Novelty is sometimes dangerous. Dice that light up, dice boxes that have levels and snaps and foam inserts, dice trays that look like a honeycomb – they get annoying, in the way, or cheapen the product.
One example of novelty done right in my mind is glow-in-the-dark dice. Die Hard Dice is the first set I’ve had on this blog and, if the preview image isn’t a big enough spoiler, they’re pretty damn cool. Lets take a closer look.
We see the same thing we got in our other Die Hard Dice review for their Rainbow Metal Dice. Very solid, uniform, nice. Nothing crazy to them, but absolutely nothing wrong with them.
Notice that we see the exact same outer shell – I’d prefer to have the dice listed inside to help choose these guys from a shelf or a box, but so long as we steer away from visible stickers – I’m happy.
One thing about these cases I cannot overstate: the foam linings are damn nice at reducing any rattling noise and damage from the inside. So so nice and important to have.
So here we’ve got… the sticker I didn’t want. BUT It’s on the bottom – 100% okay with me. I’d prefer to see the name of the dice on one of the sides or the top, but this sticker is pretty good all around. I do not advise pulling this off. It’s just not worth it.
As we spoke in our last review – Die Hard Dice does a great job of posting all their dice measurements and weights online – I’m proud and happy to see this level of transparency, but it does step on my toes. How dare you, DHD. How dare you.
A note on these dice: they are cut similarly to their cousins – but mother of god, they are so incredibly sharp edged you really need to consider a dice tray or play mat.
Right off the bat, these things give a very ghostly vibe – the pale pearl/green contrasts very dully with the silver edges, but luckily the numbers are isolated enough to be clearly visible. They are a little small – to give enough room for the border along each face of the die, but very manageable from average playing distance.
Closer up, I’m pleased with the ample foam these things had in shipping – the box they arrived in was roughed up like it had fought in some kind of back-yard fightclub, but everything was unscathed.
Point of order – these things might look sharp, but they are sharper than they look. Three assistants died in this photography session, their blood evaporated as though the very air were blistering around them – which kept the dice very clean! Just look at that d4 – it’s a literal caltrop.
Honestly, I adore the “Gothica” product line. i think the borders and extremely flat faces look fantastic and feel great in the hand – they also sit extremely flat and even on the tabletop – which is a positive in my eyes.
So to help you gauge how these look individually, instead of spending 500 words talking about how they look, I’ve decided to pit them head-to-head against a relatively plain set of dice: the “Gemstone Vein” set from a very prolific manufacturer in china – this set brought to you by my friends over at Settlinggeek. Other than their “shock of color” they are the most by-the-book dice I own now.
And before I get any questions about why I chose exactly this set to compare them with: look at the weights and realize just how uniform and even these Gemstone Vein dice are for comparison purposes:
Dat Glo’ Tho’
A ton of products shine a UV light on their dice, snap a photo real quick, and 4 seconds later they’re completely back to normal (I’m looking at you Space Roller Dice: Also, send me a pair of d6s so I can put my words where my… mouth is?)
I set up a little experiment in my apartment on a very overcast day, which is why this review took so long to actually make. The idea being – photograph them in 3 different lighting conditions: blinds open, blinds closed, and covered in a ghillie suit and shroud of light absorbing materials.
In an overcast room, there is just the faintest glow to them. These dice have not been hit with a UV light! This is simply the glow they’ve accumulated over the course of the photo shoot.
Closing the blinds and cutting off the lights, there is still enough light to play a game, but not an incredible amount – think “comfortable late-afternoon movie” level of lighting. You can see the glow near the bottom of the dice (away from the light) is far softer than the other. The d20 I held out to the light of the window before this shot.
These, I had with a “shroud” over them – a thick blanket. This is not a black room! Notice the edge of the tin in the background. The camera picked up the glow with some teasing. These dice I did hit with a quick shot of UV light from a UV flashlight – notice the much more even tone to the glow.
This level of shine lasted approximately 9 minutes (recording and photographing in low-light conditions with a stopwatch was too annoying for me to bear). Nine minutes is not so bad, to be honest! I “charged” them for less than 3 seconds. I’m curious how the length of glow will changed as they age.
I like these dice. They stand up on their own, the glow is just a bonus. I’d like for the color to be a little more pronounced, but it would be giving up the entire glow effect – which is a moot point. If you have access to a UV lamp/torch/flashlight – it’ll make a world of difference.
I don’t always advocate rolling, but when I do… be sure you have to Drop the Die.
Review by JB Little, Follow me on twitter for more “useful” information.