Hey hey. My cousin got married last weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona. My sister and I flew out to the wedding and then stuck around for a few days to do some sightseeing; we saw some amazing things and, of course, I had to stop at a couple of game stores along the way.
The first store we stopped at was called Tlaquepaque Toy Town, in Sedona, Arizona. This is a tiny little store in a unique and beautiful shopping center and it was jam-packed with toys, educational items, games, and lots of children’s stuffs. I was impressed with its unique selection of games, which included some modern classics, family games, and educational games and aides. I don’t have children and am not immersed in their world, but I appreciated the offering at Tlaquepaque Toy Town for its modern approach and fresh take.
There were games there I had never heard of and I bought one I am looking forward to trying – Shadows In The Forest. In this one-versus-many game several players control little creatures which they move around a board, hiding behind 3D cardboard trees and rocks. Another player controls a working LED-powered lantern, which they move around the board, trying to find the hiding creatures. This game is played IN THE DARK. When the light from the lantern falls on any creature that creature is “frozen” and cannot move again until it is joined by another, unfrozen, creature. If the players who control the creatures can get them all to the same location, they win. If the player controlling the lantern freezes all the creatures, they win. While I don’t expect this game to be revolutionary, I am looking forward to trying it out. The components are cute and of good quality, and the concept is a seemingly interesting one.
I recommend this store, especially if you have small children. I enjoyed the cramped but cozy little store and their selection of games was fun, fresh, and unique.
We also visited The Geekery in Flagstaff, Arizona. This was a fairly standard LGS (local game store), offering a small selection of modern games, a play space, and snacks and drinks. This store was nothing special, in my opinion. There was only one staff member working when we visited and he was clearly bored and disinterested. We arrived a full hour after the store opened and the front door was still locked – we had to call and ask to be let in. The selection of games was just large enough to qualify the store as a game store, instead of just a “magic shop” (a store that focuses heavily if not entirely on Magic The Gathering). While it was a clean and serviceable space, it didn’t have any sparkle, and the dull-eyed, mostly-silent man working there did nothing to make me feel welcome or excited about anything in the store…all-around it was a disappointing place and a forgettable experience.
My sister and I visited both the South and North Rims of the Grand Canyon (we even rode down into the canyon on mules – it was pretty cool!), Bryce Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, and Butterfly Wonderland (the largest butterfly conservatory in the US). We saw all kinds of amazing and beautiful things, the most amazing of which, in my opinion were these REAL dinosaur track fossils.
If you would like to see more pictures from this trip, or from any of my travels, follow me on Instagram at @sarahmtrager