Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious

Do your kids love race cars? This AI-enhanced car-racing game is next level – the whole family will love playing Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious.

What is it: Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious pits you against Artificially Intelligent Supercars in a pulse-pounding game of speed and strategy. Up to four players can race cars around the track via an app you download to your smartphone. The starter kit (RRP$339) comes with enough magnetic track pieces to build eight unique track configurations: Three straight and six curved pieces, a “power zone” piece that hacks your opponents, two elevation pieces, 12 guard rails, a four-car charger, and two supercars. You can purchase expansion kits to add tracks (RRP$40-$65) or get more race cars (RRP$100 each).

How it works: Download the Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious Edition app from the App Store or Google Play, charge your cars’ batteries, build the track (the magnetic pieces snap together quickly), and choose from one of the six game modes. Then you can start racing. You can race against friends and family, or battle the characters from the film. You win by being the first driver to complete all the laps and cross the finish line.

Our editor says: It’s not often you come across a toy that the whole family – and I do mean the WHOLE family, from kids to parents to grandparents to aunts and uncles to random neighbours who just happened to pop over for a chat – can enjoy together, right out of the box, with very little in the way of setup. The Anki OVERDRIVE: Fast & Furious edition is billed as “the world’s most intelligent battle-racing system”, and it’s easy to see why. After waiting about 10 minutes for the cars to charge (which is how long it took my kids to download the app and decide on the track configuration), it is ready to play. And by “play”, I mean “battle”. It didn’t take long for our test-driving kids to start shouting at their respective race cars, getting immersed in the action, and high-fiving when things went particularly well. Tactics are important, as it’s not just a straightforward “race around the track” game (it’s nothing like the plastic car tracks we had as kids, and far more responsive than your typical “remote-control” race car). It’s great for hand-eye control and fine motor skills, and even as a spectator, it’s thrilling to watch. The controls are pretty easy to use, and as you get better, the cars improve too, including allowing you to upgrade performance and systems. It’s the kind of game you open up on Christmas morning, set up in the lounge, and play for the rest of the school holidays – and beyond.

What the kids say: 

  • “It was really easy to set up.”
  • “There were so many track combinations, you could get creative.”
  • “It’s cool how the cars go around by themselves.”
  • “When you are in a campaign (racing against someone else), you can shoot the other cars to slow them down.”

Things to remember:

  • Each player must have a compatible iOS or Android device and to download the free app in order to play (check for specs).
  • Wifi is required when using both iOS and Android devices.
  • 1 or more players
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