Google’s new augmented reality game, Ingress, is quickly becoming one of the best of its genre—and it’s still only in beta.
The game, developed by Google’s Niantic Labs, is an alternate reality game, where two factions are pitted against each other for control of your city’s portals. When you begin, you choose which faction you wish to belong to, either the agents of a mind-controlling power (the enlightened) or those wishing to resist this force (the resistance).
The game, available only on Android at the moment, uses Google’s database of monuments and landmarks, attaching “portals” to them for players to fight for control over. Similar to Google’s Field Trip, players must use use the GPS on their smartphones to physically reach locations. Once there they can attack, control, and protect their portals, in an effort to spread the particular dogma of their factions.
The game is in closed beta right now, requiring an invite just to play it, which makes it even more incredible just how many people in Canada are indeed playing it. While Calgary belongs mostly to the enlightened, Halifax is under resistance control; and so it goes for almost every city in Canada.
The game is unique amongst AR games. Only Google could make such a massively multiplayer game almost overnight. If you are interested, you an request an invite at ingress.com.