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Aperture Desk Job is a free, short game set in the Portal universe

Coming March 1st

In between the Steam Deck reviews and Gabe Newell interviews yesterday came a surprise announcement of a new, short game from Valve. Aperture Desk Job takes place in the Portal universe and stars Grady, a new personality core, setting you product testing challenges while you sit in front of controls that look suspicously like a Steam Deck.

You won't need a Steam Deck to play it, though, when it launches on March 1st.

Here's a short 30 second trailer:

Cover image for YouTube videoAperture Desk Job Trailer

"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," says its Steam page. "You play as an entry-level nobody on their first day at work — your heart full of hope and your legs full of dreams, eager to climb that corporate ladder. But life’s got other plans, and they all involve chairs."

"Not Portal 3!" one of the subheads declares. "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."

While seemingly designed to teach and demo the Steam Deck - much as Aperture Hand Lab utilises VR wands - you'll be able to play Aperture Desk Job with a regular gamepad. Mouse and keyboard aren't supported.

If it is like Hand Lab, it'll be a concentrated dose of Portal's world and jokes, and well worth playing. It'll unlock for free from Steam in two days time. In the meantime, you can read about what Gabe Newell thinks of NFTs.

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Graham Smith

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Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.