Over the past few weeks, Google has been posting a series of cryptic videos, images and messages on the social media accounts of its Niantic Project offshoot. On Thursday, the search giant revealed just what all that was leading up to: "Ingress," a massive multiplayer smartphone game (Android only for now) that has players using their phones to walk around to and scan real-world sculptures and locations in order to stop or embrace a "mysterious," mind-controlling energy force (fictional).
As Google describes the game:
Our future is at stake. And you must choose a side.
A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us.
“The Enlightened” seek to embrace the power that this energy may bestow upon us.
“The Resistance” struggle to defend, and protect what’s left of our humanity.
Install Ingress and transform your world.
The World is the Game
See a video ad Google posted for "Ingress" on Thursday below:
John Hanke, director of Google's Niantic Labs, which created the game and Google's separate, previously released "Field Trip" geolocation alerts app, told AllThingsD that the Ingress game was inspired by the work of "Lost" TV drama creator J.J. Abrams and that it would have a definitive ending point about a year-and-a-half from now. Hanke also told Forbes that a version for the Apple iPhone was months away.