[This review was written some time ago, but we decided to hold it back until closer to the release of the Second Generation dice. They were planned for this month, but production issues have apparently pushed that release to early 2020. Nevertheless, here are some of Debra’s thoughts on her first-generation Doublesix Dice. -dc]
I was so excited by the concept of Doublesix dice that I decided I needed some for myself. These aren’t the Second Generation designs, those won’t be ready until at least December. Instead, I went to the Doublesixdice.com store and picked out some of the last of what Matt is calling his “generation 1.5” inventory. Many of the designs are listed as sold out, but I was able to get a six-pack of basic black with red pips for $7.50USD with $10USD for shipping, which made for a total payment of $24.20CAD. Ten dollars shipping was high for what turned out to be a padded envelope with a tracking number, but as a Canadian, I’m quite familiar with getting snowed on shipping, something I’ve had to deal with since the days when eBay was king of online shopping.
First thing I have to say about Doublesix is that Matt has some of the best and most personal customer relations that I have seen in a long time. I placed my order on May 14th. I got my confirmation email the same day, starting with the words “Hot Damn! Thank you for rolling with Doublesix Dice!”. The same email included my tracking number, and a friendly warning that “due to high demand and that fact that it’s just me inspecting each and every die” there might be a delay. I didn’t hear anything else until May 29th, when I got an email informing me that my package would be on the way to the post office soon. Since Matt both thanked me for my patience and apologized for the delay, I had to send him a return message. I told him that I expected him to be busy immediately after the end of a Kickstarter campaign. (I may have also mentioned that I missed the opportunity to contribute to said campaign.) For which I got a response where he thanked me for being so understanding. Are we sure Mr. Fleming isn’t a Canadian in exile?
After that, things started happening fast. My parcel got to the Canadian border by June 3rd and arrived at my mailbox by June 5th. Inside of the padded envelope was a handsome black bag containing not only my 6 black dice, but also 2 “bonus dice”, one green and one pink. The extra dice are slightly bigger, but otherwise they are all excellent quality. The first thing I noticed is how cool it is to have a 12 sided die with pips instead of numbers, even though the 6 especially just barely fits in the space provided. The dice also look and feel great: on a table, in your hand, and as they roll. Matt Fleming was right. Why would anyone want to roll cubes when they could have this?
But of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating; and the proof of the dice is in the gaming. And the best way to test D6 vs DD6 is with a classic game of Yahtzee. I started off by playing 12 games. I played 6 games with normal D-6s, three rolling from my hand and three using a dice cup. (For the record, I pour my dice out of the cup, I don’t use the slam down the cup and lift method.) Then I played the same 6 games using the DD-6s.
Even though twelve is a small sample size, I did notice a few interesting things. When I was using the standard D-6, I got my “upper half” bonus in almost every game. Using the DD-6, I only got my bonus once. On the other hand, I got more Yahtzees using the DD-6s.( Although I must confess that Yahtzee is the first square I blank out if I can’t play.) In fact, the only time I got the bonus for rolling more than one Yahtzee in one game was when I was using the DD-6. But remember boys and girls, correlation does not equal causation.
Now, on to my more subjective observations. The standard D-6 dice made a lot of noise, and bounced off the sides of my tray, but I always had the sense that most of the decisions about what side would come up had already been made the moment they left my hand or cup. On the other hand (no pun intended), the DD-6 dice would visibly continue rolling after the hit the tray. Both types of dice seemed equally likely to get lost, from escaping the tray, not getting put into the cup with the others, or not leaving the cup during a roll. The DD-6s would do things that are almost impossible for a regular D-6, like rolling to a different number while I was moving it, or landing off center. And of course the biggest problem with the latter is that, when you see a die that is almost, but not quite, on the number you really need, the temptation is there to give it a nudge instead of rerolling.
Now, you probably wouldn’t want to replace every D-6 you own with a Doublesix; especially not at their current prices. I would really like to see Doublesix get a partnership with retailers to avoid those heavy delivery fees. But if you’re a dice addict like me, you’ll probably still want to get a few to try.