with the first batch of orders on their way to reservation holders.

However, you don’t have to own the Steam Deck to download and play the launch game for free.

Aperture Desk Job is now out on Steam for free, and can be played on your desktop or PC as long as you have a controller. Don't expect to play it with just a keyboard and mouse.

Despite being just a tutorial on how the Steam Deck's sticks and buttons work, the game is packed with jokes, references, explosions, and all new Aperture Science lore, which long time fans of Portal will appreciate.

Aperture Science is, of course, the name of the scientific research corporation appearing as the main antagonistic organization in 2007's Portal and 2011's Portal 2.

Valve has clarified that the game is not Portal 3 in its signature style of humor. 

"Aperture Desk Job reimagines the been-there-done-that genre of walking simulators and puts them in the lightning-spanked, endorphin-gorged world of sitting still behind things," according to Valve.

"Lower your expectations: This is not a sequel to Portal. Now get ready to raise them slightly, because it is in the expanded universe of those games. Desk Job puts you squarely in the driver’s seat at Aperture Science. Then quickly removes the driving part and adds a desk in front of the seat," reads the game description.

As a new hire at Aperture Science, your job as a product inspector is to test toilets, which you’re told by the narrator is the worst job at Aperture. The 30-minute puzzle game will require you to press buttons to fill the toilet tank with water, test the seat's structural endurance with a cushion, spray festive bidet-like fountain, and flushes. 

Check out the trailer below.

The 30-minute, 3.1GB experience will work on a standard Windows PC with a gamepad or controller.

The free game supports desktop resolutions, high refresh rate monitors, windowed modes, and comes with a ready control scheme for gamepads like my favored Xbox 360. Just make sure Steam detects your controller before you launch the game.

The mini-game is free to download for all Steam users starting March 1, 2022. Download Aperture Desk Job from Steam here.