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How To Play A Board Game Café | Antsy Labs

How To Play A Board Game Café

Like any good dungeon master, one must establish the rules of the game before beginning to play.

But what happens when it’s not just one single game you’re playing?

What happens when you’re setting off for a whole new type of game…

That’s right. We’re talking about the Board Game Café

No longer do you have to stay in to geek out. With the rising popularity of the board game café, there’s almost certainly a café or bar near you that asks “Splash of coffee to go with your game?

(And if you don’t believe us, Meeple Mountain’s Worldwide Board Game Café List is legendary… and may just have you thinking about a road trip after you see where some of those 818 spots are!).

These sometimes coffee shops, sometimes bars, sometimes restaurants can all agree on one thing:  they’re 100% down to game.

As the chain Snakes & Lattes makes clear (they launched with 1,200 games in 2010 that grew to over 3,000 by 2015) - one does not simply walk into a board game café.

One walks into game.

So with that in mind, we collected a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your gaming experience.

How To Get The Most Out Of A Board Game Café

When you first step into a board game café, it doesn’t quite feel… real. My first reaction was of disbelief - are there really this many board games in the world?

Often our exposure to a wide selection of board games is at a bookstore or a toy shop. Maybe there are 20, 30, 40 tops. But when you’re faced with hundreds of options, the game changes.

With that, here are a few suggestions on how you can take advantage of your local board game café:

  • Game Night On The Go - It’s your turn to host the gang’s monthly game night, but you haven’t tidied up? Offer to be the gamemaster at your local board game café for a change of pace, a way to try out a new game, or to reduce the home-court advantage that always seems to happen when one person knows the rules better than everyone else (you know what I’m talking about).

  • Become A Regular - With many game nights offering monthly or recurring events around Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and more, you have an opportunity to regularly use your Black Lotus instead of just letting it gather dust (and increase in value) on the shelf.
  • Put The Game in Games - We all love Risk. Or maybe we all hate Risk. Or maybe since it takes several dozen hours to play, we go through a whole swing of emotions. Leave the marathon games behind and take advantage of the opportunity to try out different games, all in the same night. Heck, you don’t even have to *finish*! Try that novelty Home Improvement game for a few rounds, swap it out for a Game of Thrones Trivial Pursuit, and let the night roll on!
  • Game Like You’ve Never Gamed Before - Besides the fun that comes from a good night of games, there’s a joy of discovery that happens at board game cafés. Almost like the glory days of Blockbuster, you get to try out something delightful and experience the wild, weird world of board games (like Mr. Bacon’s Big Adventure!).

(And if you want to level up your game night even more, rumor has it that an ambitious gamer once unlocked all the achievements of the Tabletop Gaming IRLA Pack in one marathon night - if you have what it takes!).

What about you? What’s your favorite part about swinging by board game cafés?

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