So the proofs have come in, and as promised a much more affordable version of this deck is now available at DriveThruCards! The base price is now a mere $14 (plus shipping), so is a much more reasonable option – especially for anyone based in the Americas. You can find the product page here:- https://www.drivethrucards.com/product/360899/Solo-SciFi-Sidekick
Now that I’ve received my deck and given them a thorough look, I can give you a fair comparison between these and the pricier boxed version available from PrinterStudio.
Before I go into more detail, let me say that it is a fine product, entirely legible and completely fit for purpose – you can happily have these at your side whilst playing through your latest adventure
This image shows the difference between the thickness of a deck from DriveThruCards agains PrinterStudio:-
The deck from DriveThruCards is thinner than the PrinterStudio – as a bundle it doesn’t make a great deal of difference, but you can feel when holding a single card. The DriveThruCards flex easier – it makes them shuffle very well before being “broken in”, but I’m more concerned about them getting folds if I’m clumsy with them. The PrinterStudio cards however feel extremely sturdy – the slightly thicker card gives them a much more premium feel. First point to PrinterStudio.
This image shows the difference in card printing between the decks:-
The DriveThruCard printing process is slightly darker than the PrinterStudio cards – this makes the green deeper than my original designs. This isn’t a huge difference (and definitely not worth reworking all my art for a minor difference in hue), but may be an issue if they contained multi-colour art. Also, the DriveThruCards have a bit of colour-bleed around the grid design – not noticeable in normal use, but on close inspection it can be visible.
The card cutting also seems less tolerant – some of the cards are slightly off-centre, which wasn’t an issue with PrinterStudio. It is never far enough off to lose any information however.
Second point to PrinterStudio.
Well, with PrinterStudio you get the lovely, gloss, printed tuck box. This is not provided with a DriveThruCards purchase – however for an extra $1 you can get a clear plastic deck box to protect them. Nice, but not half as attractive on your games shelf.
Third point to PrinterStudio.
DriveThruCards – $14
PrinterStudio – $44 (at current exchange rate)
Fourth point goes to DriveThruCards, possibly with bonus points!
Overall, the PrinterStudio deck is much higher quality, and the tuck box is great. But that quality does come at a price. There is nothing really wrong with the DriveThruCards option, it’s just that the PrinterStudio cards are better. PrinterStudio deck is around $44 (at current exchange rate), vs the DriveThruCards $14.
For most people, I would recommend getting the DriveThruCards version, as including shipping it is significanly cheaper – my proof deck came with no additional customs charges to get into the UK, so I imagine it will be cheaper for everyone.
Basically, you can buy either one – the “pros” of the PrinterStudio copies are balanced out by the price of DriveThruCards, in my opinion.
If you do end up buying a set, please leave a comment here or review on DriveThruCards, I’d love to hear what you think about them!