Anki the makers of the most artificially intelligent toys have upgraded their spectacular Drive desktop racing system, switching up a gear from Drive into OverDrive. Available in September 2015 Overdrive brings a new track system and upgraded car AI to this futuristic desktop racing system. The upgraded AI for the cars not only allows the cars to drive the many possible track configurations but they will also learn to drive any custom track faster over time.
The original Anki Drive race set was released last year and quickly became the number two selling toy on Amazon in the build up to the holiday season, selling out 10 days before Christmas. The game itself could be described as a cross between slot car racing and battle bots. Instead of steering the cars around the track like a tradition RC car players simply choose the lane and speed for their car while concentrating on attacking your opposition’s car with your virtual weapons. Each car has its own personality, driving style and weapons that the players must learn to use. When firing the weapons a successful hit causes the target to spin out or react to the weapon hit, virtual weapons with real effects.
Overdrive tracks now snap together instead of simply being a pre-designed rubber mat. The tracks lock together using magnet clips in much the same way as a traditional slot car track is snapped together. This new style of track allows different layouts and extra track pieces to be added including hills, overpasses and jumps; loop the loop tracks are even in the works.
Owners of the original Drive sets can upgrade their cars AI and buy the new modular tracks in order to go into Overdrive. The new starter packs including two cars and enough track pieces for 8 track layouts will go on sale in September for $150 USD, extra tracks and cars will also be available to expand your racing world.
Can Anki’s battle cars drive their way into the hearts and minds of kids (young and old) around the world? Will OverDrive take pole position under Christmas trees next time Santa vists? Here at Highpants all we can say for sure is we need a larger meeting room table, and a new meeting room as the old one is now a car combat zone.