A light show for every crit: How good are the $39 Pixels “smart” dice?

Oh, Kickstarter: the land of wild, wacky promises and broken dreams, where products that could’ve been imagined during a productive shower or a psychedelic trip can become a reality, logistics and physics be damned. As we’ve written and seen, however, it’s a dangerous space for consumers, so much so that Kickstarter warns customers that it’s not technically a “store.” You give Kickstarter money, and it gives you the potential to receive goods or services.

Hence, we prefer to test a mid-Kickstarter product before telling you about it, and that’s the case for Pixels Dice, as seen in the above shiny-and-alluring images. Full of sensors, LEDs, and Bluetooth functionality, these dice sounded like the smartest addition to a tabletop game I’d ever seen when they contended for the 2019 Hackaday Prize. Upon getting my hopes up, I emailed their creator a cold-call request: whenever Pixels Dice actually exist, I want to test their sales pitch.

One very long year later, a package showed up at my door, and it contained two prototype, 20-sided Pixels Dice—currently priced at $39 per die, or $199 for a seven-dice set. Now that the project’s Kickstarter is live, and (as of press time) teetering towards $3 million in sales, I wanted to share my prototype testing experience, along with my somewhat optimistic take on what to expect from the final version, currently estimated to ship in “March 2022.”

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