Whew, quite a busy summer so far. Lots of people think the game business would slow down in the summer, not true. We’ve got kids running around everywhere and the whole Sellwood neighborhood becomes a shopping destination when the sun is shining. We’re seeing a lot of new faces, many from out of town. Game enthusiasts always seek out cool shops wherever they vacation, and we’re glad that some of them found our little hideout, and we love the kind words they leave us with.
About 5 years ago we set out to create a different kind of game store. We’ve made some blunders and barely cleared a few hurdles to get where we are now. While we’re definitely not the top choice for hardcore gamers, many who are finding us this summer like what we have to offer. Thanks to all of you who support us. We see a lot of great folks who we feel are amazing ambassadors for the hobby, and we’re glad to have them return to our humble game parlour. Thanks also to everyone who made the July Star Realms tournament and the GenCan’t events a blast. If you want to hear some post-event reports, check out the podcasts recorded at the shop by our friends at the Tattered Board.
Now in an effort to keep improving what we offer, we’ve hired on a few new cloud busters, Alex and Eli. Alex is a great guy that we met at our Magic prereleases. Of course he’ll be working on expanding our Magic calendar, but he’ll also be helping me with some game events aimed at younger audiences, as well as helping us run more Saturday night events. Eli is a multi-talented local character who’s been hanging out at the shop for many years now. He is finally old enough to put on the payroll, and you’ll see him mainly on weekends helping out with Pokemon, Magic, and anything else we can rope him into (apparently he’s going to school during the weekdays, and participating in some sort of thing called sports after school).
As for events this month, we’re a bit light. Ben’s been out of town for a good stretch, so we’re working overtime and have little energy to run special events. You can always find our list of regular events on our website, but we do have one special event coming up:
Imperial Settlers Night: Saturday, August 22, 7pm, $5 cover (which can be used for store credit during the evening). Imperial Settlers is one of my favorites, but I do not play it enough. It shines as a 2-player game, so we’re dedicating an evening for playing Imperial Settlers as such. If we get enough players, we can run a small round-robin tournament. Bring your set if you have one.
Speaking of Imperial Settlers, we’ll be running a release event for the Atlanteans expansion when it arrives, hopefully in September.
September should be a busy month in general, at least once we’re back from our vacation. Keep your eyes peeled for a Tides of Time release event, and Epic card game event, and more!
Now for a few highlights from GenCon. For a complete list of what board game geeks liked at the largest game convention in North America, head here. If you see anything on that list that you know you want, let us know, we always offer 20% off on preorders!
On with a few highlights.
2-Player drafting games: My most anticipated games of the convention all fall within a 2-player drafting category, and they will all instantly go into my personal library. 7 Wonders Duel is the only one I have not yet played, so I am super excited to try it out. Ben and I got a sneak play of Tides of Time in Vegas earlier this year, and this is gonna be sweet. Eighteen beautifully illustrated cards comprise a surprisingly rich games. Finally, the Epic card game by the creators of Star Realms will have a draft variant. Epic is going to be Magic the Gathering for board gamers, less broad appeal than Star Realms, but awesome for old guys like me who enjoy Magic but can’t dedicate our lives to it. Expect us to be running release events for all of these games sometime within the next few months.
Codenames: This was the most popular game of the convention with board game geeks, which is not too surprising considering that the convention is a very social event, and this is a very social game. This game is the next big hit in what I like to call the ‘party games for gamers’ genre. If Wil Wheaton hasn’t made everyone angry and the Tabletop show continues with its popularity, Codenames will be on that show. And, at $20, it will not be on shelves for very long, so if you want a copy, let us know soon.
T.I.M.E. Stories: Finally, something extremely unique. This is a fascinating cooperative crime-solving game where players travel back in time, becoming different characters with different abilities, in attempt to solve a set of puzzles and crimes. Apparently the scenario included in the box can be spoiled by watching review videos, so I’m avoiding learning much more about it. But like the previously released Tragedy Looper, this will be one wild and interesting ride, with a richness similar to a game of Arkham Horror. Despite this richness, there are concerns about replayability and price, but I hear the publisher may be throwing in some exploding kitten cards and a few plastic miniatures, so you know you’ll get your money’s worth now.
Happy Summer Gaming!