Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ingress Review

I'm not sure how many people can relate, but I used to be a very secluded person. I would wake up, go to school, come home, and go straight to my room to play video games and do other stuff on my computer, only coming out for the bathroom and food. I had a small, close-knit group of friends, and overall I didn't get out much. That changed when I got my requested invite code to Ingress in late January.

Ingress is an augmented reality MMO game for Android phones (official iPhone port is apparently in the works, though there are some unofficial ones) which some people may consider like "geocaching on steroids". It was created by Niantic Labs, which has a tie to google of some sort (I forget the details on that, you can look it up yourself). The game has little markers scattered around everywhere known as portals. These portals are associated with public attractions and other places of interest. This includes things like statues, historical buildings, murals, historical markers, etc. The whole point of the game is to gain mind units for your faction, which is done by capturing portals and linking them together into triangles.

The game itself, like many other MMOs, consists of trying to level up so that you can be more useful, and "farming" for supplies. The backstory for it never really caught my attention, so I don't have an opinion on it. I've heard mixed thoughts on it. But that's not what makes this game awesome.

What makes Ingress well worth trying to nab an invite for (it's currently in a closed beta, but they've been giving out invite codes like crazy to people; more on this at the end) is that it can really change you as a person. As I said, I used to be very secluded and stuck inside my shell. This game is great to break that, because often times, especially just starting out, it's hard to do things solo. So you get a chance to connect with people that are just as nerdy as you are and interact with them in person.
this was from an event some local faction members did. Long story...
The other benefit to Ingress is that it's almost a fitness game without trying to be. You have to actually get out of your house and visit these locations (which can also cause you to get out and find something new, regardless of how long you've lived somewhere). Admittedly, some people tend to play from their cars, but in many cases it's easier, more legal, and a lot more fun to actually get out and walk from portal to portal. I actually lost 15 pounds in my freshman year of college because I really got into this.

I would give this game a 9 out of 10 simply because while they do still have bugs and balance issues to work out, it's a damn good idea, a damn good game, and it is still in beta so they have time to work it out.
If you want to play (it is free!), first try requesting an invite code to your email address at their website

If that doesn't work after about a week, get onto Google+, join the Ingress community, and make a post asking if any local players have an invite code for you to play. Chances are you'll get plenty of responses from people that want you to join under the condition that you join their faction (either enlightened or resistance). As I said, this game is well worth it, so give it a shot.

Agent belisario93, signing out

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