Portal 2 ($60, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

When the original Portal snuck onto the scene a few years ago, players expecting the same old action-packed shooter experience got a refreshing dose of thinking in their action titles. Portal — and now Portal 2 — basically amount to 3D puzzle games where players are asked to move blocks, push buttons and flip switches to advance through a maze of challenges.

The physics-based puzzles of the first game return in this sequel along with an option that adds more complexity — co-operative puzzles.

Now, not only will one player be tasked with using their gravity and space defying portal gun to manipulate the environment, but many of the games' challenges will need a team approach to solve them.

This sequel continues the story of Aperture Science and the devious GlaDOS expands with a new cast of characters through the single-player campaign, while the addition of team play gets its own set of challenges. Portal 2 still features some violent content, but if you or your teen have grown tired of endless rounds of Angry Birds, then you owe it to yourself to try mastering the puzzles in store here.

—Shawn Sines, games reviewer for Columbus Parent Magazine