Geek-worthy Friendly Local Game Stores
Steve Bennett
United States
Grinnell
Iowa
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Reading this thread http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/88987 got me thinking about making a geeklist to highlight such stores. As has been mentioned in numerous threads, just opening your door for business is not in itself enough of a justification for customers to spend their money at your place. This list, then is dedicated to the shops that provide added value in the form of expertise, service, and friendliness.

I'll start it off with one. Add your own favorites. List a game you associate with the store. Then provide location and contact info and your take on why this store is worthy of your geeky dollars, drachmas, and deutschmarks.
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1. Board Game: Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:592]
Steve Bennett
United States
Grinnell
Iowa
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Games & More!
Valley West Mall
1551 Valley West Dr. #178
West Des Moines, IA 50266
515.267.8222 phone

I bought this the day before Thanksgiving. Also picked up the Dark City expansion for Citadels. Corinne Harrison, the owner, is responsive and makes a point of getting to know her customers. She plays a lot of games and has many on staff who are avid gamers as well. Sometime in the first part of next year, Games & More! is moving to a much larger space in the same mall. They'll have room for tables. She has a library of games that you can sit down and try out, too. How valuable is that?
 
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2. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:235]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Game Den
1239 E McKellips Rd., Suite 116
Mesa, AZ 85203
480-844-0470

Bought this at the store and now Mike (owner) tries and make me regret it by beating on me each Friday night I bring this out. Nice selection of new and used games and loads of RPG materials, CCGs, etc.
 
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3. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2653]
Robin
United States
Alaska
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http://www.warlordsunlimited.com/

Warlords Unlimited
Richmond, KY

They are still just starting out and focus more on D&D, booster sets (D&D, Star Wars, Heroclix), and comic books. I love the store and store owner, Keith. We can come in any given night to play D&D or minis.
 
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4. Board Game: Fun House [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
shumyum
United States
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All Fun and Games
2062 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27511
919.233.7727

Great store that caters to the full range of gaming: Euro, wargame, kids, CCG, RPG and mainstream. The owner and workers love, know and play the games they sell (and they are all super-friendly). A big space for playing games with organized game nights for most of the genres. I only wish I lived a little closer so I could patronize it more.
 
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5. Board Game: Clout Fantasy [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14824]
Adam Conus
United States
Renton
Washington
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I've become a big fan of Uncle's Games here in Washington. The local boardgame meetup (of meetup.com fame) was held at the Redmond, WA Uncle's.

They sell all sorts of games, including the best assortment of boardgames I know of locally (the Seattle area.) They sell online as well. They were more than accomodating when I wanted to arrage demo time for Clout: Fantasy. The kind of service they provide to publishers right on through to customers is something I really appreciate.

They host regular gaming of all types, including keeping a large supply of 'store' games open so you can try before you buy. While I was demoing Clout, they had a D&D group playing in-store. As I said, they also host board game groups, which tend to focus on Eurogames.

The Redmond Town Center address:
Redmond
16507 NE 74th St., Redmond, WA
(425) 497-9180

The Crossroads Mall, Bellevue address:
Bellevue
15600 NE 8th Ave., Suite K10, Bellevue, WA
(425)746-1539

They actually have two more stores in Spokane, WA as well. I've never been to them, but I'd bet they are of equally high quality.

www.unclesgames.com

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6. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Mike Horsepool
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
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Worlds Away
666 Dundas Street
London, Ontario
N5W 2Y8
519-433-1267

I cannot count the number of days that I have just sat around watching movies at this store. The owner is a great guy whos in it for the fun of owning a gaming store, and not the profit and it shows. Always willing to let you hang out and watch a movie, or talk about random geek crap. Magic is whats mostly played there, always someone willing to trade/play. Great snack collection, and the cheapest prices in town for almost everything they sell. Amazing store.
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7. Board Game: Citadels: The Dark City [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Chris Drake
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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Meta Games Unlimited

3309 E Sunshine

Springfield Missouri

417-881-9390

I listed this game as it is my most recent purchase at what I believe to be the best brick and mortar game store I have ever been in. Eurogames, classic games, CCGs, minis, roleplaying, they have just about everything as well as a huge open gaming area to boot. The only bad thing I could say is their wargame (hex and counter, etc) selection is a little light but they sure have plenty of everything else.

Did I mention they have a huge boardgame selection.


 
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8. Board Game: Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:5805]
Chris Heinzmann
United States
Mesa
Arizona
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Waterloo Adventure Games
213 N Gilbert Rd
Gilbert, AZ 85234 - 5774
(480) 497-9554

Lots of classic games, Flames of War on Saturday and Sunday. The owner is Scott Bizar who is also the owner/publisher of
Fantasy Games Unlimited. You can park in the back and come in through the back door like family.
 
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9. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:132]
Kevin Ellingson
United States
Sacramento
California
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Viking Hobby
4713 El Camino Real
Carmichael, CA 95608

This is the best store for board games in the Sacramento area. The owner, Jessica, is very friendly. If they don't have something in stock they will gladly order if for you.

Last winter, I had been looking to buy this game, but nobody on-line had it, as the 1st edition was OOP and the 2nd edition was supposed to be released. One day, I visited while my son was at a birthday party nearby. I looked at various games, not necessarily planning to buy anything, then I noticed that they had a copy of this one. I bought it without hestitating.
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10. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
 
Robin Munn

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Games Plus
101 West Prospect Avenue
Mount Prospect, IL

http://www.games-plus.com/games-plus/storeinfo.htm

They have everything. Board games, card games, RPG's (of all varieties), miniatures (fantasy, historical, wargaming)... They're about a 45-minute drive from where I live, but it's worth it.
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11. Board Game: Rainy Day Cricket [Average Rating:2.33 Unranked]
John Holmstrom
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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http://www.rainy-day-games.com/

Rainy Day Games

18105 SW TV HWY
Aloha OR, 97006
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12. Board Game: Pirates of the Spanish Main [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3649] [Average Rating:6.04 Unranked]
John Mendenhall
United States
Unspecified
DE
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Sadly, this is an obituary. It was the largest, and coolest game store I have ever seen. Geeks from all walks of life came in, met and played. However the economy and fuel prices this summer pounded the final nail into it's coffin and they closed last week. Many a pleasant lazy afternoon and evening spent relaxing and gaming here. Some great friendships and incredible battles were seen here.

http://www.roguesden.com/

Rest in peace, it was fantastic while it lasted.
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13. Board Game: Das Phantom [Average Rating:5.14 Unranked]
Alan Ferrency
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Phantom of the Attic
214 S. Craig St.
Pittsburgh PA 15213

http://pong.telerama.com/~phantom/gaming.html

Board games, War games, RPG, CCG, and Miniatures. There are several gaming tables for miniature games, CCG and RPG, and regular events.
 
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14. Board Game: Limits [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:5365]
 
Alan Ferrency
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Games Unlimited
2115 Murray Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

http://www.bgamers.com/gamesunl.htm

Board games, jigsaw puzzles, RPG's, and a collection of old, used wargames out in back.
 
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15. Board Game: Grand Master [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:12998]
Alan Ferrency
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Game Masters
3439 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-2400

Board games, RPG's, CCG's, miniatures. Regular gaming events for role playing, and CCG tournaments. I haven't been there in a while, but they had at least one miniatures gaming table as well.
 
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:148] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Steve Wessels
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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The Game Shoppe
1406 Harlan Drive
Bellevue, NE 68005
402-292-4263

http://www.thegameshoppe.com/

One of the best selections of Euro Games in the Omaha Nebraska area. They are currently hosting our weekly board game night and the staff at the store is always friendly and helpful. They have several games open for demos and testing before you buy.
 
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17. Board Game: Warhammer: The Mass Combat Fantasy Roleplaying Game (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1542]
Jooky
United States
Canton
IL
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I would like to mention my favorite local game store:

The Game Room in Washington, IL I dont have their address because they just moved to a larger location. Dave (the owner) is a great guy that is always willing to help answer any questions you may have. While Games Workshop takes up the majority of stuff in the store, he also stocks quite a bit of Rpgs and boardgames.

I havent been out there in a while, but some of my best games of Warhammer, BFG, and 40k were played out there.
 
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18. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:312]
Dave Honeywell
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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FandomII
162 Laurier ave. West
Ottawa, ON

great little game shop downtown. some freaky artwork on the side of the building. just go in and ask Randy about anything gaming related, he'll most likely know exactly what you're talking about and if he doesn't, return in half an hour and he will.
all the times i'v had them order a game for me, it has arrived within a week, week and a half at most, unlike some of the other stores in town... i'll not mention names, i'll just say it took them 3 months.
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19. Board Game: Jogo do 25 de Abril: O Mundo das Aventuras do PREC [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Adam Marostica
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Jogo Canada is certainly the best FLGS in Winnipeg. Honestly, as far as customer service goes, they put their competition to shame. The people there are fantastic. The selection is great. And while it doesn't make any real difference to me, I still love the fact that everyone who works there is at least bilingual.

http://www.jogocanada.com
 
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20. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:554]
Paul B.
United States
Frostburg
Maryland
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In the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake, from the Game On neon sign in the front window to the comfortable and grown-up atmosphere, Game Night is unique in style and substance. Tim and Val welcome a table or three of gamers virtually every night of the week. Don't look for CCGs, though!

You'll find Euros and Wargames. Hence my choice for an entry, A great example of crossover wargame, Euro-style.

http://www.gamenightgames.com/

Game Night Games
2030 South 900 East, Suite E
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
801-467-2400

Next to the Tea Grotto, at the intersection of 2100 South and 900 East.

And, we are fortunate to have two great game shops in Salt Lake. There is also Game Crossing for folks in the West Valley area. At Dave's store, you'll find your Euros and CCGs, but no wargames. Dave welcomes game playing in his picnic style back area.

Game Crossing
1848 W 5400 S
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 955-0747
 
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21. Board Game: Aérogame [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Aero Hobbies
2918 Santa Monica Blvd. #3
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 828-5264

This is a small store, but Gary has a lot packed in there. The euro-game selection isn't that big, but he's filled a number of special requests for me, and some of them end up selling well for him too, which is nice.

The other 3/4 of the store is divided up between miniatures/terrain, CCG's and role-playing.

This, and other L.A. areas stores discussed at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/79589
 
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22. Board Game: Plunder [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4595]
Tony M
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Dungeon Games
5618 W 79th St
Burbank, IL 60459
(708) 425-0448

Plunder was my last purchase.

OK. These guys are smaller than Games plus, but they do have a decent variety for a game shop.

They get props from me because I drove past at 11:30 PM and the "Open" sign was on. The owner was hosting a Shadowrun game and left the store open, and said they'd "probably be there until at least 3AM". A game store open that late deserves a mention !

They are more focused on RPG and CCGs, but carry a passable selection of Euros too.

Also of note, the owner claims he can have most anything in stock in 1-2 days upon reques.
 
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23. Board Game: Children's Hour [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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CHILD'S PLAY
Washington, DC
(on Connecticut Avenue, just south of the MD border)

So many gamers seem to turn up their noses at the thought that an independent toy store could be a good source of games. I'm sure the games-aren't-just-for-kids mantra plays into this. But games aren't just for adults either and lots of future gamers get hooked as kids. So when you find a toystore that's clearly making an effort to keep an interesting, varied, and current selection of Eurogames in stock, for games' sake, let's encourage that!

My FLT(G)S is located a few blocks from my house (but also has plenty of convenient parking along a very nice retail/entertainment strip), is run by a guy who loves/plays games himself and who hires gamers because he wants to keep in touch with what other people are playing/enjoying, who will order anything you ask for (and if it sounds good, extras) and can generally get it within the same week. He remembers your tastes, tells you about forthcoming games he's excited about (as well as steers you away from disappointments), and is eager to hear what you're playing. He and his staff consistently make intelligent recommendations for gift giving -- they can extrapolate from age, experience, other gaming preferences.

To give you a sense of the stock, there's everything from Gulo Gulo and Chicken Cha Cha Cha (of course) to Louis XIV, Princes of Florence, Phoenix, Formula De-Mini, Hansa, Torres (even before the reprint!), Expedition, all of the Days of Wonder games, lots of Carcassonne, Settlers, Guillotine, Circus Flohcati, Mu and Mehr, Boomtown, Blue Moon, Bucket King, Quarto, Blokus, Fluxx, Killer Bunnies, etc.
 
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24. Board Game: Boarding Party [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:13910]
Jeff Wiles
United States
Macon
Georgia
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Gameboard
West Town Mall AND Knoxville Center Mall
Knoxville TN
(There's also one in Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, TN)

Game Depot
Pigeon Forge TN

East Tennessee is lucky to have not just one, but FOUR stores (that I'm aware of) with surprisingly broad selections.

The Gameboard mini-chain has Euros, 'classic' boardgames, CCGs, collectible minis, wargames, role-playing rules/supplements/etc, and puzzles plus a lot of the other game-related stuff you expect to find at game stores.

Game Depot I was only able to visit once before moving away, but I recall a good selection of Euros, roleplaying items, and CCGs all at a discount (15%?) off MSRP.
 
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