« Amazon Studios cuts ties with Weinstein Company | Main | Microsoft builds tree houses as meeting places (because why not?) »

Review: Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

By Gadjo Cardenas Seviilla

If the thrill of racing actual cars on a specialized track with hairpin turns, rising hills and agressive competitors armed with photon cannons appeals to you, then you need to check out Anki's update to their racing game.

Anki has made a name for itself by blending cutting-edge app technology, robotic racing cars and smart tracks that work in concert to provide live action track racing simulator that everyone can enjoy. The Anki Overdrive: Fast and Furious Edition incorporates some of the cars, sound effects and elements of the beloved movie franchise.

Setting up the Anki Overdrive: Fast and Furious Edition is deceptively easy. You plug in the robotic cars and charge them while downloading the iOS or Android apps. Then laying out the included tracks is dead easy thanks to simple magnetic connectors that hook up quite easily. Once the cars are charged you place them on the track for a test run and then they align at the starting position.

Anki Overdrive allows you to race the computer (i.e. the mobile phone) or another player. You can go and do a straight race or get into battle mode with each vehicle firing various weapons that affect your enemies differently. This is harder than it sounds as you’re navigating around the track while trying to get behind your opponent to fire torpedoes, lasers or photon cannons.

Think of it as a very fast, very furious version of Spy Hunter type games. Anki Overdrive is really a good example of augmented reality or AR. There’s the physical challenge of racing live vehicles on a real track as well as all the real possibilities of collisions, derailments, and mishaps.

But there’s also the ongoing narrative from sampled voices of actors arguing with each other. For fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, this might be a lot of fun, but for user’s who aren’t big fans it can get repetitive.

The best part of Anki Overdrive are head-to-head battles between two and three players on a fully charged cars is exhilarating and gets the competitive juices flowing. That said, you’ll want to change up the tracks or even buy an expansion set to extend the range in order to really keep things exciting for the long term.

As a bold re-imagining of slot-car racing for the app and AR age, Anki Overdrive: Fast and Furious Edition showcases the best merging of technologies into a simple to set-up and operate experience that brings racing simulation away from TVs and screens and into the real world. Just like the movie franchise it represents, I think Anki Overdrive will continue on to get a lot of popular sequels.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>