If you haven’t guessed it from my previous posts, I’m a fan of all types of games: roll playing, card, board style, complex, simple, gross, or pretty. No matter what, chances are I’ll play it at least once. Video games are the exception because the motions often bother me.
So today I’m giving a shout-out to my local Northwest Indiana stores and gaming cafes. One does not have to be a deep level D&Der or Magic fanatic to enjoy wandering into these locally owned shops. They stock all kinds of wonderful games and gifts. Want your preteen or teenage kids to have some social time away from the glowing screen? Take them to a game store. In addition, these places are great for date nights because they allow you to talk with your partner rather than stare silently at a big screen. Nothing against movies, but game places lead to actual conversing and fun. If your date gets cranky or is a poor loser, best to find that out early.
Many game stores serve drinks and snacks as well so you can have hours of fun. They are family oriented, and games encourage critical thinking, reading skills, tactical analysis, math skills, and in some cases, language skills. Plus, they allow you to give your child the best gift ever, some of your focused time.
My favorite part is that game stores allow you to “try before you buy”, which beats most toy stores any day. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a game that doesn’t work for couples when you only have two players or is just boring. For instance, Oh My God! There’s an axe in my Head looked fun and a little twisted, usually the way I like them. Games Inn had it available for testing so we checked it out. Turns out this Stratego-style board game was dull. It either did not work for couples (despite the box’s advertisement) or just didn’t work for us. Either way, I’m glad I found out before shelling out around $20 for it.
However, if game stores and gaming cafes are to survive in this order-online world, they must sell games. The coffees, snacks, and playing fees may help but moving their products is what keeps them in business. Most metropolitan areas have at least one or more of these stores. For those in the Northwest Indiana area, here is at least a partial list of the shops (in no special order) that I know about and would encourage you to check out. You’ll certainly find something for that special “nerd” in your life.
Games Inn: This Hobart, IN store features a very large open area for gaming, a few tables specifically set up for Warhammer, large café, and huge choice of trial games.
The Librarium Café: It is also located in the Hobart downtown area. This coffee house offers an intimate place for gaming and enjoying fine bakery products. They offer a small variety of games for sale and 100 games to try.
The Tenth Planet: Located on Hwy 30 in Schererville, IN, this store features a wide array of comic books, movie and comic collectables, and games. They sponsor Friday Night Magic tournaments. They also stock some unusual games that come from more international developers.
Galactic Greg’s has been a Valparaiso, IN icon for 25 years. It features comic books and also has a section for playing Magic, Pokemon, HeroClix, and Star Wars X-wing. Because many of these games use miniatures, the store also has a nice miniature collection.
I have not visited these places yet but found them on a Google search.
Gotta Have It Games &Collectibles in Lake Station, IN. According to their website, they feature a number of collectible and trading cards, actions figures, and vinyl records. They also have live game playing table times that can be reserved for groups.
Heroes Haven in Michigan City, IN. Their Facebook states that they sell comic books, graphic novels, action figures, and play specifically Magic, HeroClix, Warhammer and more.
By the Board Games & Entertainment in Lowell, Indiana. They have special rooms for Friday Night Magic, D&D, and board games. The website also says they offer vintage and used games and extra pieces.