Monday, July 15, 2024

Roulette Dice Review: A fun alternative to dice, but not a replacement

Unique Dice wants to change your mind about the use of dice in games with their new creation, Roulette Dice. A dice that not only doesn’t look like a die, but will most likely break something if you try to roll it.

As an avid player of a number of different tabletop games out there, be it the ever-popular Dungeons and Dragons, Cyberpunk RED, or hell, Yahtzee, I’ve grown to have a fondness for dice. They feel good in my hand, there’s so many different ones, and some probably cost more than my rent which makes them feel weirdly temptating.

Roulette Dice, on the other hand, is something else entirely. As you can probably tell by the name alone, Roulette Dice doesn’t want you to try and roll for your life or your points – it wants you to spin for it instead. A wheel that, with a flick of your thumb or finger, spins until the marker stops on a number. With it being a 7-in-1 dice, the roulette takes into account several different dice you could be rolling. The full options are D20, D10%, D12, D8, D6, and D4.

On paper the thought of spinning and waiting for the marker to decide your fate sounds pretty damn fun. I used the dice for myself during several D&D sessions to see how it works, and whether it would live up to the hype conveyed via the group’s Kickstarter page.

On a design level? Absolutely. The steampunk look of the Dice Roulette is fanciful to behold, with the different colours of bronze, steel and gold perfectly complimenting the chance mechanics of a roulette wheel. The numbers are large so they can be viewed with ease, though I wish that they were a different colour from the roulette itself, just so they could pop out a little more. But even with this minor complaint, it’s hard not to enjoy the Dice Roulette when you have the option to add your own design to the roulette. It may cost a tad more, but speaking as someone who hunts for dice that I think may symbolize my TTRPG characters, an additional way to customize something is never a bad thing.

Unfortunately, this is where the positives of the Dice Roulette ends. Don’t get me wrong, on paper this all sounds wonderful. Even so, while the Dice Roulette is a more unique and cleaner way to play, it is far from a suitable replacement to dice. The first reason is that, as far as the two review copies I was sent, the roulette is undoubtedly weighted to land on a certain number. No matter how many times I spun the wheel, the marker never stopped landing on the numbers. I tested this with every D&D session I had to the point I had to go back to dice, because I was constantly rolling the same number. It should be noted that the sample I was sent used grease bearings, while the actual production will use idle bearings which will no doubt make some difference. Even so, it still utterly defeats the point of having the Roulette Dice in the first place.

If Unique Dice can fix this problem then giving this roulette version of dice a whirl just makes sense for anyone looking for something new, or a way to downsize their dice collection. Otherwise? Stick to what you have to save yourself from disappointment.

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