Overdrive is an app-controlled racing system that brings the joy of slot car racing into the digital age. Using the same state-of-the-art robotics and AI technology that brought the Cozmo robot to life, Anki’s Overdrive thrills with fun characters, stunt-friendly tracks, and cross-platform play. Here’s everything you need to know about the top smart toy racer system on the market.
The Overdrive starter kit includes two cars and 12 track pieces (four straight pieces, six curved pieces, and two risers). Extra track pieces are sold separately. These extra pieces allow you to create 180-degree curves, banks, elevations, and jumps. Setup is fast, and the included app is easy to use. The basic race is a 15-lap course, but you can change the number of laps or switch to one of the other three game modes available.
Up to four cars can race at one time. Players can race head-to-head (against other players) or alone in AI mode. Before the race begins, an infra-red camera on loaded cars will scan the track’s layout. Once the race starts, players will control the cars using their android or iOS devices. An image of the track will appear on the screen of each player’s smart device as the cars travel around.
Players can use weapons to deplete other players’ energy and cause their vehicles to temporarily stall. In addition to weapons, there are other tractor beams and other mechanics that can be used to slow opponents’ cars down. When a car is hit by a weapon, the handset vibrates, and the headlights and brake lights flash.
There are several other game modes besides racing. In battle mode, players must try to take down their opponent a certain number of times in order to win. Then there’s King of the Hill mode, a tag-like game where players must evade their opponent for a predetermined number of seconds.
The Overdrive app gives payers a sense of accomplishment by tracking points and rewarding driving competency and style. Players can redeem points at the garage for over 100 upgrades, including weaponry, weapon ports, and speed boosts.
Anki Overdrive improves on Anki’s Drive’s roll-out vinyl mat with a modular track system, which allows players to create multiple layouts by connecting the different shaped pieces together. The starter kit creates up to eight different designs, and add-on pieces can be purchased to make more layouts. The track pieces connect magnetically and can be bent to form bridges and curves.
The Overdrive system is cross-platform, so users with an Android phone, for example, can play against someone with an iPhone. This feature puts Anki’s several points above other smart toy racer systems, which generally only allow play on one platform at a time.
There are six new Overdrive cars: Skull, Thermo, Groundshock, Nuke, Guardian, and Big Bang. Anki has also added Supertrucks — vehicles three times the size of Supercars and loaded with new weapons — to its lineup. The new trucks, which include Freewheel and X52, unlock an exclusive game mode and 25 new Commanders. Additionally, Anki’s Overdrive is backwards compatible, which means Anki Drive cars will work on this track system.
Why Overdrive is Different Than Other Smart Toy Racers
The bottom line? Overdrive combines digital and real-life play together to create a real-life video gaming experience. The various track layouts allow players to create endless racing configurations, making Overdrive a more economical choice than other track systems. And with cross-platform functionality, this system is light years ahead of other smart toy racers.
Get it here.