Ingress Level 6 and Above Players Can Now Invite Others to Google’s Augmented Reality Game

Ingress Level 6 and Above Players Can Now Invite Others to Google’s Augmented Reality Game

Apr 1, 2013

For those of us completely immersed in Google/Niantic Lab’s augmented reality game Ingress, this will surely be good news.

In true Google style, entry into the closed beta has been tough, creating massive request threads and spawning art and limericks on Google+ that reportedly helped increase the odds of scoring invites from impressed Niantic Lab developers. It didn’t help that the beta selection process was not fully understood; I know someone who got three invites in his Hotmail, so the tried and true method of email bombing the Niantic request page probably wasn’t a surefire way to get in.

One of the most criticized aspects of the game — the inability to invite people to play — has been somewhat fixed. Starting today, players who have achieved Level 6 in either faction can invite one new player each to get into the game. So, if you have a bunch of 6, 7 or 8 players, your local faction can be impacted positively.

I think this is very timely. A lot of the folks who started playing last year are at higher levels, and in our playing community, a couple hit the top levels and retire. This keeps the big boys and girls involved with the game. It also allows for the more dedicated area factions to tip local portal ownership to their favor by doing meaningful recruitment of newbies.

It’s great to see the continued development and extension of the Ingress brand. A bunch of new e-books is about to be launched as well, and some recent tweaks to the app itself indicate that Google is putting in some work to get the game polished enough for real world adoption.

If you know someone who is at level 6 or higher, and have been hungering to get in, now is the time to do something sweet… like filing off bunions and such.

Trust me: it’ll be worth it. I think.

[via AndroidCentral and DecodeIngress]

Ingress: A Review of the Beta of Google’s Location-Based MMO Game

Ingress: A Review of the Beta of Google’s Location-Based MMO Game

Nov 26, 2012

Just a short while ago, we were all wondering about Ingress. Now, thanks to an early beta invite, we had an opportunity review it in-depth.

Ingress is the secretive brainchild of Google’s Niantic Labs, and debuts as an augmented reality thriller. A world-wide conspiracy is at the center, and I could choose to decide what side of the battle lines I wanted to be in.

Quick summary: The National Intelligence Agency has created the Niantic Project to prepare for the arrival of Shapers, who, we assume may or may not do something bad to humans. Two factions form: the Enlightened, that aligns with the NIA, and the opposing Resistance, that looks to sabotage these plans. Ingress’s charm is its admirable attempt to meld the real life with the game; in other words, you had to use your reality to supplement the developer’s imagination.

After getting the emailed beta invite, I was prompted to download the accompanying app from the Play Store to turn my phone into a Scanner. Upon starting the app and inputting the activation code, I got to the tutorial. The dialogue was terse, and the action sequences even terser. It did seem a bit mind-boggling at first blush, but I did obtain a good idea of what to expect by working through the simulated scenarios. The app (which relied heavily on GPS) also contained Communications, (adjustable for distance and faction) and an Ops tab. The Ops tab had my Intel, collected Items, Missions and more. The interactive map was impressively detailed, and the graphic zooming animation was eye-catching.

Gameplay consisted of finding and claiming portals in the real world. Monuments, buildings, landmarks… they had hidden qualities which I had to claim for my faction. I was able to tag unclaimed ones, and could attempt to attack and reclaim those of the opposing faction, which the phone-based app had labeled appropriately (SPOILER: the object of the game is to accumulate as much real-world real estate by claiming, upgrading and connecting portals; the faction with the most eventually wins).

The app had a futuristic feel. Call me easily amused, but I did feel like a covert operative. I did find some glitchiness with regards to sign-ins, but in my limited forays, the app worked well in the wild. Sound effects were great, but I would prefer better sound notifications when in the vicinity of the ever-important portals. Also, tighter integration with Google Maps (a drive-to function perhaps) would encourage movement.

Overall, I thought the creativity far outweighed the glitches and the temporary but pertinent inability to invite people at this juncture. Ingress seems slated for some very great things.

Ingress is a Mysterious New Augmented Reality Game From Google

Ingress is a Mysterious New Augmented Reality Game From Google

Nov 19, 2012

What is Ingress? It’s a new augmented-reality game from Niantic Labs in private beta. But there’s something odd about it: it’s a Google-backed game.

Named after the ship that brought people from around the globe to San Francisco during the time of the Gold Rush, NianticLabs@Google is an internal Google studio that’s currently working on geolocation-based mobile projects, including this and Field Trip.

Ingress is shrouded in mystery: the objective appears to be to find sources of energy that are harvested from real-world locations. As well, there’s the ability to capture territory for one of two sides: the Enlightened or the Resistance. Players will be able to team up with others in order to try and advance their cause.

While part of the interest behind this game is that Google is backing it, it reamins to be seen if the game will have success as it nears its widespread launch. Currently, to get in, an invite needs to be acquired from the Ingress website. The app can be downloaded from Google Play.