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Subject: Game stores in and around Chicago? rss

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Barak Engel
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And the Geek shall Inherit the Earth
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I am the unholy trinity: Agnostic, Atheist, and Skeptic.
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I will be in Chicago until the weekend, and want to take some local friends to a good store. They live in Batavia. Any recommendations?
 
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J Knoerzer
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Chicago
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In my opinion, Game Plus in Mount Prospect is the only good store the greater Chicago area. Check out the website... http://www.games-plus.com/games-plus/storeinfo.htm
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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I live about 8 miles from Mt. Prospet and Games Plus, and there's no other game store that I know of. Batavia's about 20 miles away, but it will be worth the drive. Naperville is closer, but I think the most you'll find there is a comic shop that carries some games. Games Plus carries everything, and I mean everything. Euros, minis, old AH-style games for grognards, including some real-life AH games, CCGs, CMGs. They also have several tables available, although some table reserving does occur. About the only thing they don't carry are the MB/Hasbro games you'll find at Target/Toy R Us.
 
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Mark Wilder
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I agree witht he above gentlemen. Games-Plus is the only decent game store in the Chicago area. If you happen to be in Woodfield Mall (huge mall in Schaumburg IL), there is a place there called "Gamer's Paradise" that'll have a FEW designer games, but not a great selection.
 
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Michael Pennisi
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I'm going to speak up for "The Game Escape" in Crystal Lake which is also on Rt 14/ NW Highway, just like Games Plus, although it's about 20 miles from Games Plus. They are new and they are very focused on boardgames unlike Games plus which clearly emphasizes minis and RPG's. In terms of boardgame variety, they rival Games Plus and, unlike Games Plus, they have a demo copy of almost everything which you can try out before you buy. They have open boardgaming every Wednesday night but there usually are one or two people hanging around in store you can play a game with. Even Scott, the owner, will play if it's not busy.

From Batavia, it's easy to get to assuming you are on the west side of Batavia. Just take Randall Road north until it "ends" and turn left on McHenry Avenue. Take that to RT 14 and make a right. It's in the first strip mall on your left (there's a PetCo).
 
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Ray
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Game Escapes website is at http://www.thegameescape.com/

What I like about Game Escape is they:
- are a new store and well organized.
- stock every Eurogame usually in multiple quantities (they have some mini systems, wargames, rpgs, etc too).
- are closer to my house (I can send relatives shopping there for gifts).
- have an owner who loves reading up on, talking about, and playing Eurogames.

What I like about Games Plus is they:
- are an old store with out of print games to be found.
- try to stock *everything* (I like their older wargames), but sometimes have the game on backorder as *everyone* shops there.
- are the Chicagoland Mecca for game players to gather. On their game days (Thursdays and certain Saturdays) you can talk about games and play against experts who really know this hobby.

Both stores leave me excited after a visit (instead of disappointed which is how I feel after visiting Gamers Paradise or another chain store)
 
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Severus Snape
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Neat! I keep these in mind the next time I travel to Illinois. goo
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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I'm pretty sure that Games Plus would allow a prospective buyer to open most games before buying to get a gander at what's inside the box. With new arrivals, they often will have a copy on the main in-store table that's open and easily accessible for review. Recent examples have been some of the more anticipated games, like Descent, World of Warcraft, Hunting Party (ok...mostly anticipated by ME, so I was really into checking them out). Not sure if the store decided to open it, or just put a previously opened-at-customer-request copy out.

For the OOP games, I don't know if they'd do this.

Gamers Paradise in the Woodfield mall is actually a decent store, for a mall shop. They have a pretty good selection of D&D/RPG material, some CMGs, and a shrinking supply of GW minis, plus a good supply of CCGs. They also carry Hasbro/MB games, which Games Plus pretty much only carries Heroscape. The mall store also has party and puzzle games, plus some fantasy collectibles like dragon statues, some swords, etc. Not that I spend much time there or anything. It's right next to JC Penny, where we take our son for pictures, so we're there pretty often.
 
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Michael Pennisi
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kingbobb wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Games Plus would allow a prospective buyer to open most games before buying to get a gander at what's inside the box.

Oh, they do.... for $1. They charged me a buck to open up a box so that I could look at the rules. I'm not kidding. That's when I stopped buying games there.
 
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Scott Anderson
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As for places actually in the city, there's a Gamer's Paradise in Water Tower Place and one in the Century Mall. There aren't many games at the Water Tower location but there are a few. If you are site seeing Downtown you might as well stop at the Water Tower Place store. I haven't been to the Century Mall store in about 10 years. When it comes to prices, most online stores are much better (even after shipping), but they've been having a lot of buy one, get one 1/2 off sales.

I'd like to check out Games Plus but it would be a pain for me to get get out to Mount Prospect. There have been more game stores in Chicago in the past but most of them died off pretty quickly.
 
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Dan Taylor
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I'm going to have to go with Games Plus, also. (Though the other store wasn't in business the last time I lived in Chicago, so I can't compare.) Fantastic store, especially if you like OOP old backstuff. Great wargaming section, great RPG section.
 
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Raven Johnson
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Okay it's really absolutely amazing that no one mentioned the Dice Dojo (otherwise known as Chicagoland Games). They have an event every single night and they don't close until every game is finished and every gamer is done shopping. They have open gaming 24/7 while open, a huge collection of opened games in the back that can be played in addition to whatever's set up on the table and a really inclusive and welcoming, but not bothersome, atmosphere that I have not seen at any game store or meetup either inside or outside of Chicago (the Guthrie's meetup comes a little bit close, but not really).

The store is a lot smaller then the multi-level, Borders-sized store you would expect from browsing their website, but all of the things I said above still apply.
 
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Todd Pytel
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Rayvn7 wrote:
Okay it's really absolutely amazing that no one mentioned the Dice Dojo (otherwise known as Chicagoland Games).
Not so amazing when you consider that you necro'd a 4 year old thread - the Dice Dojo wasn't yet in existence at the time of the last reply. Neither were Cat and Mouse or Black Sun. The Chicago gaming retail options have broadened tremendously in the last few years. There are lots of more recent "Game store in Chicago threads" that discuss the current options more fully.
 
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