Greetings to all readers of the Gumbo, Bryan is back, this time with a look at an interesting slate of gaming accessories for tabletop fans. Our thanks to C4 Labs for providing review copies of their products.
Have you ever come across an item and you didn’t know you really wanted until you saw it or had it physically in your hand? That was the experience I had recently when we received a few items for review from C4 Labs.
C4 Labs sent us three things: a Lexique Explorers Pack, a stylized dice tower, and a dice container. While I will go over all three items, I will spend most of this review going over the Lexique Explorers Pack as they just finished their kickstarter for it late last year. We will cover as many aspects of the Explorer’s Pack as we can, from the design of the pack, the overall pack construction, and finally, its usefulness and pricing.
Let’s dive right in! (If you prefer video, Bradly posted an unboxing and overview of the Explorer’s Pack here.)
The Lexique Explorer’s Pack: What We Liked
Right off the bat, we’ll tell you that the overall design and appearance of the Explorer’s Pack is pretty awesome. The laser engraving on the outside comes in a few designs. The one we were sent, which you can see in the picture above, is one which I really enjoyed.
There are also three different fabric colors to choose from: the above grey colored fabric, a black fabric, and a dark brown fabric. The whole Explorer’s Pack is about the size of a hardcover book, a nice size for traveling. Let’s look at the inside of the Explorer’s Pack next.
As we look inside, we see a continuation of good design. The dice tray and dice tower, which is an add on for the Explorer’s Pack, fit neatly inside the casing. There aren’t any weird bulges or misfitting pieces.
Pulling the inside pieces of the case aside, we get a better look at the components. The lighter wood with darker velvet is a good look. I really liked the mix of dark and clear material used in the dice tower. As can be shown, there is a place for everything a tabletop player needs. The pack has compartments for dice, cards for casters, a spot for figures/extras, and even a white board in the back. There is also a pocket inside the cover for pencils if you get the dice tower add-on, as it takes the space they designed for pencils. The dice tray, while not unique, is well made, has the same light/dark aesthetic. When I first opened the case, there were no loose, broken, or missing pieces. Overall, it is well designed and put together.
The Lexique Explorer’s Pack: What We Didn’t Like
We would be remiss in not discussing a few issues we noticed. First, and this is an easy fix (but still annoyed me), the zipper will disappear into the side of the case when it is fully opened.
This can be easily solved by attaching something to extend the tab, but it was annoying. Also I do worry a little about the general wear and tear that will happen to any object that travels a lot. Last, the corner joints on the inside box are a point of failure for any wooden object.
This Explorer’s Pack we received had no problems at all and based on how competent the general assembly is I would not expect this jointing to be an issue, but I have seen it be a problem with other companies. The largest issue I had was the dice tower that comes as an add-on to the Explorer’s Pack was a little unstable. I wanted a way to clip or lock it into the dice tray to help stabilize it.
As you can see, even the negative things we found were fairly picayune. Overall, the Explorer’s Pack is truly a good quality production.
And Even More from C4: Dice Towers & Dice Cases
The other items we received for review from C4 with the Explorer’s Pack were a stylized dice tower and a small dice travel container. Let’s take a closer look at the beautiful dice tower.
This piece also checked a lot of boxes of good design. Dice towers are hardly a new idea but I feel the effort put into making it look like an actual tower warrants mention and is an aesthetic choice I have always liked. The material is fairly thick and there were no problems with function. Also this kind of tower, even with a different design, looks good on a table.
Nex up is the dice container we received with the other items. The engraving is nice and the overall design is well done. The size is very handy, and when you open up the inside, you will find compartments for your dice, enough to store eight different kinds. As a design choice, C4 gives you many different colors to choose from for the bottom of the box. (Shown above is the emerald green.), plus a few different types of designs for the cover. While I personally don’t need this kind of item, I can say that if you are looking for one you can do far worse than picking one up from C4 Labs.
Thoughts and Conclusions
Overall I feel the products we received were good quality. The design and creation was well done and they are more than functional for their role. The Explorer’s Pack is something I would recommend to anyone who plays tabletop and needs a space saving/all in one solution for their gaming needs. This goes doubly true for people who use DnD Beyond or similar service to digitize their character sheets.
Now I will bring up the price of the Explorer’s Pack is a little more than we expected, as the base case starts at $75 and goes to $95 with add-ons. This will be an issue for people who are on a budget but I will say it is worth the price if you are looking to upgrade from a backpack and loose paper setup or just want to have everything in one convenient place for a quick grab and go when headed to game night from work. The stand alone dice tower is well worth buying if you need/want one and they do have a large variety of styles to choose from.
So if you find you need a gift for the tabletop person in your life or maybe want to add some style to your table, go by C4 Labs and see what they have. Their website lists a number of items for the budget conscious gamer under $50 and $15.
Always remember to have fun,