Anki Overdrive can best be desribed as slot cars meets the fun of Mario Kart. Anki Overdrive is the successor to Anki’s Drive platform, Christmas 2014’s best-selling game. The starter kit for the follow-up, Overdrive, will run $150.00 and requires at least two smartphones to run the cars. However, for gamers or anyone who loves racing cars, this one is a blast.
Hands-On with Anki Overdrive
Described as an “intelligent battle racing system,” Anki Overdrive has improved on its predecessor by adding a modular track that has four turns. It also is changeable so you can create eight different configurations in any order you want. They link together with awesome magnets, making it all clean and simple to assemble. After the track is configured and the iOS or Android device is prepped, the cars do a test lap so their AI-enabled motors can get to know the track. For geeks and others fascinated by the concept of AI, this is a fun thing to witness. The cars will go around the turns, using sensors to build an image of the track, which you can watch on your phone. The product officer for Anki says the track is coated with special markings that only the cars can detect, and the cars detect the images in the order in which they appear on the track, giving them the “knowledge” to race on the track’s configuration.
The starter pack includes two cars, and you can buy extra cars for $50. The cars can communicate through your smartphone and through the flashing lights on the car. The car develops its own character, making you feel like you are the pit crew manager and communicating with the driver.
Anki Overdrive also sells an add-on that lets you extend the track and the fun even further. Two more pieces are only an additional $20. If you want to jump the cars – and who wouldn’t – the Launch kit is just $30.00. The company is also coming out with plenty of other accessories to customize the track. According to the company, the track could get even longer through add-on, since the cars depend on software to follow the right path.
The current software limit is 64 pieces, which would be a huge track that could fit in your entire house. A track of 64 pieces would in fact create thousands of possible track configurations, which would almost certainly motivate people to have competitions.
One of the best aspects of the design is how seamless the design is. Unlike many toys, there aren’t small notches and tiny parts to break off, crack or get worn down. The track itself is bendy, so it can be put just about anywhere you want, even with an uneven surface.
Anki’s newest supplemental pack is its Fast & Furious edition, availble at Toys R Us for $169.99. You’re able to use your mobile device to battle the Toretto crew or race your family and friends. You can also upgrade the cars with weapons from the popular movie series.
Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious Edition includes:
1 Dom’s Ice Charger
1 Hobbs’ International MXT
3 straight track pieces
1 exclusive Power Zone track piece
6 90 degree curved track pieces
2 riser pieces
1 four-car charging platform
1 tire cleaner
Check out Anki Overdrive on most internet retailers now.