• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    My son loves it and the customer service has been outstanding.

    • Written by from Greer

    We bought this as a Christmas gift and my son loves it. Anki customer service alerted us to a potential problem before we even opened the gift on Christmas Morning. They took steps that really surprised me to make sure my sons Christmas was awesome.

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Cars are great. Game play software is bad.

    • Written by from Paonia

    If Anki improves the software this could be a great game, but in it's current incarnation, it's half-baked. Read on! Review based on 20 hours playing.

    Okay, the cars whiz around the track with amazing intelligence. That part is great. Shooting and disabling the enemy (i.e. wife and daughter) is great. HOWEVER, the game concept is stupid. The designers got stuck in the "power up and attain magical abilities" video game paradigm. They've confused the racing game with Super Mario Brothers. Here's the theory behind their game play: as you play and win, you get points. You can trade the points in for upgrades to your cars. These upgrades include powerful armor (that makes you harder to kill), stronger weapons to counter armor, and the ability to do U turns and sudden stops. I've got to admit the U turns and stops are cool.

    Apparently the marketing theory is that serious gamers will buy the cars, upgrade as much as possible, and then compete with each other. I can imagine a 12-year-old boy rubbing his palms together in glee, chortling "I now have the neutron bomb upgrade. I can take out anyone!" But what kind of fun is it when you can cream the competition and the game isn't fair?

    So what's the problem? The software designers got carried away with cool features (i.e. the upgrade system) and forgot about game play. The problem is that you can't remove "fixed" special weapons from the cars, and you can't remove armor. For example, to start, we had three cars, two whose special "fixed" weapons are tractor beams, and the third whose special weapon is a shield. The tractor beam slows down the car in front so you have a better chance of shooting it. The shield lets you take a lot of hits without being disabled. It quickly became clear that whoever had the shielded car had a huge advantage over the 2 cars with tractor beams. You could basically shoot the shielded car forever without disabling it. As you can imagine, this caused some bad feelings!

    The obvious problem to the upgrade model is that 1) someone gets more points, 2) they upgrade, 3) this gives them a big advantage so they get still more points, and 4) they win more games get more points, upgrade more, etc. So they basically run away from the competition and become unbeatable. For example, our sneaky daughter, after racking up thousands of points, upgraded her armor a lot, making her car almost unkillable at the weapon levels of the other cars. The weaker cars had to use the dubious strategy of running around the track as fast as possible like small terrified rodents.

    So this isn't really a family game, or even a game for friends, because you can't level the playing field. Anki should develop software that allows the players to reset the cars to defaults, where everyone is even. Or better yet, allow adding and removing weapons and armor without the stupid point system. (I know the programmers put a huge amount of thought and skill into developing the point system, but that doesn't negate the fact that it makes the game play terrible.) If you could equip a car with whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, it would be easy to level the playing field. For example, you could assign handicaps to better players by giving more abilities or weapons to poorer players (like poor old dad, who, after all, foots the bill). It would be fun to play a game in which one person said, "I want to play this game with no shields, a powerful weapons, and the ability to stop dead." And another player says, I'm going for powerful shields and the ability to U turn." It's sad that such a potentially awesome game is crippled by the myopia of the developers.

    They did just release a software upgrade that does allow removing some upgrades. But the critical special weapons and armor is still not removable. I'll upgrade this review if they do a significant upgrade of the software.

    7 of 11 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    How about the kitchen table!

    • Written by from Broken Arrow

    WOW! Our kids from age 6 to 26 LOVE this game. It is so easy to learn. I fell in love with it after watching the Apple Keynote presentation this summer.

    Today we put it up on the kitchen table. Lots less dog hair collecting on the wheels now.

    We are ready for more cars and move fun!!!

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent with a lot of potential

    • Written by from Dallas

    I already had a positive customer support experience with Anki so I can check off that box. The game was easy to set up. Worked perfectly the first time. The racing mat attracts dust/hair or anything else in the air. I found myself paranoid and trying to wipe the mat a good bit. The game is very fun indeed. Can't way to add another car. The cars do spin out quite a bit and if they run off the track you need to clean the wheels before putting them back on. That is distracting and is almost like a timeout and takes out some of the excitement momentarily. All in all a very fun game with improvements to be made and potential neat ideas for future use. Packaging was excellent but too much. They could save themselves money and still be Apple-esq. I would highly recommend this for adults or kids. Great innovative product.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic family fun! Very well executed!!

    • Written by from Germantown

    Got this for my 5 year old for christmas. He loves race cars and since the time I showed him Anki on the web, he craved for it dearly and even wrote a letter to Santa requesting it — I had no choice but to go in for the splurge, with a lot of reservation about the cost firstly and also about the age appropriateness.

    The kit comes in a sturdy box that you will not throw away, as it serves as an optimum storage case for the cars and mat when not in play. The cars charge quickly (~8 min) on their respective cool looking charging pods (yes, no batteries!). When you are ready, just roll the mat out and launch the Anki drive app and you are ready to go! It is quite magical that there is no messing around with wifi set ups or bluetooth pairing — everything just works!

    And my 5 yr old loves the experience, and has figured out a lot of things himself, like keeping tabs on how many more upgrade points he might need to get his next 'weapon' and such. As for the game play, the cars put on quite a show! It is cool to watch or jump in an play.

    Currently the game play only supports a 'battle' mode with the AI or human opponent. Can't wait for the 'race' mode to be released, getting which should be as easy as any other app update. Even as such, it provides a frustration free and awesome experience and therefore, highly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome

    • Written by from Fort Saskatchewan

    Best game ever. Period. For those giving this one star because it's "boring" go back to wasting time in front of your playstation or whatever. This game takes the best of both worlds and creates an augmented reality experience that has, in my opinion, yet to be surpassed. The controls are easy to figure out, and as long as you keep the mats and tires clean the cars don't tend to spin out much. Having said that, they're not supercomputers, so one has to expect a couple of hiccups. I found these to be relatively minor and they add a bit of humor to the game. The mat rolls up for easy storage and even the box looks good! This game is a must for anyone who likes to try new things and has an imagination!

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    A genuinely new experience in gaming & interactivity

    • Written by from Stanford

    Having played video games for some 30 years, I have been thrilled by the "video game in the real world" experience offered by Anki Drive. By being able to perceive and control physical cars on a real track, this game offers more challenges, depth and nuances that I've been able to experience on a computer/console game. The differences in car characteristics call for a variety of strategies that are different for each vehicle - there is a lot more fun, replayability and depth than meets the casual eye. Needless to say, my kids are also riveted.

    All in all an immensely exciting and genuinely fresh new experience in gaming and interactivity.

    3 of 3 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Family present and big fun

    • Written by from Oak ridge

    I bought this with the two additional cars for a total of around $340. Sort of a risk as it is one game but it was a family gift and the idea was that family could gather around the track once a week for a night of racing.

    We got the cars charged up, had a little trouble figuring out how to get past the intro screens to setup the cars for a device (the trick is to get them charging and stand near them when you start up the app). Beyond that, we got things going and it was surprisingly easy to race and we had a BALL! My daughter, son and I chased around the track trying to knock each other out until there was a winner. I love this. Space is an issue so I am going to build a wooden track to set on top of a table we have. So worth it though and I look forward to having friends over.

    Another down side though, is that the charger can only charge 3 cars at once, and getting all 4 cars means one car is left out (the separate cars don't come with chargers)

    So yes, we bought it, had fun and I am looking forward to race night at our place.

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Just Wooow

    • Written by from Hombrechtikon

    Ankidrive is just amazing! Games with my sons, my girlfriend or my friends is endless fun. The functionality and the finishing of cars (i own all 4 cars), the mat and even the Stocking Box is really upper class! Thanx and go on in this direction. We can't wait an update on the app with more Racing-Modes and other cool features.
    From my sight there is only one minus, the avalaibility just in US & Canada...it was a bit of work to receive AnkiDrive here in Switzerland.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Our Kids Love This!

    • Written by from San Mateo

    Our 5 and 8 year olds love this! They can't stop talking about it - including to their friends at school. For those that might think these are the slot car type toys we played with as kids - they are not. These cars drive themselves, learn and compete and I don't think you can appreciate the technology until you see the cars stalk, evade, tractor-beam and fire all on their own. To me, a measure of a new gift/toy is how long the kids play with it/how long it holds their attention - and our kids really like this.

    4 of 5 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    AWESOME

    • Written by from Calabasas

    This thing is great! It's amazing to be able to play a video game without having to stare at a screen. I really hope that this is the direction that the video game industry is headed in.

    5 of 7 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    GREAT!

    • Written by from Danville

    Some of the one star reviews say the cars come off the track, race is coming etc. Race mode is now avalible and the track needs to be flat and cleaned to prevent cars coming off the track. I liked it and it is worth the $200

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Not as cool as you think

    • Written by from Creston

    First off, if driving in an endless circle with no real control excites you, then it is for you. If you want to spend more time retrieving the cars, cleaning the track and charging the cars; again, this is the product for you. Not worth the 340$ whatsoever. Add another $600 for two new iPods for controls and it was not a cheap toy. Even my five year old tires of playing after a few races even if it works properly. Which is almost never. At least the iPods work. Whats interesting is that you don't see a negative review on this product anywhere on the internet other than here at the apple store. Just because it made the keynote speech doesn't mean it is any good.
    Give these cars the ability to drive around my house on a course I set up, then you might have something. As it is, the game and the four cars will be up for sale on ebay very soon. Or just gathering dust under the bed.

    11 of 20 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Cool Idea But Not Ready for Prime Time

    • Written by from Greely

    We bought this cool looking game for Christmas so our family could play as a family over the holidays. We were shown the game at the Apple store where they had a demo set-up and as a father of two pre-teen girls I watched in glee as they both had fun playing a demo game. I never expected to have the pleasure of getting to buy my kids a racing set and secretly enjoy it the way dads with boys might so I rushed to buy the starter set and 2 extra cars so all 4 of us could play together.
    Unfortunately that was a plan that wouldn't work.
    First problem was that the sales person at the apple store had told us that the app would work on our IPhones (I had my new iPhone 5 with me at the time) as well as iPods and iPads. It turns out that you need very recent versions so my iPad 2, my wife's iPhone 4 and my girls 1 year old iPods don't work with it, so we all ended up playing in single user mode with only my iPhone 5 as the controller - so no family play at all.
    Next - we found that while the game was fun for the first 1 or 2 tournaments - it got pretty boring - surprisingly fast.
    You can't race and try to win the race like normal car racing - it's all about using weapons to disable the other cars ( or get disabled). This seems like a cool idea but gets much less interesting than if say - you could run others off the track using your driving skill.
    The cars charge up fast but they run out of charge equally fast so you are lucky to get 15 minutes of play before at least one car has quit ( if not all of them).
    Another problem is that while the cars are "intelligent", they can't even figure out how to straighten out when they spin off the track or even just into the middle or facing the wrong direction - so a lot of time is spent replacing the cars facing the proper direction - pretty disruptive to the game.
    Finally - the idea that you have to make any in app upgrade purchases for a game that costs $200 (plus another $140 to get 2 extra cars and have a complete 4 car set) is outrageous. You expect this from a game app that you get for free - not from a game that is so expensive to start with!
    The game has lots of potential and the recent app update that let's you stop or even spin around is an improvement but to justify the upfront purchase price - all the weapons should be included and you just would just have to configure each car before a race to make it even and fair (in other words FUN!). Also - if this won't work with older generations of iPads, iPods, and iPhones - it really limits the number of people that will have multiple controllers unless everyone is going to run out and buy a few of the latest generation iOS devices so they can play with friends or family (Apple would love this).
    So unfortunately this game is a neat idea that is fun at first try but it is too expensive, not enough fun for very long and doesn't work with many (even fairly recent) iOS devices.
    Put a tiny camera in each car to give an in car cam view, stop trying to charge extra for upgrades and add more game modes like normal racing and this game has potential but not ready yet and certainly not worth the hefty price tag it currently carries.

    5 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Love it all but the price!

    • Written by

    Awesome product, easy to set up. Follow the tutorial on the app you down load and then you are ready to play. My 7 year old uses his mini iPad and loves it. Now we just have to start earning points and getting up grades. It's a little pricey, maybe a lower price would get more to buy and better feedback of issues or to spread the word on this product. I think this is the new future of gaming and hope it keeps developing. The bad thing for the consumer is you have to have at least one expensive apple product to control it and then the starter pack $200 and then another $140 for the other 2 cars. Apple has billions and should lower the price some to get this out and going and I believe it will take off with maybe some advertising???? Just waiting for upgrades and more products and tracks etc! Just hope the price comes down!

    3 of 4 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    this is an awesome product!!!!!

    • Written by from Mill Valley

    I bought this for my 13 year old for Christmas and we all ended up playing with it. I've never seen him so engaged. We were laughing that we had never seen him clean anything before (voluntarily) but he carefully dusted down the track after each session. And his friends loved it too. They forgot all about xbox and playstation. It's brilliant that you can earn points to improve the cars, and play against a car driven by 'artificial intelligence.' He's already trying to figure out how you get access to the add on car that can only be purchased by achieving a certain level. It's like it was created by the mind of a 13 year old gamer on steroids. Fantastic toy for kids and adults!

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    AWESOME!

    • Written by from Orange Park

    I purchased the Anki Drive for my husband, age 50, for Christmas. It's unbelievable and exceeds all expectations.
    With all due respect for the reviewer that said Anki was "boring" after a few minutes, I would guess this reviewer was someone watching and not participating This is in no way boring! The cars move so fast and have so many weapons on them, participants have no time to get bored. i do not play or enjoy video games or racing (even Nascar bores me) but Anki Drive is addictive! On the "easy" settings, the cars will allow you to win races. That's kind of fun and you earn points that you then redeem to "purchase" car upgrades (no additional money required for this). Each car seems to have different upgrade potentials making each car very unique. (My first upgrade made "my" car super fast and my husband's more like an armored vehicle so it's hard to take out) We can race/battle against each other or against the car itself. My husband immediately purchased an additional car to expand the fun!
    On 'moderate" settings, the cars are out to get you and it's amazing! I read the cars scan the track 500 times per second. I can't even imagine getting to the advanced setting! Having said that, in the 'easy' mode, any small child or senior citizen can play. If they can hold an iphone/ipad, they are playing. The cars run the race on their own so even a 2 year old could "participate" in the race. AWESOME FUN! I highly recommend getting one!

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Very Addictive!

    • Written by from Buckeye

    This was a hit at Christmas. All ages were engaged. The older adults could not believe that the young family members were able to play a game that looked so advanced. I heard comments like "I feel like I am at a ride at Disney World". If you can afford to, I highly suggest you get all 4 vehicles.

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Creative and original concept-super fun for all ages!

    • Written by from Deatsville

    Bought this as a last minute, extra Christmas surprise that I hoped the entire family would enjoy. Shipping was super fast and the components are well packaged in a box you can use for storage when it is not in use. Thanks to the other reviews, which I had read prior to purchasing, I understood that each car/driver must go through an orientation process that would take at least 10 minutes each. This process was painful waiting time for the kids but critical to the success of the game and those who paid attention quickly became leaders as the real races began. Once the orientation was done, my husband and I quickly took the game away from the kids and raced against each other gleefully. The kids were begging for a turn! I can see the advantage of adding additional cars to increase the competition and family togetherness.

    The cars do run out of charge quickly, but they also recharge very speedily as well. I found that the need to recharge gave me a much needed break from the action and kept me sharper "at the wheel."

    This would also be a cool and entertaining activity at work for celebrations. I foresee an annual tournament and reigning Anki Champion. In a very technology-filled Christmas, this gift received The Most Favorite Gift Award!

    2 of 2 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Super product!

    • Written by from Prospect

    Bought it for my 5 year old. Quick and easy setup, and he was able to use it with almost no assistance from me.

    Fun, intuitive...just an all around GREAT product!

    2 of 2 people found this useful