• 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

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Control issues

    • Written by from Marysville

    Every step was followed to the letter in initial setup and I also consider myself a very tech savoy individual in the troubleshooting aspect. I've seen a few reviews stating that their cars just keep spinning and leaving the track, this is exactly the problem we are having. We were so excited to receive and play this game and have essentially "parked" it because we can't figure out how to play for more than a minute without things going crazy. I will be sending back if I can not find a solution on a forum soon. Track clean, wheels clean, track flat, cars charged and everything still goes haywire?

    1 of 3 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

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Major disappointment

    • Written by

    Game concept and the look are really cool cost is higher for the quality of play (or lack there of). I can not believe that folks on here are giving this game 5 stars. What destroys this from being a great game, is your cars constantly are running off the track. You are lucky if you can make it 2 laps with out them running out of bounds. All you hear from your phone is "please return car to the track".

    4 of 8 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Not that great..

    • Written by from Burbank

    First things first. I see the draw of such a product, but having played with it for about 2 weeks I think it is not that great. Here is why: The batteries drain very quickly, which is not surprising since they are tiny. Two matches and it starts telling you that the battery is low. If you cannot wrap the match up you will get disconnected from it. They do charge rather quick though. 10 mins or so.
    Many times at least one of the cars signals that it is off the race track, even though it is still driving on it - and more often than not it won't "normalize", resulting in the only option, which is to end and restart the match.
    Quite annoying. Many times the arc of fire is inaccurate. And the race track smells pretty bad (chemical) and still does so after two weeks, even though I aired it outside. I have 2 cars, being the starter kit and the cars bump each other already pretty often. I can only imagine with 3 or more it turns into a wrecking derby..which disrupts the game.
    This game is a good start perhaps, and when everything works it is fun but not worth $200. I will return it.

    26 of 46 people found this useful