About this time every year parents start trying to second guess what their kids will ask for this Christmas. There are usually a handful of must have toys and parents end up queuing for hours to get what their children really, really want for Christmas. Well, I can save you the bother, because if you’re 8+ and you like cars, then you’ll be wanting an Anki OVERDRIVE for Christmas. Order now to avoid disappointment etc.
I first saw and played with an Anki OVERDRIVE last year and I’ve been waiting for my little ray of sunshine to be old enough for us to get one ever since. I knew that he would love it and more importantly, I knew both his Dad and I would too. This half term we’ve been putting the Anki OVERDRIVE starter kit (£149.99 on Amazon) through its paces to see if it is the ultimate gift this Christmas (spoiler alert – it is!).
The Anki OVERDRIVE starter kit contains 2 Robotic Supercars; 6 curved track pieces; 4 straight track pieces; 2 riser pieces; 1 four-car charging system and 1 tire cleaner pack. The starter kit is suitable for ages 8+ but under supervision, our nearly 7 year old mastered it in minutes.
Before you start it’s best to download the free Anki OVERDRIVE app onto a Kindle, Apple or Android device and plug your cars in to charge up. The cars take about 8 minutes to fully charge up, which then gives you around 20 minutes of racing action.
The track is really simple to set up and change about when you want to change your track format. The pieces of track are called ‘FlexTracks’. They are bendy, flexible track pieces which can go over bumps (like where your carpet meets a rug) without having to build up the level underneath. They click together really easily and have magnetic connectors which keep them in place. The magnetic connectors mean they can be easily pulled apart and reconfigured if you want to re-lay your track.
The cars are have artificial intelligence and are essentially self-aware robots. You set up your track and they drive slowly around it, memorising every twist, turn and bump; ensuring that when they race they can do it almost faultlessly. There are two supercars in the starter pack, but you can buy more separately if you want to.
To race the cars you need to use your smartphone or tablet. The cars are easily controlled using the app. The more races you win and the better driver you are, the more features the app unlocks.
The Anki OVERDRIVE is a fantastic bit of kit. The starter kit contains everything you need to start racing and you can always add more track and cars if you want to extend the fun. It’s not cheap, but we’ve played with it fairly robustly (the dog spent some time jumping on the tracks chasing the cars around). I’m hopeful it’ll survive the rigours of family life in our house.
As far as I can tell there are no downsides to the Anki OVERDRIVE, apart from racing obsession. The cars do occasionally skitter off the track, but you just clean the tires and they’re good to go again.
My son loved it, especially building the track and finding different configurations. My husband loved it so much I’ve found him playing with it in the middle of the night. If you’re looking for some family fun this Christmas, something a bit more dynamic than a board game, then you can’t go far wrong with an Anki OVERDRIVE!