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(Pocket-lint) - Anki Overdrive launched last year and freed slot car racing from its slots. At the same time it turned simple racing into augmented video game battles.

Its premise is simple, connect the flexible track to make a circuit and the robot cars will automatically keep themselves on course. This leaves the player free to use the smartphone app to control the speed, steer and trigger various weapons and attacks.

The action happens on the living room carpet but it’s extended to a video game experience with the sound, visuals and campaign modes offered on a smartphone or tablet screen.

As you’d expect, it's been very popular with families. However, the launch version of the software had a few shortcomings. After the Team Play addition of version 1.2, it wasn't until the latest 1.3 update that Anki Overdrive became the perfect family friendly racing experience.

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Here's why...

READ: Anki Overdrive review: App-controlled car racing fun for all the family

Anki Overdrive v1.3 changes

The first big change is the addition of two modifiers across the different game modes. Balance cars makes a huge difference to families as it ensures a level playing field for all the racers.

Previously, if someone had played a lot of Anki Overdrive and upgraded their car’s performance and weapons it would be almost impossible to beat them with a un-upgraded car. Now, with balance cars mode selected this means that family members of different abilities still have a chance of beating even the most experienced of racers.

The next addition to Anki Overdrive is a one shot kill modifier. This takes its queue from Golden Eye’s classic golden gun mode where all it takes is a single bullet to bring down your opponent.

Turn this modifier on during a race and it creates a knife edge competition. Whereas previously a lead car could preserve its damage and armour, now anyone can be taken down with one shot. This means that the lead changes hands much more often. For a family it simply opens the playing field to more potential winners.

Like Mario Kart’s blue shell power, this might be unpopular to experts who are used to leading out a race from the front, but for those of us who bring up the rear, like in Mario Kart, it means we have a chance to disrupt the race and get in on the action.

The final change in the latest update for Anki Overdrive helps families reduce the setup time for each race. Once the track has been laid and scanned you don’t have to rescan the course for subsequent battles.

This solves the problem of having to scan a course before each and every race. This really didn’t make sense if you hadn’t changed the course so it’s good to see this tweak enhance the experience.

Combine these new updates to the app with various bundles and discount deals at retail and Anki Overdrive is the perfect racing experience for families.

Writing by Andy Robertson. Originally published on 19 April 2016.