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Anki Overdrive announced: Brings AI cars and lasers into your home

Imagine the arcade-style mayhem of mobile racing game Asphalt with real cars, lasers and more – that’s what Anki Overdrive is bringing to the table.

If you’re unfamiliar with Anki, it’s a consumer-facing robotics company that famously launched on stage at Apple’s 2013 WWDC (watch their segment here) to preview a new type of real-world racing game in Anki Drive. With Drive hitting stores in time for Christmas last year, Anki Overdrive aims to take every aspect of its predecessor’s gameplay up a notch.

Anki Overdrive cars and weapons

To kick things off Overdrive is going to offer a roster of six new artificially intelligent cars named Nuke, Guardian, Skull, Ground Shock, Thermo and Big Bang. Depending on which car you choose you’re given a unique ability, which you can use on the track. With Anki Drive, lasers or missiles could cause other cars to spin out, in Overdrive you’ll be able to slow your opponents, knock them out one by one, or tackle a whole pack of racers at once.

The other half of the Overdrive experience is the new track. Anki Drive’s flat matt is so last year; Overdrive will feature a new modular track system that you can snap together magnetically. Whilst loops aren’t yet a feature, you can build tiered tracks that overlap each other on different levels and even throw a few jumps in there for good measure. It’s shaping up to be Scalextric for the mobile generation – with weapons.

Anki Overdrive track

It’s up to the racer and their mobile device to decide when to use weapons or power-ups and timing things just right might be the deciding factor between first and last place.

In truth Anki Overdrive is a far richer experience than it first appears, with a campaign pitting you against over 25 ‘elite [AI-controlled] commanders’ and spanning a myriad of game modes – from the classic battles and races, to time trials and even a king of the hill mode.

Why are we telling you all this? Because it sounds awesome! We’re hoping to road test Anki Overdrive for ourselves around launch time, scheduled for later this year, arriving in the US, the UK, Canada and Germany on September 20th.

 

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