Not everyone will remember this, but Google has a game and a giant one at that. It’s called Ingress and it involves real-world roaming, Google Maps and GPS locations. It’s confusing, but that’s why there’s a tutorial video.
It’s set up in the way only Google would think it’s necessary to do; like some sort of Hollywood TV show, akin of Agents of SHIELD. You’re guided by a narrator telling you the ins and outs, while periodically checking with actual players.
So, how does it work? Well, there are control points set out all over the world, the actual world, which you can go to and put up beacons for your team. It’s possible to set up multiple beacons, to strengthen your position. In turn, opposing turrets need to be attacked and hit you as well, which adds an item management element to the game. Going to more locations and acquiring points for your team eventually grow into control zones. At the end of each event, the team with the most ground in their colors wins. It looks weird as hell, but it’s rudimentary enough when you give it a minute to sink in.
While the tutorial makes it look like a complete blast, you’ll quickly find that managing a real-world environment is a lot less stimulating and not quite as satisfying as lightning firing out of objects either. There’s a point not 100m from here and it’s already too much to get to, because it’s on a slight hill. That’s not going to happen, certainly not since the other control point is way further than that. That’s not going to happen. It can look as flashy as it wants in the video, but Ingress is best suited for severely mobile people that do a lot of miles in their day to day activity with periodic downtimes.
It’s a pretty grand augmented reality game though, we can give it that. Moreover, Ingress promotes social interactions with others and frequently has meetup events, though mostly just for the US crowd right now.
Ingress is a free-to-play title on both iOS and Android and can be found here.