Whenever we go travelling, we always make sure that we eat our way through the town. Food is definitely main factor we consider when planning our any trip. As you’ve already read, we definitely worked hard to cover all bases while in New York!
However, no trip is complete without a little visit to the area’s (friendly) local game store. New York is definitely a fantastic place to explore as a gamer — with tonnes of locations to geek out in – and we managed to squeeze a visit to two stores during our limited time there.
The first store was “The Compleat Strategist“. The store is less than a minute’s walk from the Empire State Building, in dead centre Manhattan. From the outside, it looks like a tiny shoe box of a shop but once you go inside, you notice that the back wall extends out almost to the horizon and every wall is covered in games. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a store with so much inventory crammed inside. They had a great selection of all sorts of games and gaming accessories. I think I came close to frothing at the mouth when I saw all the gaming goodness inside.
I spent a good while looking around and went to speak to the lone staff member in the store. Unfortunately, he was rather rude and dismissive which spoiled over the over all experience and turned me off the idea of supporting the store with a purchase. All the games in the store are also at full recommended retail price so without some kind of welcoming atmosphere, it is hard to justify handing over money to the staff. Afterwards, I read many similar stories about customer experiences there so it seems like I was not the only one. It’s a shame really as the store is wonderfully stocked and it never hurts just to smile and say hello to customers!
Moving on to our 2nd gaming store visit…
We travelled across into what seemed like the middle-of-nowhere Brooklyn, down several residential streets before bumping into the “Twenty Sided Store“. The store may not be the best located, but what it lacks in prime real-estate, it makes up ten-fold in friendly staff and a well presented store. We were welcomed into the store by two members of staff and immediately asked if we needed any help looking for games. Vanessa and I immediately felt this was the better store. The collection of games on sale is no where near a large as most other stores but it was reasonably sized nonetheless. The nice thing about the Twenty Sided Store is that they don’t have to rely solely on board game sales as a business, they serve food and drinks to be enjoyed in the huge area at the back of the store; filled with tables, chairs and an extensive games library just waiting to be played.
After poking around the games for sale, Vanessa and I both picked out a random game to buy based purely on how nice the game looked. Vanessa chose a small two-player game in a tin box called BraveRats by Japanese games designed Seiji Kanai. I went for a game called Blueprints because I loved the box art and the idea of making little buildings out of dice really made me smile.
Anyway, that about rounds up our board gaming adventures in New York. It was fun to check out some American stores and see all of the different games that just aren’t (easily) available in the UK or Germany.
If you’re in New York and looking to play some games, definitely check out the Twenty Sided Store for a lovely store that welcomes gamers. If you don’t care about customer service and just want to look at millions of board games all under one roof, then head to the Compleat Strategist.
Tune in tomorrow to L&A for my review of Blueprints!
The Compleat Strategist
11 East 33rd Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue), New York, NY, 10010
Twenty Sided Store
362 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11211