One of the most exciting aspects of Anki Drive's robotic race cars is that much like a video game, each vehicle can be upgraded with different boosts and items over time. Now, thanks to Anki's first major software update, the cars can get more goodies than ever. Indeed, the update lets each miniature racer get up to 20 upgrades across four different dimensions -- engine, combat, energy and chassis -- along with weapons and swappable items. Some of the latest tricks include a Reverse Drive that prompts the car to turn around and drive against the flow of traffic, a Kinetic Brake that brings it to a screeching halt sending the car behind you flying past, an electromagnetic pulse that'll send out a blast radius and a simple horn that pushes cars out of your way.
Additionally, you need not worry about being stuck with an upgrade you didn't think was so great -- the new update also lets you swap out upgrades if you so wish. This way, you can explore many different progression paths. There's a little bit of a penalty when trading a skill back in, so you'll likely need to keep earning points to try out all the different possibilities. Still, the upgradeability of Drive is what sets it apart from ordinary toys. "It's been a great holiday season for us," Anki co-founder Mark Palatucci tells us. "Over 42 million laps have been driven on the Anki track in the US and in Canada... [With the update,] we're able to make the game significantly more fun, much more strategic and add many more dimensions to the gameplay." So if you're one of the lucky ones to score an Anki Drive over the winter break, go on and head on over to the App Store to get the first of many software updates that Anki hopes will keep the game fresh and exciting. As a gentle reminder of what Anki Drive is, we've included Anki's promo video after the break.