Velan and Mattel Launch Mixed Reality Racing Game Hot Wheels: Rift Rally for iOS and PS

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Film studio Velan And blur disclosure Hot Wheels: The Rally CrackedA new mixed reality racing experience is coming to your living room.

You play the game by using the game controller or iPhone screen to control the car, and then you watch the game through the screen of an Apple iOS device or a Sony PlayStation console.

The game came out on March 14th and I received a hands-on demo from the team at Film studio Velan. It reminds me of old toy games like Skylanders, which the founders of Velan worked for in a previous company, as well as more recent games. Mario Kart Live: Track at home games that Velan worked on with Nintendo. And it lets you drive around your living room in a mixed reality experience.

Dave Pokress, marketing director at Velan Studios, said in an interview with GamesBeat: “We really feel like we have a lot more work to do with the digital physical game. “There is some unfinished business that we would like to explore with this technology. We want to explore new fantasies. That’s where Hot Wheels: Rift Rally comes in. It’s a new fantasy of being behind the wheel of your favorite Hot Wheels vehicle.”


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The standard version of Hot Wheels: Rift Rally is $130.

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally has the quality of an A-class racing game that you can watch on your iPhone or the big screen for PS4 or PS5. And Velan has combined that with patented RC mixed reality technology that lets you drive a toy car with a large camera on it. That camera transmits video back to your console, and this is mixed into a 3D game image that looks much better than the toy and its own view.

While toy cars move around your living room or kitchen in a relatively normal fashion, you’ll see one of any number of Hot Wheels racing cars in the ultimate racing experience, burning the track. , perform jumps, spin, drift, or perform stunts that appear on the screen where you are watching the game. It is available for pre-order right now.

Karthik Bala, CEO of Velan Studios, said: “Our mission at Velan has always been to create groundbreaking games that bring a sense of wonder to players. “Our platform that combines digital and physical gameplay has taught us a lot about the mixed reality racing genre we invented, which we used to bring to life. transformative new experience for Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.”

chameleon car

Hot Wheels: Chameleon Rift Rally.

The base unit is a Chameleon RC car with a large 1080p camera sticking out of the roof. It provides a third person perspective that makes the game so engaging.

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally puts players behind the wheel of their favorite Hot Wheels cars using Chameleon RC vehicles, which can be digitally converted into more than 140 vehicle variations, including seven other Bone Shakers together. This includes iconic Hot Wheels like Twin Mill, Bone Shaker, Mach Speeder, Gotta Go and more fan-favorite games; as well as some of the original Rift Rally vehicles. There are 22 cars at launch, and you can see what they look like when scrolling through the cars on the screen.

View of your screen in Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.

Pokress says Hot Wheels is a perfect franchise for the game because it’s at the heart of stunt car and racing culture.

Dan Doptis, game director, said in an interview: “As kids, we all really imagined what it would be like to be able to shrink down and get inside the little Hot Wheels car. own and drive around in it. “The Chameleon truly represents the RC car that has the potential to be all that surrounds it. So it’s part of the technology, the car of the future. It has the ability to self-adjust and emulate other cars.”

You can drive through the Rift portal to get points in Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.
You can drive through the Rift portal to get points in Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.

In Hot Wheels: Rift Rally, players have two ways to play. In campaign mode, players set up Rift Gates to create the ultimate mixed reality track and explore different challenge maps where there are multiple challenges to complete and races to race. In Stunt mode, players drive and stunt Chameleons without portals as they chain slides, wheels and burnouts together to score high and earn rewards.

“It turns your whole house into a playground and through this stunt mode you can have a lot of fun while experiencing the joy of driving,” Doptis said. “We also have different radio stations or music playlists that you can choose from to match the mood. My dog ​​loves to chase cars around.

Chris Down, design director at Mattel, said: “Hot Wheels: Rift Rally unlocks an exciting new kind of creative play for Hot Wheels fans by connecting physical and digital gameplay in a way we have never seen before.

You can customize the look and performance of your cars to bring your flair to the game. Performance customizations in the game translate to real-world Chameleon behavior — for example, increased performance boost means Chameleon accelerates faster in the living room.

“If you have a higher top speed, the car will move faster. If your brakes are better, the car will stop faster,” says Doptis.

Players can play alone or by connecting multiple Chameleons on separate devices with cross-platform gameplay. Players can also play co-op with friends on PlayStation using a single Chameleon, where the action is transferred to different controllers.

“A lot of the mechanics in our game use what we call Rift energy. The rift energy is what allows you to do things like accelerate,” says Doptis. “You get it by doing drift and burnout or overtaking other cars, and then you use it to do stunts and acceleration.”


Chameleon RC cars can race around your floor.
Chameleon RC cars can race around your floor.

In the demo, I quickly found that the car running around your floor doesn’t do exactly what the car on your screen does. The movement of the car on the screen is magnified, but the position of the car on the track is transferred quite accurately. The remote control car doesn’t do things like burn rubber like the car on the screen or jump when going under the gate like the car on the screen.

“It’s a digital transformation,” Pokress said.

Doptis added, “You can always think of the Chameleon as if it could create Matrix in your world. It can expand your world or become different cars digitally. When we do things like burnout, we get to see the whole car so we can do things like donuts now. The car just sat there in the real world. But through the lens of the game, you get the illusion of burnout. We’ve added a game layer to the world.”

It’s not too difficult to control a car with a controller or iPhone while looking at the screen instead of the car. You can perform 20 different stunts with eight different driving styles. The vehicle can connect to your home Wi-Fi for easier video transmission.

“That thing was a console with wheels,” said Doptis. “There’s a lot going on inside of it.”

digital collectibles

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally Collector’s Edition.

Velan has also produced some of its own cars that it calls hobby cars in digital form.

In my opinion, one of the great things about this whole idea is that it avoids the problem of physical inventory inflation. That’s what killed Activision’s Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Warner Bros.’ Lego size. They made a lot of versions of the toy that retailers could sell. At first it was great when the kids collected it all. But as the number of toys increases, retailers don’t know which ones to keep in stock, and it’s easy to fall into excess inventory, which can be very costly.

With this design, Mattel only retails one or two cars and you customize everything through digital versions. That’s much more manageable, Pokress said.

“Velan Studios’ innovative game design and technology introduces groundbreaking play experiences to Hot Wheels fans by transforming their homes into the ultimate Hot Wheels racetrack for their digital auto collection. theirs,” said Mike DeLaet, global head of digital games at Mattel, in a statement. .

This is what you see on screen in Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.

Hot Wheels: Rift Rally will launch on the App Store for iOS and PlayStation Store on March 14, 2023. Players can currently pre-order the Standard Edition for $130 or the Collector’s Edition for $150. la at and coming soon to GameStop.

Included with the purchase are a Chameleon RC vehicle, four Rift Gateways to build the track, and a charging cable. The game software will be downloaded for free. The Collector’s Edition includes a special edition Chameleon with black trim and gold accents and a limited edition McLaren Senna Hot Wheels die-cast car in the display case. The battery lasts about two hours and it takes two or three hours to charge.

It’s another innovative title from Velan Studios, founded in Troy, New York, in 2016 by industry veterans Guha and Karthik Bala to focus on magical games. Over the past two years, Velan’s team of veteran game makers have released Knockout City and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. The Bala brothers started Vicarious Visions in a basement when they were in high school. They became part of Activision and worked for decades on titles like Guitar Hero and Skylanders.

“A lot of things set us apart as a studio that have always pushed the boundaries of digital and physical gaming,” Pokress said. “Innovating and coming up with new ways of playing is always the challenge we set for ourselves. And we think there’s something really special about the physical and the digital.”

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