1 Feb

The Future of Slot-Racing Cars – Anki Overdrive

The slot-racing cars of our childhood have just gotten an amazing overhaul, and can now be considered the future of the slot-racing cars. In fact, they seem to be the future of real cars as well, because a similar technology is starting to be used in the driverless cars, which some believe to be the future of transport.

Scalextric is the game that brings back many memories; the feeling of having those amazing model cars hitting our parent’s furniture and the smell of their odour just creates a sense of nostalgia for all the people that used to like that game. Well, there’s an updated version of it now, and it’s called the Anki Overdrive. However, comparing the two is just like comparing the Formula 1 racing car and an old Jetta; sure, they have most of the basic common components, but can never be truly compared. Anki Overdrive is the future, with the tiny cars zipping around a track you’ve made yourself being completely brought into the 21st century.

However, Scalextric is a game that never really had any real application in real cars, and that’s where it also differs from Anki Overdrive. Anki Overdrive is a pioneer of the technology that is going to allow the real cars to go around driverless in the future; you can even see the first prototypes of these kinds of cars today!

In order to explain how this game works, we’re going to back to comparing it to Scalextric. You see, this old game was being controlled by the hand-held controllers that have been connected to the circuit by a wire, while the Anki Overdrive game is being controlled by your smartphone! You just download the appropriate app for it, and you’re ready to roll. The app is connected to the game via Bluetooth, and once you’ve connected the two, you just need to pick a race and select the number of players that are going to participate in it. You’ll also need to finish a trial lap in order to get to know the game and familiarize yourself with the controls and the race itself.

The modular track on which the cars are going to race is made up of pieces that have been specially inked and that use special optics technology that the vehicles can scan as much as 500 times per second! This allows the cars to understand their own position and do all the steering rather precisely, no matter what the terrain they are being driven on is. These cars come in 3 models: Thermo, Nuke and Skull. They automatically stop on the start line and wait for you to start the game via the app. After that, you have the full control over the vehicles. People that have enjoyed this game claim that the best races are those against the AI – when the computer takes control of the remaining cars and you play against them.

The more you race, the more new weapons and various other upgrades you are going to unlock. This includes various different game mods, different races, and a greater number of laps.

The sounds that you hear are being made by your smartphone, and the cars you drive are really quiet, which some people find to be a downside. Also, the main controls seem to be highly restrictive in the sense that all you do is just changing lines, speeding up or down, and activating the various power-ups and the weapons. An addition to that, some people have complained that the pace of the race really isn’t brutal, and that was something they were hoping for, and the weapon activation isn’t as exciting as thought – when you shoot down your enemy car, all you get is a light on top of that car which then stops.

Another thing people seem to be complaining about is the fact that the Bluetooth quickly drains out the smartphone battery, so you better set up the track somewhere near your phone charger.

However, not counting all these small downsides, Anki Overdrive really is something amazing, and is considered to be the bringer of the future of traffic. It allows you to reach that childhood amazement feeling you used to get, no matter if you’re 8 years old (which is the recommended minimum age) or a lot older than that.