Augmented Reality is a bit of a tricky spin for gaming. For starters, a game too complex and large in scope can be dangerous — taking things to the outside world presents a lot of challenges not only in enabling location-based gaming, but in ensuring player safety. That’s why most augmented reality games are made for the table and the home, or at the very most a stationary experience so you can play outside without haphazardly wandering into the streets.
A new game is in town that will interest many, though, and its name is Ingress. The premise is that a new source of energy unknown to man has been found on earth, and a coalition of the world’s most curious and daring set out to find this energy for what they believe is the greater good.
On the one hand you have those who believe the energy is a threat more than a help, an angle that plays true to the classic “we fear that which we don’t know” mantra. They’re called the Resistance, and it’s in their best interest to nip this growing resource in the bud.
On the other, you have those who want to move the world ahead by taking this energy and harnessing it for whatever they find it useful for. They’re the Enlightened, and can be likened to the ambitious scientists of today’s world looking for ways to improve human life with all that Earth has to allow.
Whichever side you choose, you’re asked to go out into the world, your world, and find these energy sources and help the cause. Tools and skills that you can acquire through leveling up will help you in your quest, and a communication portal will help you form alliances with folks nearby and work together to give your side the competitive advantage.
As compelling as all of this sounds, there’s one unfortunate catch — the game is in a closed beta period right now, and it requires an invitation to play. You’ll need to sign up for an invitation on at Ingress.com or have someone already in the beta send you one. But we’re almost 100% certain you’re going to like what you find once you find your way into the bowels of whichever side of the movement you choose. Find more info at Niantic Labs’ website and the Google Play Store.