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Tag: The Power of Paint is a first-person shooter, platform, and puzzle video game developed by Tag Team and released free online in 2008 on PC, as the junior game project of seven RTIS and BFA students attending DigiPen Institute of Technology. Made in cel-shaded animation, the game was chosen from ten IGF Student Showcase Finalists as winner of the Best Student Game Award.

After the release of Tag, Valve discovered it and hired the entire development team to work for them, and include the paint concept in Portal 2.[1] Before Portal 2, they also worked on Left 4 Dead 2.[2]

Another game created by DigiPen students, Narbacular Drop, released in 2005, also drew the attention of Valve. The whole team was also hired to work for Valve, which resulted in the first Portal.


While navigating through an urban, black and white landscape, the player uses only one weapon, a large super-soaker loaded with a never-ending supply of paint. By traversing the 9 maps and solving their puzzles, players gain access to additional paint colors. The player can then change the physics of the level as those colors are used to paint the surfaces of each level. However, game progress cannot be saved.

The paint comes in three colors: green paint, increasing the height and distance of the player's jump depending on initial speed; red paint, increasing acceleration and top speed allowing the player to pull off a long jump; blue paint, allowing the player to stick to and walk on any surface, vertical or horizontal.

Awards and honors

  • IGF Student Showcase Winner (2009)
  • Ranked #2 in IGN's Independent's Day Vol. 17: Top 10 Indie Games (2008)



External links