Michiel has been playing a new game on his phone for a while… and he’s dragged me into it. I managed to delay as long as possible (pleading uni work, VCH – more about that in another post) but today, one of the hottest days of the year, I finally succumbed and had a go.

Its surprisingly good fun – at least, it is when you’re not slugging down drinks because of the heat – 30*C in the shade is NOT the days to be out and about!

Enlightened portal

A portal in action – how its seems on our smart phones. The green swirly thing is an Englightened Portal. Resistance Portals are blue.

If you want to know what Ingress is, then click the link (wikipedia) but, in a nutshell, and for those a bit less IT-savvy: its a game, using the GPS signal on your smartphone, linked with google maps. The computer server that the game talks to takes your phone GPS and works out where you are, and puts it onto a map – in that sense, its no different to a satnav. What is different is what happens next. on the server, overlaid on the maps are”portals”, which can be hacked, different pieces of equipment can be deployed around them, theycan be attacked, and they can be linked to form fields. Each player collects points; points relate to their level, which relate to the strength of the portals that they attack/set up in the game.

So far, it sounds pretty much like a standard computer game, right? Here’s what makes it different: you can’t play it at home. You have to get out, take your phone to the physical location that matches the location on the server map, where it picks up that GPS signal, so it forces you to get out and about and explore. The game is also split into two sides, two factions, if you like – The Englightened (green, or froggies) and The Resistance (coloured blue, or smurfs). You get better points for your faction if you work as a team; the aim of the game is to set up control fields (via linking portals together), but the game is never really won.

Oh, and this game is worldwide.

I loaded the game onto my phone, via an invite from Michiel last night, and this afternoon we went into Leicester city centre to have a go at playing. there were a few unclaimed portals where we set up resonators to support the portal, a few where the resonators were very weak and susceptible to attack (blowing up a portal feels surprisingly good) and a few that Michiel had to deal with. but we had fun. And at the end of it… I’ve claimed my own portals, set up links between portals, and created my first (rather small) control field. and I’m now Level 2 (out of – so far – 8). yay! More ingress playing yet to come!

first links

The first portals I claimed – and see there are lines between the top two, and also between the bottom three? those are links.












First control field

the first field. see the area between the three blue portals is sort of vaguely blue coloured? that’s a control field. its created by linking three (or more) portals together.