So long, Hot Wheels. You just got lapped by Anki Drive, the new iPhone-controlled car game that was unveiled at the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
In this exhilarating game, several players control different toy cars on a plastic track that can roll up and go anywhere. The track appears to be painted with a pattern that is readable by a tiny infrared camera on the bottom of each car. Using the pattern, the cars know exactly where they are on the track, and even where the other cars are.
The iPhone app, which also works on iPads and iPod Touches, controls the cars. There are two main buttons: a throttle that swipes up or down, and a weapon button that drivers tap to shoot straight ahead. Enough hits will disable the vehicle in front of yours, allowing you to take the lead.
Rotating the iPhone left or right steers the car, though it can't leave the painted-on borders of the track. Keeping the device straight keeps the car going round and round the track in roughly the same lane. Sometimes, the cars spin off the track or get stuck, but setting them back on the track in a hurry is part of the fun.
Scoring enough hits or wins earns you points, which you can use to upgrade your car with better weapons or shields. It's like a video game in that way, except it all plays out in the real world.
PLOT Start your iPhone-controlled engines.
DETAILS $199.99 starter kit comes with two cars; each extra car costs $69.99
BOTTOM LINE This car game leaves all others in the dust.