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Gabe / on Wed, Sep 23 2015 at 9:58 am

Anki Overdrive

I got the Anki starter set last Christmas “for my kids” and we’ve had a lot of fun with it over the last year. I saw that the expansion was set to come out and made a tweet to my wife suggesting she get it for me for my Birthday. Then a big box of it showed up at my house a couple days before release. It seems the Anki folks saw my tweet and found out where I lived.

So that’s pretty cool.

and a little scary.

Regardless! I spent some time this past weekend playing with it and I figured I’d share.

If you’re not familiar with Anki, it’s essentially robot slot cars with weapons. You control the cars from an app on your phone or tablet. The cars themselves are smart enough to stay on the track most of the time. You control the speed and steer it within the borders of the track. You also use the app to fire your weapons and upgrade your cars.

It was already pretty rad.

The big difference with Overdrive is that the tracks are modular now. The tracks used to be pre-printed on big sheets that you rolled out and then raced on. Now you build your track from various pieces just like the old slot car tracks. They also have added elevation so now you have risers and jumps. Once you build your track, the cars do a couple slow laps as they scan the layout. The app builds a little map of your track and then it’s off to the races.

Literally I guess.

I thought I was a cool guy because I made my track go under the couch.

Then I saw this shit.

I think Overdrive is a huge improvement over last year’s offering. The modular tracks are exactly what Anki needed. I will say that in my experience it can be harder to keep your cars on the track now. I started building some bank turns using couch pillows and Legos that were pretty tricky. It used to be that you could just go full gas all the time but now you can build tracks that require more precise driving. As a recent Forza convert, I find the challenge really exciting.

This is something my boys and I like to play together. It’s easy enough for my 5yo to play and challenging enough for my 11yo and I. If robot slot cars and real world mario kart sounds cool to you, Anki Overdrive will not disappoint.

-Gabe out

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