Mobile games are something that I seem to have a very hard time getting into. I try numerous ones and almost force myself to play them so that I will at least spend less time mindlessly scrolling through facebook. Generally everything I have come across fails to impress me enough to keep my attention for long. Ingress and Fire Emblem Heroes are two that have captured my attention.
Ingress, for the last 8 years, has constantly been on my mind.
From when I first started playing the game all the way back in 2013 to now I have always ended up making time in my life for Ingress. The problem is that being a location based game I’m unable to use it to eat up my free time at home and instead have to plan around getting out of the house to play it.
A predecessor to Pokemon Go, Ingress is also produced by Niantic. With an equally captivating story, Ingress has been able to retain and capture new “agents” over the last 8 years.
My comparisons to Pokemon Go may be out of date as I found the game to be significantly less appealing than Ingress with a lot less ability to work with others while you play. I believe that has been somewhat fixed but Ingress still holds the upper hand in that aspect. From roaming the town with your group to reclaim and strengthen your portals. To claiming a weekly table at a bar with good access to multiple portals for cross-faction meet ups. The players of Ingress did a wonderful job of building a welcoming community that only drew me in more.
I will admit not everyone is as welcoming of the other team, or new members to their own. I have heard of fist fights and harassment that was uncalled for in a game that is just meant to be fun. Niantic has been open to dealing with these players with anything from a temporary to permanent ban of their accounts. With the amount of work that goes into leveling up, and the badges that you would lose, it’s about the biggest punishment that Niantic can hand out.
Especially with the pandemic of late I have found it more and more difficult to find reasons to leave the house. Money is a little tighter than usual and most things are off limits anyhow. Ingress has done a decent job of helping me fill the void of purpose this last year in giving me reasons to get out of the house and goals to accomplish. All for the minor cost of however I get to the area I’m interested in that day (and usually a coffee).
One of my favourite things is that the places chosen to become portals are so for a reason. You can learn about why they are what they are (perhaps an art installation you didn’t understand). You may even find things that you never knew existed. From free book libraries to nature walks that have all been turned into portals.
So get out there and start fighting for what you believe in! Pick a side and take back/ defend your home from the other team! Make your world blue (resistance) or green (enlightened)! Most of all have fun and get off the couch for a bit. There’s nothing like gamifying your walks.