Ingress Review (Singapore)

Just got the invitation to one of the most secretive games recently launched! If you haven’t heard of Ingress, it is basically a augmented reality game where you go around the real world looking for “portals”. Such portals can be hacked for items, and can be linked up to form a “field”. Two fractions battle each other for controls of such portals.

There are already quite a few reviews to Ingress, so I shall not cover that. Do take a look at this excellent CNET article to find out about the gameplay.  In this post, let’s just talk about how well it works for Singapore.

Fun with locals

ingress-chat

<Note to all Enlightened: I’ve already vetted through this chat to make sure that there’s nothing top secret in it, ok? I just want everybody to know how great and local this game is, where strangers from same fraction can make friends easily. 🙂 Feedback is appreciated, still.>

Since this is an augmented reality game, you will be playing with people in Singapore. It is kind of interesting and fun, to be talking to somebody in your own region, even planning a “lim kopi” session to raid some portals. It can be a great way to go out, meet new friends, or explore new places in a group!

Portals

ingress map

As you can see from the map, most portals in Singapore resides in the CBD. Given that almost all actions happen around portals, this will be fun if you are working there. Sadly, I don’t, so I do not have any playtime. However, new portals can be submitted to Niantic Labs and will appear over time, so this will change for the better.

Green is leading

As you can see, Green is like totally owning the Singapore map. Game will be only fun if it can be balanced out. Maybe more portals will help.

Sustainability

The game seems to be skewed toward “attacking” portals rather then defending them. An opposing group can always organise a get together session to take over portals, but it is quite unrealistic to defend against such attacks 24/7. Nobody wants to do guard duty in real life.

I also find it to have a lack of depth, which might result in it being a very grindy type of game as time goes by. Let’s hope there will be “missions” or sorts.

Bicycle FTW

Given that you need to travel to multiple portals to “hack” and “link” them, I think a bicycle will really help in this game. It’ll probably be quite fun to cycle around CBD hacking portals, then to the nearest kopitiam to chill out. Walking around in the Singapore heat seriously takes the fun out of any game.