It’s 2022 and Bluetooth is in almost everything. The last frontier is, of course, tabletop gameplay, a niche that will hopefully outlast the smart device takeov- oh, never mind! GoDice is the latest in smart gaming, merging physical dice with digital software. With 14 games to choose from (and more to be released), there’s something for everyone. Put down your GoCube, prepare to pick up six smaller cubes, and read our GoDice review.
It’s easy to notice the thought put into the packaging. After you’ve slipped off the nice matte white sleeve, the box within is held together by magnets. It’s a nice touch that makes it much more enjoyable to open. The case holding the dice is simple, with a clear plastic tube to protect the dice and a solid white base for charging. Left in the box is a blue felt pouch, a stand for your tablet, and a manual guiding you on how to start playing. What’s conspicuously omitted from this ensemble is any kind of charger; unfortunately, that’s because the GoDice case is battery powered (also not included).
With your GoDice out of the box and batteries plugged in, connecting the dice to your tablet is a breeze. It takes around 12 seconds for a die to fully charge (indicated by a flashing green light), within which time it will pair automatically to the tablet. The only downside is needing to individually charge each one, which takes around a minute. I know – shocking.
GoDice: Dice quality
Now the star of the show – the dice themselves. Despite being 100% plastic, they’re great quality. The faces are smooth, there are no blemishes or nicks, and the distinct colours ensure they stand out from each other. The face used for charging (the five-dot side) blends in well too. Without careful inspection you’d never know these things were packed with tech.
If you do tend to scrutinise however, there are a few little flaws. The printed-on colours, while vibrant, are often slightly misaligned with the dots, making some faces look a tad messy. In addition, the charging side has a noticeable line where the face has been stuck back on.
After throwing them around a bit, the GoDice have a nice feel to them. They’re comfortably weighted, and sound great when tossed on a table (the ultimate test of a good die). The case is fantastic too, holding them all securely with very little rattling. Like the packaging, the case also has a magnet holding the pieces together. In order to ensure the dice don’t escape their housing, the case also has a clever little quirk that prevents it being opened unless held in a certain way. No wild dice knocking around in your rucksack!
During gameplay, the dice work seamlessly. They orient almost immediately (bar a little bug mentioned in the next section) and the inner tech is weighted evenly around the dice, preventing any bias towards faces. The lights are handy to indicate which dice are which when you’ve got all six on the go, as well as indicating the charge. Speaking of which, the battery life of each dice is slightly strange. Despite charging each one to 100%, they each appear to lose battery at slightly different rates. Unless you’re playing for two hours or more, it won’t impede your game sessions. Still, it’s something to be aware of.
The range of games available in the GoDice app is modest. However, considering how recently it was released, it’s a solid selection. They’re easy to engage with, sporting unique art styles and fun visuals that enhance the standard boardgame experience. It’s this that makes the GoDice so unique – being able to just pop down your tablet and start playing. Not only does it make it easy to get going with a game, but it means you can play essentially anywhere you can put a device down. Don’t faff around with balancing Ludo pieces in the back of a car – just whip out the tablet and roll some dice!
I’ve played (almost) every game available, and there’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy. Practice your maths while defusing a bomb in Bomb Squad, or horde treasure from your mates in Ship Captain Crew. Even the games aimed at kids will provide you with entertainment; my friends and I spent at least half an hour on Pig, racing to a spaceship while answering maths questions. There’s even a calculator for Dungeons and Dragons players, which lets you customise your dice with different shells and roll to calculate your moves!
It’s not perfect. For games where you’re allowed to reroll a limited number of times, the game won’t count your rethrows. It’s also pretty easy to trick the dice by just turning them over in your hands and placing them down as you like. Of course, these criticisms are more about the players than the game, but it would be nice to have features included to prevent cheating. There are a few bugs too – we ran into an issue where the onscreen dice didn’t stop rolling, only orienting when the dice were thrown again.
GoDice review verdict
Overall, the GoDice perform about as well as six Bluetooth-enabled dice possibly could. The connection and orientation is almost seamless, with a ten-second charge lasting roughly two hours. The design of each die leaves a little to be desired, but short of individual scrutiny you certainly won’t notice the imperfections.
The greatest criticism is the relatively small range of games; however, considering how recently GoDice was released, it’s not bad. Big-name games such as Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders would be a perfect fit in the GoDice repertoire. We can only hope that they’re on the way. So, if you’re looking to take game nights to the next level or entertain your kids for the summer, GoDice are a great choice.
The GoDice look and feel great, but are let down by a small pool of games to choose from
- Easy to set up
- Good quality dice and case
- Small range of games
- Battery life varies per die
- Buggy games