Hands-on review: GoDice

In a world where we are more connected than ever with our smart devices, startup Particula believes its innovative product GoDice is the answer to reconnecting everyone – by turning that smart device into an interactive board game.

GoDice is a set of Bluetooth-enabled smart dice that connect to a smartphone or tablet and let you play a handful of favorite board games, from Backgammon to Ludo.

Easy installation

The box contains six connected dice in their box, a charger, a stand for your smart device and a nice little travel bag. What is not included, however, are the 2x AAA batteries or a screwdriver to open the battery compartment. Speaking of batteries, it seems odd that they opted for conventional replaceable batteries instead of an internal battery that is charged via a USB-C cable.

Connecting to your device is very simple and prompts you to charge each individual dice one by one. This is done by placing the die on the number five on top of the charger. This will illuminate the die, which will begin flashing about 10 seconds later once it is fully charged. Once all six dice are charged, you’ll be presented with a mini-game on your device that shows you how everything works.

Everything feels solid and well put together, although the app felt like it needed fine-tuning for my iOS device (iPhone 11) – it felt like it was made for a bigger device – which is confirmed.

A modern take on traditional fun

There is 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 little more choice, and it seems Particula recognizes this – the app has one ‘beta’ game, as well as two others labeled ‘coming soon’. In the future, there should also be the option to create your own game. Where I can really see the GoDice taking off is through RPGs – they already provide shells for Dungeons & Dragons dice, which run long RPG calculations instantly and automatically.

I can imagine that many people struggle to see the point of playing smart dice, and I can see exactly where they come from. However, I really enjoyed myself after a few hours with the GoDice. The fact that the dice know which way to go is helpful, but the way they keep score and explain the rules is the real standout feature of this product.

One problem that kept coming up during my games was that sometimes the GoDice thought they had been thrown while I was still throwing them in my hand, ready to throw them on the table.

verdict

GoDice has given me hours of fun and rekindled my love for games from the past. They are innovative and are sure to 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 complaint many potential buyers may have is the price: GoDice is available for USD 119.95 (about NZD $195).

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