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Valve reveals free new Portal spinoff game for Steam Deck

Snarky robot included

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Here’s a neat Friday surprise: Valve announced a free new game called Aperture Desk Job, and it’s set in the same world as the Portal series. The game will be available to download on Steam starting March 1, and while it is listed as working with Windows PC, Valve’s description says that the game will be “best experienced” on the new Steam Deck handheld.

A brief trailer teases the concept: You play as a regular ol’ person who’s showing up for their first day at a desk job, only to end up getting into all sort of explosive shenanigans on the factory floor. The Steam page for Aperture Desk Job says it “reimagines” the walking simulator genre and puts the player into the “lightning-spanked, endorphin-gorged world of sitting still behind things.” Oh, and there’s a quippy robot who appears to accompany you throughout the game, just like in other Portal games.

Valve does suggest that you “lower your expectations,” because Aperture Desk Job is “not a sequel to Portal.” Instead, it’s intended as a Steam Deck tech demo — the game “walks you through the handheld’s controls and features, while not being nearly as boring as that sounds,” according to Valve. In other words, it’s similar to the function of the PlayStation 5 pack-in Astro’s Playroom. However, Portal fans who might not have a Steam Deck will still be able to play Aperture Desk Job on Windows PC or SteamOS using a controller.