Anki Drive – video games in the real world

When I was at school in the late 80s and 90s, you would sometimes see people in the playground playing with or trading Micro Machines. These were tiny toy cars that, if I remember correctly, were part toy and part collectible.

A video game soon followed; a top-down racer that had you zooming round locations like your bedroom floor, a pool table, and the kitchen counter.

What if you were to take the fun of the physical Micro Machines toys and, while still keeping that physical nature, introduce the video game element? Well, I think you’d end up with something like Anki.

Anki Drive CarsAnki is a system of little toy cars that you race on a mat. But they’re more than just toy cars… you control them using and iOS or Android device which acts as the brain of the game. From the mobile device, you can fire weapons, drop mines, steer and control the speed of your physical car. While each player does require their own mobile device, if you find yourself wanting to play alone you can set one of the cars to act as an AI opponent.

The cars apparently learn as you drive as well. Whether that unlocks new features on your own car, or whether that’s about the AI getting better as you do I’m not quite sure, but it certainly sounds interesting.

A starter set is available that includes two cars and a track, while additional cars and tracks can be purchased later as addons. Each type of car brings it’s own set of abilities and weaponry and the different tracks lend themselves to different driving styles.

While it could be argued that this is nothing more than a high-tech version of Scalextric, I think the inclusion of the video-game-like combat elements makes this a really cool and innovative product.

If you’re hungry for more information, check out the video below:

If you’re looking to make a purchase, the Anki range is available from both the Apple Store and Currys in the UK.

What do you think of Anki? Do you already have a set and want to share your thoughts? Say your piece in the comments :)

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  1. David Lumm says:

    Oh I want some of those. Scalextric meets micro machines? Yes please!

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