Gamegenic has recently released the Crystal Twister, a premium acrylic dice tower. After releasing a range of card sleeves and a selection of Catan products last year, Gamegenic has turned their attention to rolling dice! The product comes unassembled, and claims to be built in 30 minutes, glue free and offer a “special and captivating dice-rolling experience”. However, is this a way to upgrade the experience of any game that features dice? Let’s find out.
The Crystal Twister is an acrylic dice tower, sat on a HDF base. Dropping your dice in the top they tumble down the stairs of the tower, roll out of the bottom and settle in the small dice tray area at the base. Falling down the tower you can hear the dice hitting each stair, as they rotate under the weight of the dice, letting them fall downwards to the next. Most dice towers have the clickety clack of the dice tumbling down the tower though.
What sets the Crystal Twister apart from most is, as the name suggests, the crystal-clear acrylic material, which the tower and even the walls of the dice tray section are made of. Being able to see the dice tumbling as you pray for a natural 20 during a D&D session almost adds to the tension as the result of the die is out of your hands, and then there is something special about throwing in a bunch of dice when playing Sagrada, Roll Player or any roll and write title – seeing them all tumble to the bottom.
As the stairs tip and rotate on an axis to let the dice fall it’s great to see that the Crystal Twister is fine with light plastic acrylic dice or heavy metal ones, with the latter falling through at a faster speed. Frustratingly, d4’s (at least the pyramid shaped ones) do occasionally get stuck on their way down. Tumbling down the Crystal Tower alongside other dice negates much of this issue – else you just have to give it a little shake to get the die to roll out onto the dice tray base. This has been the only problematic dice shape I have tested, with the rest of the regular d6-d20 set working perfectly.
Claiming that the Crystal Twister Dice Tower can be built in 30 minutes without glue is partially true. The design means that it slots together, and more importantly stays together solidly without glue. When building the tower felt a tad wobbly, though this changes when the second ring is added giving stability. There are rubber bands included to help keep it together when building before that second ring is added, and an interesting Crocodile like tool to make the job less fiddly.
The time factor however is certainly on the short side. There’s no doubt it could be built within 30 minutes, perhaps less, if the components were ready. Removing them from the acrylic punchboards is no problem at all. Conversely, peeling the protective film off of each and every piece, even with nails, was a real effort. Removing the film is a must as the acrylic pieces are almost foggy with the film, and the crystal clear look of the end result is very much worth the time spent.
Dice towers are a gaming accessory that no one really needs but a lot of people want. Hearing the dice tumble down a dice tower is a satisfying noise. Seeing them in the Crystal Twister really is a captivating thing to watch. Dropping colourful dice down and watching them bounce down the stairs, hearing them, it’s easy to forget you might care about the results. At the same time if that roll is super important you can watch it every stair (step) of the way. It was certainly longer than 30 minutes to build but once built the Crystal Twister is a solid dice tower – though you can if you want to disassemble it. It’s unlikely that you will though, it’ll sit proudly on your gaming shelf, looking great alongside your games, and be brought out at every opportunity!
(Editor’s Note: The Crystal Twister was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. The dice tower is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)