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Real FX takes radio-controlled cars to the next level

By

June 18, 2014

The Real FX R/C car system works like a slot track, but with some major advantages

The Real FX R/C car system works like a slot track, but with some major advantages

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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.

Source: Wow! Stuff, Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.   All articles by Dave LeClair
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5 Comments

I think that is way cool and has a potential to be a lot of fun.

BigWarpGuy
19th June, 2014 @ 05:46 am PDT

Scalextric Digital have something almost as exciting. 6 car racing, which can be programmed to act as ghost cars for single play. Contrary to your article, Scalextric digital cars can overtake. However, they do require a particular section of track to do so. Even though there are only two slots, 6 cars can race at the same time. You can also handicap players, have timed pit stops, and a whole host of additional features. Watching the video of Real FX, it looks pretty slow and tame compared to Scalextric.

It's a great idea, but it's not significantly better than Scalextric Digital or as exciting.

The Master
19th June, 2014 @ 08:28 am PDT

Looks like the cars are one component, and the track is the other.

Seems like a special pattern layout. If you scan, & then you could print your own layout then the costs would be lower. But then perhaps that is the building block that the inventors wish to keep control, and of course profit from.

So what is the range? Imagine building a very large gymnasium size layout.

Cool, and well done.

Bob Flint
19th June, 2014 @ 09:42 am PDT

One word - WANT!

James Smith
19th June, 2014 @ 03:12 pm PDT

Disclaimer: I am the creator of the Kickstarte project for RealFX Racing!

Hi all - thanks for the kind comments. We are excited about the campaign & delighted that Gizmag have featured us.

Just to address the comments regarding Real FX vs Scalextric, they are quite different beasts. Sure. Scalextric goes fast, but you could say artificially fast. The cars in RealFX run at scale speeds of up to 200 miles an hour, which is more realistic. Realism is key to what we have strived to achieve with our system (hence the name ;-). One of the main comments people who have played with it during demonstrations tend to tell us is that they love how it feels like really driving. You have to manage your speed, steering & racing line, control drifting round corners, or spin off if you get it wrong. It is really absorbing.

Of course, if you do spin off you can then just drive straight back on with a quick press of a button to switch the car into normal R/C mode.

Its also very quick to assemble the track, easier to store away, and a far more affordable system to build out.

graemetaylor
20th June, 2014 @ 03:02 am PDT
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