You need to bring your own smartphone or tablet to the party for app-connected toys like Anki’s Overdrive, but it also means that over time gameplay can be improved through simple software updates. And Anki’s most recent, available for download now, helps level the playing field between skilled and novice drivers.
Back in the days of old-school slot cars, whoever owned the track you and your friends raced on was always the most skilled at blasting through corners without their car flying off the track. But with the most recent update to the Anki Overdrive app, a new ‘Balance Cars’ mode strips each vehicle of power-ups and upgrades so that the race simply comes down to who’s the best driver.
The update also introduces a new ‘One Shot Kill’ mode where certain players are equipped with a golden gun that completely disables an opponent’s vehicle after just a single well-placed shot. It’s reminiscent of the golden gun featured in the N64 classic GoldenEye 007, but without that annoyingly short Odd Job character running around, ruining the game for everyone.
Anki’s Overdrive also introduced a modular track system that made it easier to play in smaller spaces, but also allowed the course to be customized into countless layouts. The app needs to know the exact layout of the custom course to properly track the positions of each vehicle, so the cars first make an autonomous practice run that the software uses to scan the layout.
The updated Anki Overdrive app no longer requires a track re-scan before every race, and while the vehicles are scanning the course, its layout can be modified without having to re-scan the entire thing from the beginning. They’re mostly invisible updates to the app, but ones that should have players spending more time racing than trying to get everything setup.