Hands-on review: GoDice
In a world where we're more connected than ever to our smart devices, startup company Particula believes that its innovative product GoDice is the answer to getting everyone reconnected with one another - by turning that smart device into an interactive board game.
GoDice is a set of Bluetooth-enabled smart dice which connect to a smartphone or tablet and allow you to play a handful of favourite board games from Backgammon to Ludo.
Included in the box are six connected dice in their case, a charger, a stand for your smart device and a nice little travel bag. What's not included, however, are the 2x AAA batteries or a screwdriver to open the battery compartment. While on the subject of batteries, it does seem strange that they opted for conventional replaceable batteries over an internal battery charged via a USB-C cable.
Connecting to your device is really straightforward and prompts you to charge each individual die one at a time. This is done by placing the die down on the number five face on top of the charger. This illuminates the die, which will start flashing around 10 seconds later once it's fully charged. Once all six dice are charged, you will be presented with a mini game on your device which demonstrates how everything works.
Everything feels solid and well put together, although the app felt like it needed to be refined for my iOS device (iPhone 11) - it felt like it was made for a larger device - which is confirmed.
A modern take on traditional fun
There are a range of dice games for all different ages. From ‘Funny Bugs' and ‘Shut The Pool' for kids to ‘Yatzy!' And ‘Farkle' for older children and adults.
It would be nice to have a bit more of a selection, and it looks like Particula recognises this - the app has one ‘beta' game, as well as two more that are labelled as ‘coming soon'. In the future, there should also be the option to create your own game. Where I can really see the GoDice take off is via RPGs - they already offer shells for Dungeons - Dragons dice, which run long RPG calculations instantly and automatically.
I can imagine a lot of people might struggle to see the point in playing with smart dice, and I see exactly where they might be coming from. However, I really enjoyed myself after a few hours with the GoDice. The fact the dice know which way up they're facing is handy, but the way they keep score and explain the rules to you is the real standout feature of this product.
An issue that kept reoccurring during my games was that the GoDice would sometimes think that they've been thrown when I'm still tossing them around in my hand, ready to throw them on the table.
GoDice gave me hours of fun and reignited my love for games of the past. They're innovative and will certainly help bring families together for some old-fashioned fun with a modern twist. It will be interesting to see what games are released in the future.
One gripe that a lot of potential buyers might have is the price - GoDice is available for USD$119.95 (approx. NZD$195).