Get ac lue Board games are in
Low-tech games are making a comeback and with them, the arrival of board game cafés
>>> Whether you’re a casual chess player or a Dungeons and Dragons devotee, board game cafés cater to all ages and skill levels, and there is no shortage of them in Alberta.
Table Top Café in Edmonton was the first to launch the trend in 2013 and has since opened a second location in the city. So far, there are four board game cafés to choose from, with a fifth in the works: Boards N’ Brews will open downtown later this year.
Three hundred kilometres due south, Matt French, manager of Box Car Café, says his city was late to the trend, but has made up for it this year: Four board game cafés, including Box Car, opened in Calgary in 2016. “Most provinces already had board game cafés, so people were aware of the concept and the idea,” French says. “That’s what made [Box Car] successful from the get-go.”
Box Car, which opened in March, charges customers $2.50 an hour to play their collection of more than 300 games: from the classics like Risk, to innovative, mission-fuelled games like French’s current favourite, Pandemic Legacy. Game masters are at the ready to offer further explanations on game play and strategy.
Although millenials are major habitués, French sees customers age six to 98 playing the same games. “There are people who grew up playing the classic games like Monopoly and Risk who feel a bit of nostalgia,” he says. French suspects the downturn economy could have something to do with board games’ rising popularity. “It’s a cheap alternative to other types of entertainment, it doesn’t dictate your time like a sports event, there are more games being published and there is something for everyone.”
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