Product Review: ANKI Drive

The Anki Drive Starter KitI have had the privilege for the last several weeks to be a Beta tester for one of the most eagerly awaited iOS games in a long time, Anki Drive.  For those of you who missed the great demo at WWDC in June, Anki Drive is a racing game brought to the real world in the form of the cars and racetrack included in the $199 Starter Pack, along with two additional cars available at an additional charge of $59.99 each.

Game play is fast paced and a TON of fun for the whole family.  Whether playing against the computer AI characters of the cars or family members, this was a huge hit in our house.  Most of our testing was done by my son and myself, but even my daughter who isn't really into games LOVED her time playing Drive.

Basic game play involves a dog-fight between you and the other cars in your race.  As you win races with other players or the computer you gain points which can then be used to upgrade your cars.  Better weapons, higher gear ratios, and faster engines all reward your success by increasing the abilities of your car.  What makes this better than most racing games on iOS is that these upgrades stay with the cars no matter who is controlling them, so if I upgrade Boson (one of the car characters), then start playing as another car, Boson still has his upgrades when controlled by another player or the AI, making my game play all the more challenging.

Replay is very high, especially when playing against other human players, and changes based on the number of cars in the race.  What this means is even if you get your strategy down against one AI opponent, adding another optional car to the set changes game play radically even if only competing versus the AI.

At $199 the Anki Drive set is a bit spendy, but well worth the time and money if you enjoy racing and friendly competition.  I can't wait to let my friends play now that the NDA is lifted and see how much fun they have.  I'm guessing Anki will sell a few more sets just from those matches.