AI racing game gets on modular track with Anki Overdrive

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Anki Overdrive moves from the roll out tracks of its predecessor to modular sections so that users can build their own circuits

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Anki has announced the latest iteration of its smartphone-controlled robotic car racing game. Anki Overdrive builds on the previous Anki Drive by adding modular tracks, along with improved car designs, new AI personalities to battle against, and additional gameplay modes.

Anki Overdrive moves from the roll out tracks of its predecessor to more Scalextric-like (but slot-free) modular sections, which can be used to create custom tracks. The flexible pieces lock together using magnets, and the 10 sections in the starter kit are enough to make eight different tracks. Additional sections, including jumps and intersections will be available separately.

The cars themselves also get a design upgrade, though older cars can still be used with the new tracks after a software update. Each car can be controlled by distinct artificial intelligence personalities, which have their own driving skills, attitude, and make use of their virtual weapons differently. They will also be able to learn any new track layouts you build, and get better the more they race on them.

Users still use smartphones or tablets to control their cars, with iOS and Android devices supported by the upcoming Anki Overdrive app. A number of new gameplay modes have also been added to give a more video game-like experience. In Arcade mode users can race and battle against each other and the computer, while in Campaign mode they will need to defeat a series of commanders to unlock achievements and challenges.

Anki Overdrive will be available from September, with the starter kit (two cars, a four-car charger, 10 track pieces and two risers) retailing for US$150. The expansion packs and accessories will each set you back between $10 and $30.

Product page: Anki Overdrive

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