Real FX takes radio-controlled cars to the next level
By Dave LeClair
June 18, 2014
Slot car tracks were a ton of fun for racing with friends, but they came with some serious problems. Cars had a habit of flying off the track, pieces took a while to set up, and they required another person to race against. A new system called Real FX aims to bring the fun we all remember from slot-based racing to the modern era, with tracks that promise to be easier to set up, cars that actually assist the driver, and even AI opponents to race with when friends aren't around.
Like slot tracks, the Real FX system uses connected pieces of track to form the course on which the cars race. However, it features some key differences, namely the lack of slots. Instead, the cars have sensors on the bottom that detect the track, the car's position on the track, and even the angle of the car.
These assists help the driver keep the car on the track, but of course, it wouldn't be much fun if it did everything, so the car can still fly off if the driver is too aggressive on a corner. Additionally, while the track is designed to keep the car in a lane, users can pull out to pass opponents at any time, something that can't be done with slot cars.
Unlike the older tracks we all remember, users don't need to stop the race to place a car back on the track. Instead, the controller features a simple switch that allows the user to gain full control of the car, and from there they can drive the car back on the track and get back to racing.
The other key thing the creators are touting is the fact that the system can be enjoyed even in the absence of another player. Users can set a second car to race on its own, allowing them to compete against it, much like how a single-player video game would be played.
Wow! Labs, the company behind Real FX, have been working on its R/C car system for six years. It's not the company's first rodeo, though, as it also designed Combat Creatures and its self-proclaimed "greatest toy in the universe." Since release, its Combat Creatures have received positive reviews, so the team does have some pedigree behind it.
The team is turning to Kickstarter to get funding for its new R/C racing system. It's still a long ways away from its £50,000 (about US$84,770) goal, with just over three weeks left in its funding period. The system is offered in two main flavors: a starter set that includes 12 pieces of track, and pro set that has 39 pieces. Starter set packages start at £80 (US$136) with two cars and two remotes, and they go up for there.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information and shows the Real FX system in use.