Entering Ingress…

I heard about Ingress sometime last year, I’m not sure when but I’m guessing around July or later and I was sufficiently interested & intrigued to request an invite.

And then I heard nothing and forgot all about it.

Until November when my activation code came through and I finally got the app working on my phone, at which point I realised I didn’t actually know much about the game. Frantic googling ensured and I found the slick Niantic Project website where the board of clues had been largely filled up. I flicked to the start of the timeline and read/watched every item pinned to the board in order. by the end I was totally drawn in to what seemed to be an exciting game layered on the world I actually inhabited.

Once I had devoured the marketing, the reality of the game’s beta status hit me when I found nary a portal anywhere near me! I live in suburbs of a small town and not only was the area around me empty, but the town itself was devoid of any Ingress action at all! By Xmas I was deep in Minecraft Pocket Edition and Ingress slipped from my mind.

Until last week when I found myself working in London in glorious weather (inclement weather is a bit of a ball ache for playing this game – waterproof phones and contact gloves are a must in wet, old Britain) and I set to trying to get my head around how exactly to play. Its not that it’s difficult, more that without actually doing it it can seem confusing. Well it did to me but once I found some portals near the hotel and began hacking them like a man possessed to get at their goodies hidden within 😀

This was my first portal hack, a statue in Russell Square Park. It gave up a resonator (needed for opening portals), some XM bursters (weapons to destroy resonators and allow portals to be taken from the enemy), and a media file which turned out to be a rather entertaining weekly need update produced to Google’s usual high standards.

Ingress - First Portal Hack (London, 23 April 2013)

Ingress – First Portal Hack (London, 23 April 2013)

I spent the next few days as I travelled between meetings hacking every portal I came across, friend or foe. I didn’t bother attacking much as every bugger in London seems to be a Level 8 and I hadn’t really got passed the start of 1.

Anyhoo, I can report I really enjoyed the spy-lite-like fun of Ingress and I’ll be playing it more over the summer, assuming/hoping we have more than two weeks of sunshine this year of course!

Have you tried it? If so what did you think? If not, let me know why as I’d be interested to know what you guys think of it.

By the by, I’m on the side of the Enlightened… 😉


  1. I was one of the first Ingress players in my city. (Enlightened, of course) I started the G+ Community for our local Es and helped bring them together as a faction. I’ve jogged in large, random circles in snow, looking like a crazy person, to collect enough XM to finish off enemy portals. I’ve trespassed late at night securing portals. I’ve seen many game changes and updates. I’ve since stopped playing, uninstalled the app, and left the community.

    It’s not really a game. There is no strategy. Building serves no purpose but to give you more AP and allow your enemies to take it down immediately, boosting their AP. After level 8 you accumulate AP for no purpose with no more advancement possible. At that point you just help other team mates level up to 8. Sometimes you even work with the other side just so that both of your lower level players can level up. The most successful players seem to have nothing better to do but to drive all over town and the countryside, spending hundreds in gas. There is a global tally as to which side is winning but no one really cares because you can relate to it on a regional level. What you do doesn’t really matter and will be immediately destroyed. It is a never ending war.

    But really, really, it is Google experimenting at marketing. Imagine, “Come to Starbuck’s, our Portal of the Week, for double AP!”. Google has not only sold advertising but they’ve caused people to physically come to you. Actual, tangible results. All the signs are there that Ingress is just a sci-fi themed FourSquare disguised as an actual game.

    It can be fun if you have nothing better to do, lots of free time, don’t care if it results in anything, and want to meet new people but my vote is that it’s a time and energy sink. Don’t bother.

    1. Hi mate,

      I’m enjoying the marketing, the mythos if you like, that surrounds the game but there’s no chance I’m going to get sucked in very deep because of two very simple facts:

      1) I’m pretty unsociable, and
      2) I’m a lazy fucker 😀

      OK, unsociable is maybe a bit hard, but I’m not much of a joiner. From forums to meet ups, I’m not really into getting out playing together. The missus thinks I’m a miserable sod but really it’s just that I’m happy in my own company.

      If unsociable is a bit hard, lazy is pretty accurate. The thought of wandering around my small town for no real purpose… nope, not going to happen.

      Beyond that, it’s going to take me for frigging ever to get to level 2, never mind level 8! I have one portal in walking distance and there’s no way I can keep it given the limited number of XM bursters I can farm. A passing L3 or up can wipe out my work and deny me ever taking it back without a second thought.

      Still, its a wee diversion when I’m away from home in London (although that’s likely to end soon and I’ll be back being trapped away from any real action) so for now I say “For The Enlightenment!”

  2. I have no idea what you’re talking about………. Oh well. I’m waiting for the next MCPE update at the end of May. They’re adding….. BUCKETS!!!!!!!!

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