Ingress is a game that uses real world locations to allow you play a global game via an Android smartphone, which is not unlike Shadow Cities, an Android game we looked at earlier. The goal in Ingress is to discover augmented reality clues and messages embedded in physical locales, and gather virtual energy that allows you to continue playing the game. The fictional premise is centered on a conspiracy originating in Europe dealing with some new form of energy being released into various locations around the planet.
Developed by John Hanke and his team at Niantic Labs, Ingress is inspired by J. J. Abrams’s “Lost,” although Hanke says that they don’t want to leave people in that similar situation where they get into fiction of world but then it never ends. Currently in closed-beta, Ingress transforms the real world into a landscape for a global game of mystery, intrigue, and competition. To play the game, players will need to generate a virtual energy called “Exotic Matter” (XM) which can be collected by visiting real locations.
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XM can then be spent to launch missions around the world via “portals” that are virtually associated with public art, libraries, and other widely accessible places. Players can get to pick two sides – “The Enlightened,” who embrace the power, and “The Resistence,” who fights the power. “The concept is something like World of Warcraft, where everyone in world is playing the same game,” Hanke said. Ingress is free to play and it’s now available on Android. And iOS version of the game is coming soon.
Those who want to test Ingress now must first request an invite at Ingress.com.