[Game Review] Ingress: The world around you is not what it seems


Ingress. An augmented Reality game by Nianticlab@Google. It was launched as a closed-Beta game last November 2012. Played on an AndroidDevice, this game uses GPS and Maps, in which a player locates a portal to hack and link other portals. The app is also called the “Scanner” in which you view your location, gears, achievements, see intel status and other stuff. Basically Ingress a “capture a flag” game. Consisting of two factions, The Enlightened and the Resistance. These two factions battle out to get the highest Mind Units or MU around the globe.


START
You will start the game by putting your IGN and choosing your faction. If you want the green stuff, choose the Enlightened. If you want to resist the force, choose the Resistance. 

You will start at level 1. In order to level up, You have to acquire AP or Action Points. You can get these AP through deploying a resonator, linking a portal to another portal, creating a field, setting up Mods, destroying a portal, capturing a portal, and even submitting new pictures for a portal. 

 The game is powered by an energy called Exotic Matter or XM. This tiny white spot on the scanner serves as an energy in which a player uses to hack, recharge, deploy a resonator, etc. XM re-spawns near portals and random places. You can get this by walking around and going near the portals. A player must collect resources through hacking. By hacking and recharging  portal, a player can get resonators, XMPs, viruses, mods, power cubes, portals keys, and weekly reports. 

Items

There are items used in the game. Resonators are used to capture and powering a portal. While the XMP’s can destroy the resonator and neutralize a portal. You only use resonators and XMPs when you reach the same level the resource has. Example, a level 1 player can deploy a level 1 resonator and fire a level 1 XMPs. while a Level 8 player can use level 8 resonators and XMPs and below. ADA refactor and Jarvis Virus are used to flip a certain portal. The use of this viruses varies on the player. You can use this strategically. There is a one hour limit before you can use another virus on the the portal flipped. Mods are used to enhance the portal. there Are 6 kind of mods, the shield, link amplifiers, heat sink, multihack, force amp, and turrets. Shields are used to help defend portals from XMP attacks. Link Amplifier is used to increase the Portal Link Range of a Portal.Heat Sinks can be used to decrease the duration between Portal hacks. The Force Amplifier is used to increase the Force of portal defense together with Tureets. 



Power Cubes are used of XM that you can use to recharge your XM bar. portal keys are used to link a certain portal to another portal. Portal keys are also used to remotely recharge a portal. There is a special item that is called the Ultra Strike. This Item can only be hacked on a certain phone models.


Achievements
 There is also an achievement system which you will have when you reach a certain milestone in the game. You will get badges once you reach this milestones. Badges starts from bronze to silver to gold to platinum to black.

Also the game has an in-game chatbox in which you can talk to your team or you can talk to other faction. You can also see alerts and tags on the chatbox. 

The game is really fun. You will meet new people and wander around places you have never been into. Even when you reach the max Level of 8, The game will never tire you out. You can help low level players or hunt enemy portals geared up with those high powered level 8 gears. The story line is very interesting and intriguing. Every week a report is being released which tells the situation of players around the globe. it also tells what is happening on the story that the game has. You can watch the reports through the scanner or Youtube. Also, an Intel map is provided. Here you can see portals around the globe and contact people through the chatbox. 

Verdict: I give this game a PLAY IT. 
Rating: 5/5

Ingress may be the best Augmented reality game so far. No need for app purchase, no ingame purchases. This game sets a good standard for future games using GPS. The game still lacks some mmorpg aspects but the potential of the game is really high. Yes, bugs are happening but updates are done frequently. Cheating and spoofing is a major the downside of the game. Because of the GPS function of the game, many players are tempted to cheat their way into the game. It is good to know that Nianticlab@Google is doing its very best to deal with this cheaters. Unfortunately also, the game is not applicable to some phone models and phones that has a small screen dimension. The game is only available for Android phones (Sorry Apple) The game was recently launched and now available is iOS. Certain features are not yet available for apple devices though. The game also approaches a new way of gaming which is good, because you don’t have to sit around to enjoy. I cant wait what other things may come up out from this game.


You can download the game
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