'Anki Overdrive' Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Anki today announced a sequel to its innovative iOS-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Called "Anki Overdrive" and set for launch in September, it will include brand new cars, a customizable track - courtesy of magnetically interlocking track pieces and "bridges" that adjust track height - and even jump ramps (via Re/code).

    Originally debuted on stage at WWDC 2013, Anki has slowly grown support for the original Anki Drive by adding new cars and track support but keeping the same basic static roll-out mat technology. The sequel, which the company plans to announce today at the New York Toy Fair, will retain the same basic concept of using a smartphone to control a physical toy car around a track, battling against an A.I. opponent or other players.

    The Anki Overdrive starter kit, which will retail for $150 and come with two cars, will include 10 modular track pieces that the company says can create up to eight different track options out of the box. They'll also be selling "expansion packs" that will give users the ability to add four way intersections, U-turns, and jumps into the mix. Those expansion packs will cost between $10 and $30, and additional cars will be around $50.

    The team has boosted the software component, as well. Talking to Re/code, Anki co-founder Hanns Tappeiner said when the cars interact with a new, user-made track, they'll drive slowly and cautiously as they "map" the track to their memory, after which they'll begin speeding up. Tappeiner also highlights the potential for user imagination in weaving tracks around everyday household objects, not just limiting users to designated objects provided by Anki.
    Tappeiner also promised the much-loved meta game of advancing player levels - courtesy of the Anki Drive [Direct Link] companion app available as a free download - as you race and battle around tracks will remain firmly intact with Anki Overdrive. "Even though it's a physical thing, we think of it as a video game," Tappeiner said. "If this were a video game, every time you advanced a level you'd be in a different world."

    Article Link: 'Anki Overdrive' Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game
  2. quackers82 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2014
    This is great news, i have Anki Drive and its a great game and i wished i could have bigger tracks and now my wish has come true!
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its a cool product but I don't know how well its been selling. Its a little too pricey for my budget.
  4. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    Very cool toy, but still just a toy for a lot of money.
  5. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Yeah, its pricy, but sooo cool. I wish my kids were still young enough for me to buy this for, umm..., them. :)
  6. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Do you actually control the cars or just the speed?
  7. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Jul 15, 2006
    Anki drive seems like an expensive party trick.
  8. tpabrad macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Very excited to see this, I just hope they allow the existing cars to work with this. The one issue I have is rolling out the mat and putting it away every time is a bit cumbersome and hard to keep free of hair and small dirt particles. A modular track that can be rebuilt really brings back the fun of the old style slot cars. They seem to be hitting the same price point that the current Drive sells at now, so no increase is good too. The original price of 200 was a but high. Everyone I show this too is really amazed at its capabilities. Really fun to play with my kids.
  9. zoetmb macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2007
    Is this any more expensive than a typical digitally controlled slot car set? It doesn't seem to be.

    My concern is different - I don't think they've clearly established (at least not in the video) whether this is primarily physical or primarily virtual. Personally, if I want a virtual experience, I'll just play an electronic game. To me, the big plus of this is the physical experience and (if I'm understanding it correctly) that the cars don't actually ride in a slot. If that's correct, that's obviously a big jump for the old slot car sets and even a jump from the newer digital sets that permit multiple cars to ride the same slot and to pass.
  10. CheesePuff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    Slot car sets typically cost much more.
  11. tpabrad macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    The cards will stay within the lane so to speak. The normal track currently is about 10-12 inches wide and you can steer the car anywhere within that lane. It will not go out on either end unless it just slides off from either running into another car or slips because of dirt on the wheels or mat. It rarely happens for me. You can speed up and slow down the car, controlled using the iOS device. You also have a weapon and/or abilities that each car uses to "battle" with the other cars. I am always impressed with the AI. Its fun to play with others but equally fun to just play on your own.
  12. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    This looks like a dramatically better idea that the old Anki Drive. Went from looking like a party trick that you might pull out once to being a neat toy with a decent amount of reusability.

    Still too expensive in my opinion, but it's now similar to Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Hot Wheels... so the price is comparable to the competitors.
  13. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    Probably, but I would never buy slot car sets for the same reason.
  14. tottenj macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2013
    They were sold out of a lot of stuff just before Christmas. I saw started packs going for over $500 on eBay :eek:
  15. philipk macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    I am from a working class family. Come Christmas my brothers and I would drool over the Sears Wish Book. I was 10 and it was 1967. My parents gave us each a $20 limit on picking one toy to get from "Santa".

    I did the math. Today that $20 is worth $141 which is very close to the price of Anki. I don't remember what I got. However, I am sure it wasn't as cool or a long lasting as Anki.

    In the early 1970's my brothers and I got a joint Christmas gift in a large 1/32 slot car track. We loved it. I don't know the price but I bet adjusting for inflation it was more than Anki.
  16. warnergt macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Same here! ...except my limit was $25. For Christmas 1966, I got a slot car set.
  17. philipk, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    philipk macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2008
    Our slot car track lasted over 10 years. My youngest brother is 7 years younger than me. In time the track was put in a closet in full working condition. My parents are still living but now in a condo. They can't remember what happened to the track.

    I am 57 years old and a pastor of a church. I am planning to buy an Anki set for my personal use with my own money. I MAY share it with the church youth. :)
  18. huntlane macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    We got these for our office (they were given to winners of a hackathon--we had an extra), and let me say they are a TON of fun.

    And yes, we're all (somewhat) mature adults.
  19. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Firstly, very impressive video. Probably about 50x more impressive than the actual item being sold.

    But putting that to one side.

    1: I want physical controls / buttons under my fingers, I can feel. Not a sheet of smooth glass.

    2: Personally, these days. I want the car to have a camera so I get a drivers eye view :)
  20. gugy macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    They had a discount during Xmas at $99. I liked that price point but it was sold out. I think Anki would move way more units if they drop the price to that range.
    Curious to see if they are still sold out even at the current price.
  21. CrazyForApple macrumors 6502a


    Dec 31, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    Didn't their presentation at that keynote mess up?
  22. yakapo macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I was raised in a similar family. However, one year I received a Commodore 64 for my birthday and the floppy disk drive for Christmas. I don't know what they cost back then, but I'm sure it is the modern equivalent of thousands of dollars. A lot more than one of these things. Besides, grandma will buy the kiddos anything they want.
  23. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    There is no reason why these little cars couldn't sell for $20 retail with the right production lines. Looking at the cars, track and box, my educationed guess is it costs at most $20 to $30 to build this into the retail shelves. If they are worth anything, they will drop price this Christmas season when the man-boy market is saturated.


    Being a fellow "Commodore kid" I know what you mean. When the 300 baud modem showed up, my sisters were constantly upset that I was on bulletin boards instead of them talking with their friends about whatever. Then came the Programmers Reference Manual, 65xx assembly, a soldering iron and overclock mods that freaked out the house. Then there was feeding back the SID chip output into the phone line -- muah hahahahaha!
  24. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    The reason why slot cars were more expensive in the 60s/70s than Anki is relatively is that in those days a lot of the manufacturing was done in the US/Europe. Now they've found cheaper places to make plastic.

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