Tag Archives: Board Game

Top 5 Games to Play While Social Distancing

 

Pandemic

         In this game, players play as CDC responders railing against a  global epidemic. As the game plays out, each player takes two actions. One action is taken to save the world and in turn the second action is flipping over another card to spread the epidemic further. The rest of the game is a tense heat to take out the disease.

In a case where we have to stay inside, whether due to an actual epidemic or not, Pandemic is a great game to play with friends and family. It has become one of our most requested games in the cafe, especially in the last few weeks.

Codenames

           In this game, players are a field agent or as a spy master. This team game implores the players on each team to work together to find the other field agents through messages and secret clues. The Spy Master gives one word clues to help allied Field Agents find each other, trying not to be recognized by the opposing teams. Think of this as a more intense version of charades.

This is a great game for families to play! It engages players working together to think about their partner’s way of processing information. This game is kid-friendly and fun-oriented!

The Mind

          This maddeningly interesting game encourages players to think as one. If you don’t- you are in for trouble. The idea is very simple- lay down the cards in your collective hands in numerical order into a pile between all the players. The problem? You can’t talk to any of your other players. It is cooperative in nature, but incredibly self-punitive at the same time. Don’t be dismayed, though. The learning curve is much easier to get the hang of than you’d think! The extra lives and shuriken in your arsenal also improve your chances of success, just be wise about when to use them.

A great team-builder!

Arkham Horror

          Arkham Horror is a living card game composed of a unique blend of choose your own adventure and cooperative horror that puts your detective skills to the test. Each player takes on the role of an investigator working together to defeat Lovecraftian mysteries and conspiracies while also battling your own demons. This game  involves strategy, resource management, and a bit of good luck to help defeat. With such vast possibilities to gameplay and outcomes to the storyline based on what you play, there is a ton of replay value packed into the base game. It also has dozens of extra chapter packs available separately. Campaign games are this game’s bread and butter, so if you like legacy games or immersive RPGs, you’ll love Arkham Horror. Narratively satisfying, wonderfully bizarre in its sceanarios, and a lot of fun, even if you lose.

Jenga

          An old favorite that many families adore. It is a race against gravity as each block is pulled, compounding in difficultly the longer the game is played. Each player takes turns pulling out one block at a time from the pre-assembled structure, being careful to not knock over the tower. The game ends when a player and gravity have a disagreement about which block should have been removed.

A classic party game, great for social distancing, but also great for anytime play. Enjoy the nostalgia if you played it when you were younger, if not welcome to the unforgettable joy that is Jenga.

What Is a Board Game Cafe

By Raelle Richard

Above all else, a board game café is meant to be a fun social place for people to hang out, play board games, and enjoy good food. Following the growth in popularity of board games in recent years, board game cafes are popping up all around the country.  Board game cafes are a way to get out from behind the computer or tv and interact face-to-face with family and friends in a more personal and meaningful way. They are an inexpensive option to the ever-rising costs of movie tickets or even a night of bowling. So what exactly is a board game cafe?

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A Couple Enjoying a Date Night at the Cafe

During the week of Thanksgiving in my junior year of college, my Intro to Game Design professor announced that we would be having class the day before Thanksgiving, but it would be a bit different. Instead of meeting in our usual classroom setting, anyone who hadn’t already traveled home for the weekend would journey down to the cool new gaming café just a block down from the university’s library. Of course, I was one of those who would already be on a train home, but I heard from my classmates what a fun and unique experience they’d had and gathered up my own group of nerdy friends for a trip to New York City’s The Uncommons.

This was my first experience with a board game café and it certainly wouldn’t be my last. In fact, it was those many days spent in that cramped, little café in Greenwich Village that inspired me to approach Tom about a job when I saw that The Game Table Café was opening up in little old Mechanicsburg.

So, what is a board game café? Each café varies in how things are done, but essentially, when you break it down to its most basic parts, a board game café is a regular café with a great menu of food and coffee that also contains a library of board games available for customers to play. In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, some cafes will serve food, snacks, or even alcohol. And nearly every café charges some form of cover to play games. Most, like us, take the flat fee approach, charging a fee that allows you to stay all day and play as many games as you like while others will charge per hour or per game. Unlike cafes such as Starbucks that make their money by getting people out of the door as quickly as possible, we want you to stay and have fun.

The Game Table Cafe in Action
The Game Table Cafe in Action

Board games are more popular now than they’ve ever been which means that more and more games are being made with plenty of smart and unique concepts. Beyond the classics of Monopoly, Apples to Apples, and Sorry; there are a host of new titles coming out each year.  Most cafes only have a few hundred games available on their shelves, but there are thousands of them out there.

If the word “thousands” makes your head spin then you aren’t alone. We have a lot of regular gamers who are familiar with most games in our library, but more frequently we get customers who come in and stare wide-eyed at our wall of games and say, “I had no idea any of these games even existed.” They know Monopoly and Life, but, for the most part, two-thirds of our library is foreign territory for them. If this sounds like you, fear not! Board game cafes employ “game gurus” who are more than happy to pick a game for you based on your past gaming experiences and teach it to you. You can learn a new game without even opening the rule book.

Family Learning a New Game

The Game Table Cafe strives to help everyone connect.  We have a great selection of food, coffee and baked goods just waiting for you to enjoy.  Our game library is just over 400 games and we are here to help you find just the right game and perhaps connect with a new or old friend.  Watch our Calendar of Events for special events going on each week.  With thousands of games to choose from, there is a game for everyone and a board game café is a great place to find a good game, connect with a friend and enjoy great food and coffee. It doesn’t matter if gaming is one of your great passions or simply a casual hobby; everyone can enjoy an evening with friends or family at a board game café!

Come to Our New Year Gala
Come to Our New Year Gala