E3 is all about elaborate, high-tech video games. But for many of us who spent hours playing Monopoly as kids, we know that getting enjoyment from a game can be a simple as rolling a die and moving a token piece around a board.
Start-up Dice+ intends to bridge the gap between board and video games.
The concept is straightforward. Dice+ makes a digital die that connects via Bluetooth to any tablet, smartphone, or laptop-- allowing any of these devices to become a physical game board. The company’s concept games on display at E3 ranged from Backgammon and Parcheesi, to a children’s game called “This Way Up.”
The argument for rolling a physical die is that it gives you a sense of randomness and authenticity that you otherwise wouldn’t get when the computer is doing the rolling--the outcome of the game is literally in your hands.
The die has to be tossed naturally from certain a height. A good throw causes it to light up green; an improper toss causes it to turn red. (The die can hold a charge for up to 20 hours). To keep online opponents from somehow manipulating the die’s electronics, the company programmed in an “anti-cheat” system.
The technology is platform agnostic, Dice+ says, although all its demos on display at E3 were running on Android.
Dice+ is currently seeking developers to create games for its technology. So the next time you play Monopoly or Candy Land on your tablet, you could be tossing a real die…if Dice+ can get a toy company to bite.