Augmented reality game giant Niantic always seems to be in the geographical center of the storm when it comes to walking out into sunlight and playing a game in the real world. We just got word about their next year’s locations and dates for Ingress(Free). While Ingress may be the less known Niantic product, it served as a ground work for them to land the bigger fish. Pokemon Go(Free) has a familiar Gym battle system but it’s prototype was Ingress‘s complex portal capturing system. If you ever thought that Pokemon Go is a little too basic or if you wished that having more of your teammates around had a bigger impact on the game, Ingress might be right up your alley.
Ingress is basically a game about an alien invasion and you have to choose if you believe they came to help humanity evolve and progress or if they are the Independence Day type of malicious alien that needs to be destroyed. Once you choose to be part of the Resistance or the Enlightened, the battle lines are set and you have one job, convince other people you are right. Doing that is as easy as capturing control portals, and linking them together until your team creates control zones. These zones are actual real areas and locations, and this is where the augmented reality comes into play. You have to go out and be physically near a portal to capture and manipulate it. This is why this tour is so unique, it provides players a high stakes event near them that directly impacts the game they are playing, not just as a celebration or demonstration but as a rallying cry for each faction to compete.
When it comes to games that already require you to get off your couch and stretch your legs, organizing a social gathering just seems natural. What Ingress does even more than Pokemon, is requires you to team up with other players to open up the higher levels of gameplay. This means that Ingress is a communal game and has a very tight knit player base. There are very passionate players out there, like helpful Youtuber Collin Williams who want you to join up and pick a side. Events like this make for a perfect time to pick up a game that spawned a titan.