Have you heard of Ingress? It’s a relatively new massively multiplayer augmented reality game for Android that’s currently in closed, invite-only beta. It’s developed by Niantic Labs, a team within Google. The object of this game is to join forces with either The Resistance or The Enlightened for ultimate control of the world. Control is gained by obtaining a special kind of energy called XM and using that energy to capture and hold locations in your area.
Ingress is a confusing game, but I have been trying to figure it out over last few days. To get the most out of this game, you have to go outside, put in some earbuds and search for things to interact with. Here is what I experienced.
I walked down the stairs of my apartment and looked at my smartphone’s screen. I saw there were several bits of XM energy all around me. I started walking in the direction of the most XM, and they were immediately added to my reserves after I came within range. Once my reserves were full, it was time to start finding and capturing portals.
Capturing portals seems to be the most important aspect of this game. Portals are located everywhere, but you have to stumble upon them in your daily routine. When I approached my first portal, I was told to hack it by touching an option on the screen. Hacking portals will yield items such as shields and resonators. After the portal was hacked, I had to attack it since it was under enemy control. I was then able to capture the portal for my team by attaching the resonators I just obtained through hacking.
Confused yet? Trust me I understand. Ingress doesn’t do the best job of explaining how everything works. I found the official support pages to be of great assistance. However, this game is compelling. The person who initially captured the portal I attacked will come back to find it’s no longer under their control. They’ll be wondering what happened. They’ll realize there’s an enemy in their midst, but they’ll have no idea who it is. I could walk past a guy walking his dog and never know we’re sworn enemies in this game. We’ll be playing cat and mouse until one side ultimately falls.
There’s also an emphasis on cooperation and coordination between individuals. Since you’re playing with real people, a combined effort can create more powerful portals and defenses.
If you want to feel like some kind of Men in Black agent, I suggest requesting an invite to Ingress.
Download Link [Ingress]