Hey hey! My husband and I like to spend our Saturdays adventuring and we often find ourselves in a game store (or several, if I’m being honest). When we head somewhere new we scout out all of the FLGS (friendly local game stores) in the area and we hit as many as we can. This weekend we headed to Charlotte, North Carolina.
We’re moving soon and will have our very first real game room; I’m so excited! We need shelves and wanted to see our options, so it was off to the closest Ikea…
After finishing up there we hit 4 game stores. Two weren’t even worth mentioning (card shops focused mainly on Magic: The Gathering; they did have small board game sections but nothing spectacular (we were incredibly underwhelmed by one and completely put off by the other)) but the other two were great and they are what I’ll be focusing on here.
Our favorite was a very small store called Carolina Tabletop Games (https://www.facebook.com/carolinatabletopgames/), in Pineville, NC.
The staff and players were exceptionally friendly and the store was well stocked; filled with good games and happy players. They sell a variety of snacks and drinks, including beer (bottled and on tap) and had several tables at which to play. The bathroom (if you frequent many FLGS you know this can be an area where some stores can really lose points) could have been a bit cleaner (it was mostly just dusty), but was well-lit and well-stocked with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels. As I said previously, the store was very small and seems to be quite popular, so it was crowded and a little noisy. At times I can be really bothered by these conditions, but here I didn’t mind at all; the staff, players, and cozy but well-lit play space all created a feeling of warmth and safety that balanced out the noise and crowdedness. I really liked this store and can’t overemphasize how warm and welcoming the staff and players were. Check out Carolina Tabletop Games!
Another store we really liked was The Mighty Meeple (https://www.facebook.com/mightymeeple/), in Concord, NC.
This store was impressive. Big, bold signage; an eye-catching and fun-looking exterior; a fresh, new interior with sprawling retail space and multiple play spaces…
One of my favorite things here was the use of space on the sales floor; there were multiple displays featuring open-box games, each of which was set up, ready to play. You could walk up to any one of them and begin playing a game immediately. You could see the tiles, touch the pieces, try out the game before buying it. If interested in getting a copy you could just grab a band new one from a stack underneath the box of the one displayed. My husband and I fell prey and bought one of the games we tried, Intelle (pictured bellow), a small but strategic two-player area control game. In addition to these 3 or 4 tables there were also open-box displays of a few tabletop miniatures games and one of a popular, recently-released board game, Stuffed Fables. This store has mastered showcasing displays like these in a way that is inviting, enticing, and clean. The staff here was attentive and noticed immediately when my husband and I came to a point in one of the displayed games where we weren’t sure how to proceed; we didn’t even ask for their help, they just noticed that I reached for the rules and they asked if they could clarify anything.
This store had a large selection of board, card, and tabletop games and accessories in a (mostly) tidy and clean environment. The dice displays here were very attractive. There was a small selection of food and drinks and at least two large play spaces. This store had just one thing I didn’t like: the staff and players, while very attentive and polite, didn’t seem to be very warm/friendly. I would still rate this store very highly though (4 out of 5) and recommend The Mighty Meeple.
We didn’t end up getting the shelves we set out for (although I think we have a plan) but we did pick up a few more games!
Thanks for reading my reviews; I hope you enjoyed them! S