You may have grown up with the brilliantly classic Scalextric and if not, you have probably heard of it before, as it is still a very popular toy in most households. Now imagine Scalextric, but with a modern, futuristic twist. That’s what Anki have done and boy, have they done it well!
Anki, a US based robotics and artificial intelligence company has been able to bring an unattainable level of intelligence and gameplay to the physical world by blending the best of toys and video games into a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. In Anki Overdrive, players take control of the super cars of the future via handheld mobile devices as they battle and race against friends, family or AI-controlled commanders. The game introduces an innovative magnetic modular track system that allows gamers to custom build epic battlefields within seconds. It sounds awesome and we were lucky enough to get the starter kit sent to us to check out!
The starter kit retails at £149.99 and comes complete with: two super cars, the ‘Skull’ and ‘Ground Shock’, 10 pieces of of track, a charging station for the cars, riser pieces to create hills and a tyre cleaner. The starter kit gives enough track to make 8 different circuits, including hills and allows for two people to race and battle. Great to start things off in my opinion.
The track is a thin, flexible, bendy, shiny black plastic, with magnetic clips at each end. The track clips together effortlessly, I didn’t have to really do anything, the magnets are so powerful, the pieces snapped together perfectly and stayed in place for the duration of its use. The track is wide enough for four cars and has four lanes to choose from and switch between. Very easy to set up and very customisable.
The two cars provided with the starter pack are both awesome! The cars are quite small but have very detailed finishes and look great. Each car comes with four attributes, speed, defence, firepower and special. Each car has different values under each attribute. For example, Ground Shock is faster than Skull, but Skull has much higher fire power. There are six cars in total that can be purchased, each with different abilities, so you have to make a tactical decision when racing or fighting! The kit comes with a charging station for up to four cars and charges a car within 20 minutes which lasts for around 20 minutes too.
The track was set up, the cars were charged, it was time to play! First thing to do was to download the free Anki Overdrive app, which is available on both iOS and Android. It’s quite a large download, almost 800mb which is quite a lot for an app, so make sure you have plenty of space on your phone or tablet, and maybe a WiFi signal too so you don’t cut into a chunk of your data allowance. Once installed, it’s just a matter of following the instructions within the app to set up the cars. To start things off, there are a few single player races, against a commander (AI) to run you through the different game types and the controls. There are five different game modes available, Race, Battle, Time Trial, King of the Hill and Tournament. Controls are very easy to get used to, there is an up/down throttle to control speed, buttons to use your abilities and you tilt your device left and right to switch between the four lanes.
Single player is very fun but playing with friends is on a whole other level! Setting up a local game is easy. Simply hit ‘open play’ and host a game. You will then see your friends in the lobby, select who you want to play with, select the game mode, select your super car and hit got. To actually play, you first put the super cars on the track. The cars automatically drive round the circuit, analysing the track, before stopping at the starting line. Gentlemen, start your engines! We tried out each of the game modes, battle being our favourite, trying to blow each other up with our imaginary guns or pushing each other off the circuit by crossing over into each others lanes. We are grown men, don’t judge us, but being able to relive our childhoods is too tempting.
After each race you receive a number of points or credits, and also sometimes loot such as crates, which house upgrades for your cars. Go to the garage and you will see the options you can choose to upgrade your super car. If the started kit isn’t enough, there are larger bundles available, as well as four other cars and individual pieces of track to expand. The options are endless!
It’s probably not a problem to the modern family, but if there’s four of you that wants to play, you each require a mobile device to use and some younger kids may not own one. The Anki Overdrive is great fun, not just for kids but the whole family. The starter kit retails at £149.99 and we recommend you get one as a treat, as a gift, it doesn’t matter. I guarantee you will have hours of fun and become addicted to modifying your car!
For further info and to purchase, visit the official Anki website.