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Take a chance with dice of PCalc

  Dice by PCalc

Screenshot of Josh Centers

James Thomson, developer of PCalc, is known for overengineering his popular and long-lasting calculator app. When Apple announces a new technology, whether it's watchOS, tvOS, 3D Touch, Siri Shortcuts or ARKit, you can be sure PCalc will be among the first to adopt it.

Now, Thomson has given the same level of extraness to random number generators with Dice of PCalc for iPhone and iPad ($ 1

.99). Dice apps are nothing new – the App Store is full of them – but you won't find another with almost the same level of detail.

Dice is as skeuomorphic as an app can be. You are presented with a wooden box, where you can drop any combination of multi-page dice you want. Anyone familiar with RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons will immediately recognize the designations-D4 for a four-sided door, the D6 for the traditional sexual nozzle and so on up to the D100, which is useful for generating percentages.

The dice roll around with realistic physics. Press a button to drop a door on the screen and see it scroll and jump until it reaches its final result. You can flip a door to rotate it or shake the device to rename all the dice on the screen. Of course, you can press the reroll button, but it's not that much fun.

I am constantly impressed with Dice's stability and performance. I've dropped dozens of dice on the screen to see if I could crash the app, and I haven't yet managed that.

Fortunately, you don't have to post dice results as you do in the real world: the app does it for you, along with listing how many and what dice you rolled. You can also add modifiers to your dice rolls, such as +1 or -1, which are useful for RPGs that require them. You can also do ADV and DIS rolls, a type of roll used in later editions of Dungeons and Dragons, where you roll two dice and take higher or lower results. You can set it yourself so that the extra ADV / DIS nozzle has a different look than the main nozzle.

 Using Modifiers in Dice

One thing I want Dice to do is add up the dice results of dice types (Thomson told me this is slated for a future release). For example, if you are playing a game where you have to throw a D20 to find out if you hit an enemy and then 2 D10s to figure out how much damage has been done, it would be good if you could roll all these on one time to save time. The best way I have found to do is to press the buttons to release the individual dice on the screen. Dice will count several dice of the same type that are deleted in sequence – then click Clear to remove the disc.

You can also store multiple sets of dice to roll with pressure, but it takes a couple of cranes to access them. I'd like to see a way to pinch stored dice sets to the main screen (again, Thomson told me this is in the works). The latest version of Dice works with Siri Shortcuts, so you can make dice sets shortcuts, which you can then activate with Siri by saying something like "Hey Siri, roll a D20" to throw a D20 door at any time. [19659004]   Dice set in PCalc

You can choose from a variety of dice styles, all of which look good. The standard style is steel, but you can switch between topaz, ruby, plastic, and even a lava style. Dice also offers a dark mode that switches the wood background to pure black.

This video shows what Dice of PCalc can do.

I am a bit surprised that Dice does not do It does not include an enlarged reality, given all the AR related bells and whistles in PCalc. It would be cool to be able to roll virtual dice on a real table. Thomson told me it would be difficult to pull off since the dice models are so large, so you may have to settle down to roll the dice in your yard instead of on your table.

For $ 1.99, Dice of PCalc is a nice little tool to stay around when you need to roll the dice. And even if you never need it, you have to get $ 1.99 worth of fun just playing with the dice.

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