Google ARG Ingress Releases New Video, Lets Players Explain What The Mobile Game Is And How It Works

By Connor Sears , Updated Sep 16, 2014 04:07 PM EDT

If you keep up closely with Google news – or just happen to hang around tech-savvy Pacific Northwest types – you may have heard about Ingress, an augmented reality game published by Google for Android and iOS.

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If you haven't quite been able to keep up, you're probably not alone. Hearing people talk about "hacking portals" at a war memorial without context can be a bit much. Thankfully, the game's developers over at Niantic Labs released a video today that's meant to end confusion once and for all by letting the game's own players explain the game to those interested in seeing what all the fuss is about.

Ingress revolves around the concept of "portals," real-world locations that hold significance in the game. The portals are usually situated at landmarks making them easily identifiable by those searching for them. The whole point of the game involves two teams, the Resistance and the Enlightened, jockeying for control over these portals.

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Get ready to learn a lot of game vocabulary in just a minute. When a player comes across these portals, he or she can place a resonator there to strengthen their team's hold over that portal. If the portal is already controlled by the opposing faction, the player can weaken their hold on the portal by attacking their resonators with an XMP burster. Once the enemy's resonators are completely gone, you can begin repopulating it with your own.

Friendly portals with all eight resonator slots filled can also be "linked" by taking a portal key from one portal to another. When three portals are linked in this way, the triangle within them becomes a control field for that team. All of these in-game items – resonators, XMP bursters and portal keys – can be acquired by hacking portals, another action the player can take at a portal belonging to either team.

Yes, the game sounds incredibly niche-y, creating a group of people who use this special terminology to complete seemingly random goals while just walking around the city. But the players describing the game in the video are good evidence that the game has created quite a passionate and friendly community. This video is a great way to demystify this game that blurs the boundary between games and real life, and there's a good chance it'll encourage people to pick up the game and try it for themselves.

Ingress is available for Android and iOS devices.

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