Ingress is a game you can play with your newborn in tow

IngressIngress is the Google MMORPG

Ingress is invite-only at the moment, but if you sign up for the beta you’ll usually be in within about two days. You can also get anyone you know who plays it and is a high enough level to invite you and you’re in.

Why play Ingress?

You may have noticed since obtaining Human +1, that your ability to do anything that requires intense concentration or operations at specific times has been impaired.

Tiny humans often won’t listen to why you and your party need to go on a raid, nor do they care if you’re just 3128 exp from obtaining level 68. They want attention and they want it now.

Tiny humans also generally pass the eff out if you put them in a car or walk them around in a stroller. Ingress involves some walking and some driving, and if you have to stop to change a diaper while you’re playing, it’s not going to really have a negative effect on what you’re doing.

The playbook

You can read up on it for a better explanation than I’m going to give here, but the short of it is there are two factions – the Enlightened and the Resistance, you choose one. I’d suggest finding out which one is more prominent in your area and choosing the other team if you want to do something.

The object is to gain XM (power), capture portals, link the portals to create a field. Basically a land grab.

You play in the real world, with portals being things that people found interesting and submitted to Ingress to review for portal inclusion. The general play is to get within 50 meters of a portal, hack it to obtain resources and move on.

If you’re feeling saucy you can attack the portal and deplete its ability to defend itself, then take it over by putting things in it called Resinators.

There’s significantly more to the game than that, but the object is to control as much as possible.

Social interaction

Depending on where you live, there will be either extremely active Ingress players, or nothing at all. You can join them in real life for raids that generally consist of small walks around large public areas.

Exercise

You’ve got a criblet now, you probably spent a lot of time not exercising or doing much and gaining weight. Now you need to shed some of that.

Generally there are areas where portals are a decent walk between, but close enough to make driving silly. At several parks around me, they’re each a good two-minute walk from each other.

Strolling with a baby passed out in a stroller with an Android phone telling you how far away your next target is is motivating and kind of fun.

Ingress requirements

Ingress requires an Android device with GPS capabilities running Android 2.3 and above.

For the whole package you’ll want a device with a camera, 3G/4G connection unless you can get WiFi to the portals you’re looking to attack, and some time.

Get it!

Ingress QR codeIngress is free for Android devices. You’ll need to disable “allow mock locations” in the development menu of your phone if it’s enabled, but after that it’s a pretty straightforward application.

There is supposedly an iOS version in the works, but it is not available as of this writing.

There are some bugs and the game needs work, but it’s a great way to pass the time, get some exercise, and spend time with the youngling.

If you’re in the Nashville area, drop us a line and perhaps we’ll go on a portal run with ya.

Download Ingress

3 / 5 stars