Anki has unveiled the next generation of its battle-racing toy/video game hybrid in Anki Overdrive, and the firm believes it will help it to its biggest year yet.
Overdrive, set to launch in the UK, US and Germany this September, boasts state-of-the-art modular tracks, high-end car designs and new innovations in gameplay, all of which point to a strong 2015.
“2015 will definitely be better than 2014 for us,” Anki co-founder Hanns Tappeiner told ToyNews.
“We’ll be in a lot more stores and the product is so much better than what it was. 2014 was a great year, but 2015 is going to be very different.
“We’re not trying to design a hit for one year. The love for cars is such a cross-generational thing that we really think this is something that is going to be around for a very, very long time.”
Anki Overdrive’s easy to link modular tracks allow players to build their own battle-race courses within seconds, and pit their real-life robotic supercars against friends or enemy AI commanders and their crews in the game’s campaign mode.
Anki believes the customisable tracks of Overdrive will benefit retailers looking to entice consumers into their stores with in-store theatre and the next hit collectable.
“It’s the same for retailers as it is for players,” said Tappeiner.
“Players can build whatever track they want at home, retailers can build whatever they feel fits into their stores. They can also break it down and rebuild it whenever they feel like it.
“Collectability was one of the biggest questions we’ve faced since launch. People were telling us they wanted to collect the cars and they wanted more cars.
“In Overdrive, there is a much greater level of detail with the cars. It makes it even better for people wanting to collect the cars. There will be six cars available from launch and more available over time.”
Overdrive is the latest generation of Anki, and the firm believes this approach aligns it more with video game firms that constantly update and launch new titles alongside the latest tech.
“There is so much technology in Anki Overdrive that allows us to bring out something completely new, and potentially change the branding,” added Tappeiner.
And while app toys have, in the past, been criticised by parents conscious of their child’s screen time, Tappeiner believes Overdrive centres around physical play.
“Ours is the inverse of any app toy I can think of,” stated Tappeiner.
“We use the mobile phones as the controller and we use phones due to their processing power. Without phones or tablets, we couldn’t do what we’re doing, but our UX and UI designers are pretty much spending all of their time trying to figure out how to never force somebody to look at the screen.
“If you actually watch people play Anki Drive, they never look at the screen.”