Well, here we are. We’ve finally reached that point where one can buy physical dice for use with iOS and Android games. Was there a gaming contingent out there who didn’t mind the loss of the tabletop gameboard, but couldn’t deal with the lack of dice? If so, I salute you. I don’t understand you, but I salute you, and I’d like to direct you to the DICE+ Bluetooth enabled die.
DICE+, from Game Technologies, is exactly what you’d expect it to be: a six sided die. It’s larger than most dice you’ve used, coming in at a full inch in height, but is still well-balanced and comfortable to use. It connects to your Bluetooth 2.1/3.0/4.0 compatible iOS or Android device; a simple process that also requires you to download the compatible Powered Board Games app, which I’ll get to in a bit. The numbers will light up blue when searching for a device, then green once the connection is made. Green turns to yellow then red to indicate dwindling battery level, which you charge via USB by sliding up the face under the 1 button.
Playing with DICE+ is oddly satisfying for those of us who grew up rolling dice with pretty much every game we played. DICE+ is not as bouncy or lively as actual dice, likely due to the size and its internal technology, but it’s still better than tapping a screen or shaking a device.
However, compatiblity with DICE+ is determined by app developers. Although a few games are compatible already (you can find them through the Powered Board Games app), six of which come with the hardware (including a nice version of Backgammon), the ones you really want to play are not: Monopoly, RISK, Yahtzee, etc. To be fair, Yahtzee would be quite expensive considering the DICE+ costs $40.00. If your game requires it, however, you can use up to seven DICE+ units simultaneously.
DICE+ comes with a carrying pouch and a rather short USB cable for charging. Not much to add to that.
Whether you need to spend $40 on a rather slick but totally unnecessary device such as DICE+ comes down to what type of gamer you are. A purist, perhaps? Or maybe you’re just tired of your iPad apps cheating with their “random” calculations. Am I, then, reviewing the usefulness of the DICE+ or whether it does what it claims. because it is a very well made and fun piece of equipment. Limited app support is both an annoyance and a blessing right now, as it forces you to check out games you otherwise wouldn’t, which is how I discovered Wings of Fire and Pirates: The Board Game, and there are couple good-looking games just ahead.
But my recommendation doesn’t really matter here. The moment you saw a picture of DICE+, you either wanted it or you laughed at the very idea. In this case, go with your gut; you were probably right. If you want to be sure, though, you could always roll for it.