[Review] Upgrade your game night with these smart GoDice

Sometimes cramming smart features into a regular old object can be a little excessive. But when we reviewed the GoCube, a smart-enabled Rubik’s cube, we actually found that some of those extra features actually make the overall gadget a cool spin on a classic toy.

Today we’re trying out something similar in the GoDice, a set of game dice that connect with your phone or tablet to play games and keep scores. Sure, you could use pen and paper, but let’s see if connecting a die to your smartphone is any fun.

Clever designs

The GoDice is actually a very sleek, well-designed product. The dice themselves are color coded and fit nicely into a plastic tube that looks really neat for what it is. The holding case for those dice separates from the charger at the bottom, which makes it easier to transport everything if you’re using the included carrying case.

That bottom charger has some contacts at the top that charges each individual die. You set the die into the charger with the 5-side facing the contacts, and press it in for about 10 seconds to fully charge it. It’s simple, but extremely functional, and that bottom charger is powered by AAA batteries. Between that and the quick dice charging time, you’re never far from a fully charged game.

Despite all the batteries and charging, the dice don’t feel weird or weighted. They’ll light up depending on the game and get tracked on your device’s screen, genuinely making them feel like a relatively modern invention despite being, well, dice.

Smart games

You’ll have to install the companion GoDice app to get the most from these dice, but once you’re set up and going you’ll find a little over a dozen games in the app, with more slated to be added in the future.

There’s a solid variety that almost anyone can enjoy, whether you’re playing classic games like Backgammon, Farkle, or Yahtzee, or searching for something a little more involved like games about building bugs or brewing potions.

The interface on the app is very well designed for what it is, too. Buttons are big and easy to see, and it’s pretty quick to setup and navigate. It’s supposed to be family-friendly, and it fits the bill. The games all have big, colorful graphics and animations that add a little extra flair to whatever you’re playing. The potion brewing game has cards that change up gameplay, for instance, and there are games like Ship Captain Crew that has you recruiting pirates and ships to explore ocean islands. It all adds a fun layer of interactivity over just simple dice rolling.

The games all range from 1 to 4 players, so you can play by yourself, play with others using the same dice, or play games where everyone shares the dice. As long as you’re following the apps, it all tracks everyone’s rolls and scores so you don’t have to bother with keeping up with it on your own.

Fun or excessive?

As a fan of casino games and RPGs, the GoDice fits my taste a little better than the GoCube did. There’s a lot of variety here, and the companion app feels much more polished than what was available for the GoCube. It is optimized primarily for tablets, however, with a slightly squished interface on smartphones.

But for however much fun it is, it is kind of pricey. The GoDice asking price is $119 (although there are frequent sales) which is quite a bit more than a regular set of dice, which you can get for around $5 or so.

Obviously you aren’t spending $100 on just the dice, though. You’re getting the app that connects to the dice and manages all your games, and for someone that likes family game night, it is really cool for that. It’s easier to clean up than monopoly, but you’re still getting pretty high quality games that’ll work for your kids, grandparents, or drinking buddies. Lots of variety here.

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

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