Anki Overdrive Racing Game Review

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Product Review

As a child I loved slot car racers.  I vividly remember the awe and jealousy I felt when my next door neighbour and best friend got a TCR racing set for Christmas.  I know that dates me quite a bit but I have never really lost my fascination with slot car racing.  Anki have taken this retro gaming concept and given it a 21st Century overhaul with the Anki Overdrive.  You can only imagine the glee my inner 10 year old felt when I got my hands on this for testing.

The Anki Overdrive is a modern day take on Scalextric.  You control a car that is free to race around a customisable vinyl race track.  The starter pack comes with a number of straight and curved track pieces that can be slotted together in any configuration.   Addition track can be purchased as and when required.  The cars can not only control themselves, but also fight back with virtual weapons.

The starter kit comes with two cars in the box allowing you to play against a friend.  You can also purchase additional cars, but they are quite expensive.   Assuming you’ve both got a smartphone or tablet, otherwise you can play against an artificial intelligence computer opponent instead. The cars are capable of learning the track once you’re set up and ready to go.

Anki Overdrive is not just a physical game though; it blurs the boundaries between real-world and virtual by smartphone or tablet integration. The Android and iOS app lets you control your car and shoot virtual weapons at your opponents that affect their cars’ response on the track.  Each car has its own unique weapon type that can even be changed by earning new items and add-ons during play.  The more you use your car, the better it becomes!

The small Anki cars are lightweight, come with a downward facing sensor that reads the track and therefore know exactly where they are.  The lightweight design means they speed around the track and can flying off the jump sections with some height.  Each car lasts around 20 minutes of racing before needing to recharge, but that only takes another 5-10 minutes to charge again.

There are a number of different game modes for Anki Overdrive.  Including the traditional first one over the finishing line, battle mode, king of the hill mode, time trials and tournament mode.   All of these add that little bit extra to a game that is engaging and fun for all ages.

Verdict

The Anki Overdrive really is a great fun toy.  It merges the real world enjoyment of the 20th Century Scalextric  with the 21st Century virtual world of Forza Motorsport to great effect.  It is a toy that adults and children can play and enjoy together.  I really enjoyed the whole experience and could happily spend hours messing around with the Overdrive.  If you are looking for a a great racing game the the Anki Overdrive is the best.  The only difficult thing about purchasing the Anki Overdrive will be convincing yourself you’re just buying it for the kids.

Good

  • Great real world/virtual interface
  • Immersive gameplay
  • Unlimited track sizes and layouts
  • Awesome fun!
  • Fast recharging

Bad

  • Add on cars expensive
  • Run time for cars limited to about 20 minutes
9.8

Excellent

Build Quality - 9.5
Ease of Use - 10
Value for Money - 10

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