Last year I was totally excited about Anki Overdrive – the slot(less) car racing/smartphone game mash-up. Now it’s been supersized with the addition of a pair of all-new robotic supertrucks!
It’s time to get back to being a big kid again folks. To be honest, I have never grown out of racing car games – my love of Project Cars will testify the fact. So, when Anki asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Overdrive last year – I jumped at the chance.
Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Quite the opposite actually.
The smartphone controls were intuitive, the cars intelligent and, thanks to the latter, even single play mode against the artificially intelligent cars was enjoyable.
Now, the pioneering robotics and artificial intelligence company continues to expand its critically acclaimed game with fresh new content.
Following on from its recent firmware update Anki is introducing Supertrucks.
Anki Overdrive Supertrucks
I was given exclusive access to these new trucks a few weeks ago and have been itching to tell everyone about them – but embargoes!
The new battle rigs, dubbed FREEWHEEL and X52, adds a new dimension, not to mention scale, to the Overdrive racing experience with intimidating frames that are nearly triple the size of other Supercars.
These aren’t just mindless giants though. With Supertrucks you also get powerful new weapons and exciting game modes that will put all players’ skills to the test.
The Supertrucks were actually created by Hollywood car designer Harald Belker, whose graphically bold vision and style for futuristic vehicle design has been seen in films such as Minority Report (2002), TRON: Legacy (2010), and Total Recall (2012).
Here’s Tommy Liu, Robotics Engineer from Anki to explain about Supertrucks – by the way, Tommy also worked on Google’s self-driving cars so no wonder the Overdrive vehicles are pretty smart:
The Supertrucks are bigger, rougher, and more dominating on the track than the current Anki Overdrive Supercars – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will rule the road.
Each Supertruck comes with new weapon options including X52’s exclusive “Pulse Ram”, which will blast opponents off the track, and FREEWHEEL’s “Gravity Trap” that will disable opponents’ Supercars, causing them to lose all control.
These vehicles are designed to make gameplay more robust and set the stage for the ultimate true test of skill, pitting size and strength against speed and agility.
Aside from commanding Supertrucks in any of Anki Overdrive’s open-play game modes, these vehicles come armed with their own exclusive game called, TAKEOVER.
This was by far my favourite aspect of the new vehicles.
In TAKEOVER everyone starts the match in their chosen Supercars. Then, whoever manages to break through a Supertruck’s defenses takes control of the vehicle to wreak havoc on their opponents until another player disables them and takes command of the big rig. Until someone takes over the truck it will drive itself around creating a kind of mobile roadblock.
Here’s a snippet of TAKEOVER in action.
Although, saying that, RAGE mode is hella fun too – just imagine how much CARnage an articulated truck can muster when it is rendered indestructible for 15 seconds and is able to hurtle around the track at full speed with full weapons.
The great news is that the trucks handle pretty much as well as the cars do. The special sticky tyres grip the tracks on the bends and they can match the cars on pace too – they’re just a little slower to build up momentum. When they do though, you’d better not be in their way.
The new robotic Supertrucks deliver a whole new level of play to the Anki Overdrive universe that will give players more content and allow them to rethink their gameplay style. Our fans have proven to be incredibly creative and strategic in how they build out their tracks and how they play; we can’t wait to see what they do with these Supertrucks,”
said Boris Sofman, co-founder and CEO, Anki.
The introduction of the new vehicles is part of our on-going mission to support, update and rollout features, both on the software and hardware side, that build off the core robotic battle-racing experience.”
There are also new characters and new attitudes to go along with the big rigs.
I love the fact that the game is software driven as this means that Anki is able to continually introduce new features at no extra cost to players – just like that free modifier app update I eluded to earlier.
I did ask if there were any special track pieces being designed for the trucks – my suggestion being a special slip road so the cars could go over a jump whilst the trucks took the long way around. Tommy seemed to like that idea and said that they’ve “all kinds of plans”.
It seems like I am not the only one to have fallen for Overdrive either. So far players have logged in 3.2 million hours of gameplay, driven more than 2 million miles in the game, and built nearly 55,000 different track configurations. I’ll just let though stats sink in for a minute.
Anki Overdrive Supertrucks price and availability
Anki Overdrive Starter Kits (£149.99) and expansion cars (£49.99) are currently on sale and FREEWHEEL and X52 will be available in the UK for £59.99 starting October 3rd, 2016.
Fans can pre-order the two Supertrucks on www.anki.com today.