Anki Overdrive Review: Robotic Hot Wheels

anki overdrive review

What is the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit?

The Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is an amazing new compilation of Radio Controlled (RC) cars integrated with a spectacular Artificial Intelligence interface.  Each Supercar is a self-aware robot ready to race, hunt and battle. You’ll be in complete control of your racing and combat strategy by the use of your mobile device.

Click here to check the price of the Overdrive on Amazon

The Anki Overdrive app is installed on your device of choice which then links to one of the Supercars for game play.  There are eight re-configurable battlefields to build and choose from.  You have the choice of battling it out between a friend or the AI controlled vehicle.

In simple terms, its physical cars racing on a racing mat, but controlled by a mobile device and application.  All the operations of the game, such as speed, combat and weapon choice are controlled by your mobile device and app.

We tested this bad boy for hours, and compiled all of the information we could get into this Anki Overdrive review. Is it worth getting? Will my kids (or adults!)  love it? Let’s find out!

Related: WowWee REV Review

Features

  • Gaming options include battling against a team mate or for solo play, against the Artificial Intelligence robot.
  • Each car and each person playing will need their own mobile device for controlling the cars.
  • The apps connect to the Supercars via Bluetooth, but pairing them is not needed.
  • The A.I. is programmed with insane strategy. They are able to learn any track you build and they are impossible to hide from.
  • Regular software updates ensures fresh gameplay and strategy.
  • Options available for customizing your weapons.
  • Each car has different weak points and strengths and varied degrees of speed, defense, firepower and special abilities.
  • Starting a new race will have the software sending a car to map out the track. Quite amazing to watch.
  • Laps are clearly defined with a definite start and finish line. Cars automatically line up so cheating is impossible.
  • Keeping track of your car is simple with the LED pendants on top of each car. Player one’s light will always be red, irrespective of which car he chooses.
  • Once fully charged, the car is capable of approximately five races, or 15 – 20 minutes of game time, but recharging time is relatively fast.

Items included

The Anki Overdrive Starter Kit has all the basic components you will need to get your combat and racing game going.  Included in the box you will find:

  • 6 x 90° curved track pieces
  • 4 x straight track pieces
  • 2 robotic cars
  • 2 riser pieces
  • Charging platform
  • Tire cleaner

You’ll use the modular track pieces to build up to eight interchangeable tracks to best test your racing and fighting abilities.

Also included are the two robotic Supercars, namely GroundShock and Skull. Each car sports its own superior arsenal and the technology to think and fight for themselves.  A great feature if you’re planning on playing solo against the AI Supercar.

The four-car charging platform enables you to recharge up to four Supercars simultaneously, ensuring that you never run out of battery power.

You’ll find 2 riser pieces which gives you the ability to play engineer with your track pieces by building bridges and overpasses, thus making your racing and battle track all the more interesting.

The tire cleaner is an integral part of your game play as it assists in keeping your Supercar wheels super clean and dust free, ensuring smooth and trouble free racing.

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Anki Overdrive Video

If you haven’t seen the Anki Overdrive before, check out the video below!

ProsCons
- Very quick and easy to set up
- Many different ways to connect the tracks
- Many different AI opponents to play against
- Map of track appears on your phone
- Limited to the tracks
- The two cars are not available separately

Initial Setup

Constructing and setting up your Anki Overdrive for the first time is super easy and uncomplicated.  Simply unpack your new box, build one of the eight unique battlefields, charge your cars by inserting them in the base charging station, download the Anki App on your IOS or Android device, and you’re off and away and ready to race and annihilate your enemy.  Remember not to throw out your box as it has the perfect niches for storage once game time is over.

Supercar Strong Points and Weapons

  • The Skull Supercar boasts amazing weapons and firepower which include the Plasma Cannon, Depth Charge and Chaingun.
  • Groundshock tends to surpass Skull in the speed and defence departments, but lacks a little firepower in comparison, with the Electro Pulse, Charge Beam and Core Inverter as its weapons of choice.

Track Setup

  • The track has eight different varieties of setup and the instructions on the packaging assist you in these various methods.
  • The track components connect to each other with magnetic ends with solid locking mechanisms.
  • The ideal place to lay your track is on hardwood floors or any firm surface. Avoid carpeted areas.
  • Purchasing the Launch Kit allows your car to “jump”.

Gameplay

Choices of game modes include Tournament Mode, Time Trial, Race Against Opponent, King of the Hill, etc. Tournament mode, for example, has various characters and challenges, ensuring hours of entertainment. A race can be won with a 1-3 star rating, which encourages you to repeat your challenge for a better rating. There are various A.I. opponents to choose from and battle against.

The modes are easy to navigate and simply laid out in the App. The App is able to keep track of your position and if you are ahead in the game or falling behind. Progressing through each race allows you to collect awards which you can use to equip your car with weapons. The weaponry allows you to fire at your opponent causing them to jam up for a few seconds. Attacks and hits will be evident as the car lights flash and the car will slow down. To change lanes you simply tilt your controller.

Anki Overdrive App

The Anki Overdrive app is free for download on both IOS and android devices at Google Play or Apple App Store. The App doesn’t require you to create an account. It’s just a matter of choosing a screen name and your app is ready to use. Each time you start up your game, your app will automatically scan the game supercars and move them to the starting line.

Extras and Expansion Kits

There is an amazing array of different extras and expansion kits on the market to choose from.  Just a few include:

These are just a minimal amount of the expansions available.  Check out the website to find a full catalogue of available products to enhance your gaming experience.

Problems and Glitches

Anki requires an approved IOS or Android device. It is vital that you check the list of compatible devices before purchase, as without the app, the game is inoperable.  There have been incidents where an Android device will work only as a secondary controller but not as the independent of primary controller.

Keep in mind that the two cars that are included in the initial start-up box are not replaceable and cannot be bought separately. This is problematic if you should lose one or if one becomes defective.

Playing on a carpeted surface can be troublesome if your car should drive off the track. The wheels pick up carpet fibers and speed and agility is immediately affected.  You’ll have to pause your game to clean the tires with the tire cleaner. Dirty or sticky marks on the track will hinder the smooth driving ability of the cars.

There have been some complaints of one car only working for a day or two and then acting erratically – losing the track, not scanning before the race, spinning in circles and driving backwards, irrespective of how clean the track and tires were kept.

Other reported issues:

  • Cars have difficulty navigating the add-ons, especially the jump set.
  • Device requirements are vague.
  • The downloaded App uses a huge amount of the mobile device’s memory.
  • Game error popup on the App during gameplay. This forces the user to restart the App, essentially restarting the game.
  • Sluggish technical support from Anki – sometimes totally unhelpful.
  • The game can get a bit boring after the initial excitement wears off.

Overall Verdict

That concludes our Anki Overdrive review, and the results are in. We felt that the idea and overall gameplay is great with an amazing variety and features.  The problems and glitches pointed out are a bit worrying because when the game works, it’s a ton of fun, but for the price, the functionality should be more consistent.

That being said, I do think it’s worth giving a try at the very least. If you are too hesitant to try the Anki Overdrive, you might be interested in the WowWee REV instead.

 

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