Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Anki OVERDRIVE - a groundbreaking AI battle-race game

Freddy has got a new favourite toy, one that combines all the excitement of a car track racing game with cutting edge robotics and artificial intelligence. Played using a physical track and cool supercars via an app on a smart device, video gaming, toys and robotics come together to create one of the best and most advanced family games that we have seen in a long time - Anki OVERDRIVE.


Anki OVERDRIVE is bringing consumer robotics into everyday life, creating an entertaining and unique experience using today's technology. It's exciting and impressive!

We've all enjoyed playing car track racing game in the past, but they have limitations. The need to plug them in, the trailing controller wires, the fiddly track construction, bulky storage, unreliable cars, frustrating handling and the repetitive game play have made these games feel very old and tired. Anki has revolutionised this genre of toy, blowing these predecessors completely off the track, bringing track racing games into the 21st century.

The Anki OVERDRIVE Starter Kit contains everything needed to begin your exciting adventure into the battle-race arena, you just need to download the free app to get started. The kit contains two very cool supercars, Skull and Ground Shock, along with a four car charger and enough FlexTracks to create a number of customised battlefield tracks. The sturdy packaging is so well thought out, storing everything neatly and easily inside the box after each use.


To begin, you download the Anki OVERDRIVE app and synch the cars to your device. This then becomes the controller for the physical cars. You can play against each other, or against the AI commanders in various modes such as race or battle. The set up is simple to use and seamless. The design is just so well conceived.

The modular track is lightweight and has magnetic connectors making it so easy to snap together. There are bridge adapters allowing you to create figure of eight style tracks that cross over. I love how simple and quick it is to build or change the tracks, it literally takes just seconds. There are eight recommended track designs that you can make using the starter kit. As there are no wires or power supply to the track, you can set it up anywhere, limited only by your imagination!

As you play, the cars learn the track layout. If they spin off, they will right themselves and continue in the right direction. They avoid collisions and take corners with impressive speed, choosing the most effective route. The undertaking and overtaking is so fast with the cars able to switch lanes! The more you play, the better the cars become. Your self-aware AI opponents learn tracks and strategies to keep the race and battle action fresh and competitive. You can upgrade and up level your vehicle, unlocking and customising  weapons making the gameplay evolve each time you race.


The app is really well designed, adding excitement to the game, using a futuristic interface, immersing players into the world of the epic driving battles.  In battle mode, you can shoot your opponents, disabling them or slowing them down on the track. It adds to the fun and keeps you thinking strategically.

The gameplay is very intuitive and Freddy was able to build the track and race his car against the AI commanders using his iPad independently. It's great to have some tech that can be enjoyed by Freddy on his own or played together with the whole family.


You can add to the starter kit with various expansion kits, adding in more track for extra twists, turns, banked corners, deadly intersections and even epic launched jumps. You can also buy new cars, each with their own weapons and skills or buy Supertrucks, which are three times bigger than the cars and come with access to a new game mode. Anki OVERDRIVE has the potential to grow and expand as desired and software updates keep the game fresh.

The Anki OVERDRIVE Starter Kit retails at £149.99 and is available from Argos or directly from overdrive with free shipping.

Anki OVERDRIVE would make an excellent Christmas gift for children aged 8 and up, but equally for adults who enjoy cool gadgets, racing games and technology. Anki even have a Fast and Furious edition that will appeal to fans of the high octane franchise.


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