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Niantic Labs Launches Two New Gameplay Features for Ingress, Ancient Artifacts and Shaper Glyph Puzzles

This afternoon, Google’s Niantic Labs announced two new gameplay features for players of Ingress, Ancient Artifacts and a Shaper Glyph Puzzle Mechanic. Apparently the game has become a big deal since its exit of being a beta, but please forgive me as I currently know hardly anything about the game. 

As for the new features, let’s start off with the artifacts. 17 artifacts will appear across “key” cities around the world between today and March 29. Players from both sides, Resistance and Enlightened, must work together to transfer the artifacts across the world and deliver them to a final location in LA, California on March 29.

The new Glyph mini-game allows players to discover secret messages by decoding puzzles based on the Shaper technology in the game during hacks. When you complete a puzzle successfully, you will gain improved portal hacking abilities. These Glyphs are activated by long-pressing the Hack button by Agents.

Here is complete rundown of the new features from Niantic Labs.

New gameplay features

Ancient Artifacts – 17 artifacts will emerge across key cities around the world between now and March 29 at anomaly cities spanning Bangalore, India, Berlin, Germany and Zagreb, Croatia to  Nashville, Boulder and Los Angeles. Players on the Resistance and Enlightened factions must work together to capture, transfer the artifacts across the world and deliver the artifacts to the final location in Los Angeles on March 29.

Shaper Glyph Puzzle Mechanic – The new Glyph mini-game will allow players to discover secret messages by decoding a series of puzzles based on the ancient Shaper technology in the game during hacks. Successful attempts to decode the glyphs will give players improved portal hacking abilities. Glyphs can be activated by Agents by long-pressing the HACK button.

Ready to play? Grab the update from Google Play down below.

Play Link

  • Shawn John

    It takes time to grow on you, a co-worker introduced it to me and it makes (walking) to places fun again. Basically any [REAL] artifact a monument or a statue, fountain, etc can be a portal, and you hack these portals for items and keys and you can place resonators on the portals to make them available for your faction. Of course I’m just speaking on a fraction of the things and strategy you can apply in the game, it’s not confusing if you watch the demo video at ingress.com it does a great job of explaining it. I enjoy it, there’s a little learning curve to it, but once you understand, a light bulb will go off and you will have an AH HAH moment.

  • CaptainHowdy13

    I’m a big fan of playing on my enlightened side, though it can be hard to find time to play the game.

  • Marc

    Artifacts aren’t new, this is the second time that element has been in play. Glyph mini game is, meh. The game was fun.. But over the past 8 months they have spent more time adding pointless shine than fixing core gameplay issues. It really isnt worth the time/money (gas) to play anymore.

  • Mike91270

    If there were ONE game the NSA might want to pay attention to…

  • G.

    I used to work at Google on the Niantic team, I helped make Ingress and I still have no idea what it’s about really. They didn’t tell us what we were making until it was released. Personally I think it’s all just a ploy to get people to provide free data to Google and the game is a way to trick people into thinking that they’ve just been rewarded for their time.

    • flosserelli

      I am not big on conspiracy theories, but that makes total sense to me.

      • Brian Barcus

        Data collection was probably an early goal but that seems less likely this far into the game. The portals that players visit don’t move and once a few players have been to the same place it is hard to imagine any new data to be gathered about that location. I can think of several product placement co-branding opportunities for monetizing the game but Niantic has shown very little interest in making money so far. I’m starting to think it is just an internal toy to keep some key Googlers happy.

    • Its not really a secret, Fieldtrip is made by [email protected] Ingress is crowdsourcing at its best.

      • G.

        I worked on Fieldtrip as well, I liked that much better.

    • Kevin

      Yea, and I used to work at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

    • Shawn John

      I doubt you worked on the project and had no idea. Really? When the video on the website explains it all, it’s not confusing. People looking at it convinced that it’s ‘confusing’ are the ones being confused.

  • Albert

    Does anyone even play this game? I tried it, seemed complicated and boring, so uninstalled.

    • Menger40

      One of my buddies lives in Boston and there’s a solid community of players there. I think it’s probably big in larger cities and college towns.

      • chnsawalex

        I tried it in Boston for a while. I might not really get it but it was super boring.

    • moew

      Been playing since the beginning.

      Most people HATE the glyph thing. I did it once and was like…. meh don’t want to learn this crap. Then I tried it again the next day and was like… never again… boring.

      Shards, yeah, weird, don’t really care.

      PS that was yesterday that it went live with the glyphboarings.

    • flosserelli

      I thought Ingress would be more of an augmented reality type game. One day someone will create an engaging AR MMOG and people won’t be able to put it down.

      • Tristan Cunha

        That’s what Ingress is, and AR MMOG that people can’t put down. It doesn’t involve looking through the screen/glasses/etc. to see the real world and game world at the same time, but it definitely layers the game world on top of the real. It’s not just that you have to actually go out and walk around to play, it changes the way I think about going places – what’s nearby, how to get there, how far they are, how everything is in relation to each other. Not to mention the layering of the entire social aspect on top as well. I have fond memories of random murals and statues around the city, not because they have any special significance in the game, but because they were landmarks for adventures I had with my friends. Ingress literally augmented my reality.

        • flosserelli

          I am looking for something more engaging in terms of gameplay. I can meet up with friends and other people any time, I don’t need a phone game for that.

    • Yep. Its pretty fun. Its not really complicated at all on the surface but there’s lots of little things to the gameplay that can make it complicated.

    • Tristan Cunha

      It’s literally the best game I’ve ever played, and it’s not even a close comparison (and I’ve spent a lot of time playing a lot of games on virtually every platform). Granted, it’s not a typical game, you have to get up off the couch and actually go outside, and probably meet people too and walk around a lot. But for a lot of people those things are plusses, and Ingress is really the only game that’s really gotten the augmented reality thing working on any real scale. Actually a lot of people enjoy it more for the social aspects than the actual game play. Of course that’s true of any MMO, but in Ingress “raid night” and “meeting the people in my guild to go out to the bar/restaurant/museum” can, and often are, the same thing.

      I know lots and lots of people who didn’t initially get over that hump, that feeling of “this doesn’t seem like what every other game is like”, and either quit or don’t really pick it up for a while. But after you get over that little bit of weirdness in the beginning, it just keeps getting better. It’s definitely changed the way I think about my city, I’ve met more people, found more great out of the way spots, learned shortcuts and generally have an entirely new and much better sense of where everything is and how everything’s connected. I don’t think that the actually mechanics of the game play are anything revolutionary, but they’ve really nailed the augmented reality in a way no one else has, or has even come close.

      • Todd Bettenhausen

        ^ gets it 🙂 Ingress is a blast, especially the social and local learning aspects of it.

        • Shawn John

          Yeah, when you team up with members of your faction you can really have a good time, exploring, blowing up portals, building fields, linking fields, sharing items (keys,resonators,etc.) Thing is by the time everyone else decides to play, they will all be level 1’s and it wont be fun to them.

    • Al-Burrit0

      Yea I did the same thing. The game just seems like you need alot of time in your hands.

    • Reuben Jacobs

      I play in boston. It’s somewhat of a mmo that requires you to get out and go places and potentially meet up with others for farms and drinks. It’s great I recommend it to anyone who thoroughly enjoys games.

    • Johnny Bravo

      You could say I am addicted. It is a pain when you begin, but once you get to around lvl 5-6, thats when the fun begins. In no other game can you mess up someones work, and still have a civil and friendly conversion afterwards with your opponent.
      My travel to work and school has double, maybe tripled. However, meeting up some of the folks in my area is just amazing. They are great people which I wouldve never met without this game.
      Though sometimes the enlightened do take the game seriously and act as it is their job. Never makes a difference though, we have the MU to prove it.

      Viva la Resistance