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The Whole World Is Your MMO Playground: Ingress By Google

Updated on April 25, 2013

Are you a big fan of MMORPGs? I am. I love creating a character and wandering through amazing worlds of fantasy and mystery. What if you could actually be a character himself and play in the real world, uncovering the mysteries hidden in real world landmarks such as monuments, city squares or in a giant tree in the middle of an oat field? There is one company that has access to all the corners of the world, company that makes pictures of landmarks everywhere. They even have pictures of your dog... that died 5 years ago. This company is Google and it brings you the new age of gaming. The game Ingress by Google is a working massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with ARG (alternate reality gaming) elements (currently still in beta phase). Alternate reality games are games that mix elements of online gaming (usually role playing and puzzle solving) with real world media such as newspaper adds posted by fictional characters or even real music CDs in the store 'composed' by game characters. If you want to learn more about alternate reality games, please read this article.

Ingress by Google: A unique MMO and ARG mix
Ingress by Google: A unique MMO and ARG mix

The game Ingress by Google introduces augmented reality technology as a part of the actual gaming. In order to play the game you first have to sign up at the Ingress by Google official webpage. Once you have received an invitation, you have to download the Android based Ingress app from Google Play store. The app is absolutely free. In order to start playing this MMO you have to choose a faction (just like in the World Of Warcraft, hehe). There are two factions: the Resistance or the Enlightened. If you become Enlightened you receive powers that allow you to create special type of energy. If you have joined the Resistance, your task is to fight against the Enlightened and save the world from Enlightened plan to change the minds of humans. The whole game is based on the antagony of these factions and the world peace depends on how they are balanced.

Ingress by Google: New way of augmented reality gaming
Ingress by Google: New way of augmented reality gaming

Your phone turns into an augmented reality device that allows you to communicate with different places and players in the real world. You could be sitting in a park just hacking the portal that has opened up in the fountain and the hipster right in front could be a member of opposing faction trying to ruin your plans.

Similar as most MMOs also Ingress by Google starts with introductory training missions. You will learn that there are mysterious portals all over the town and you have to control them. In order to control a portal you have to hack them which happens well about the same as you log in on your e-mail account. Some portals might be trapped and hacking detonates them damaging your virtual health. You get rewarded for each portal you have captured with various rewards such as portal resonators which can make the portal under your control harder for your opponents to steal. And as all MMOs there is also a currency called XM. XM is exotic material that is used when you are taking control over a portal. XMs show up as a series of blue dots on your phone. Once you walk over the dot, you collect it and replenish your health. This feature makes you feel like a real world pacman for sure.

Hope you liked my short review of the new augmented reality game Ingress by Google! Happy playing!

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    • Guitar Wizard profile image

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      4 years ago from Long Beach

      I get the social aspect, just haven't got involved. I still play and help out portals when I can, recharge, upgrade etc

    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 

      4 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      Well, for some agents the crux of the game is to level up until they hit 8, then they lose interest. For others, the game play itself is important, regardless of level. Locally, we have a pretty active cross-faction community, where we have meet-ups for coffee (or beer), bon fires, etc. We've become friends, ENL and RES alike. That makes it even more fun for us to blow each other's stuff to smithereens.

    • Guitar Wizard profile image

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      4 years ago from Long Beach

      It's boring after Level 8

    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 

      4 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      As you have probably heard, Ingress is out of Beta, and no longer requires an invitation to play. Don't ignore the back-story, it's fascinating and continues to evolve. We "agents" have a role in furthering the story line. How cool is that?

    • Guitar Wizard profile image

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      5 years ago from Long Beach

      An interesting game. The jury is out until played a little longer.

    • Eranofu profile imageAUTHOR

      Eranofu 

      5 years ago from Europe

      Thank you, Zakmoonbeam. It is my pleasure to write stuff people might be interested in. It is quite hard to actually get that Beta invite. Best luck to you!

    • Zakmoonbeam profile image

      Michael Murchie 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      This is really interesting stuff! I am straight off to sign up, this is right up my alley.

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