Nic and I attended S’mores and Meeples Board Game Camp 2019 last weekend (check out my thoughts on the event here) and at the event we met a couple who told us about a unique board game store not too far from the convention site…
The store was sort of an invite-only/word-of-mouth place – which was really exciting for Nic and me. The couple we met gave us the phone number of the owner and we texted her, asking if we could stop in on our way out of town the next day. She was very friendly and worked with us to set up an appointment. We followed her directions through some beautiful and interesting country to a house with a large, detached garage – the home of this unique storefront. She let us in and allowed us to browse to our hearts’ content. The “store” was small and packed with all kinds of games, accessories, and upgrades. Think of this experience like poking around a friend’s garage, if your friend’s garage was filled with shrink-wrapped games resting on industrial shelving. It was cramped, a little dark, and not much like your typical FLGS. It was awesome. The selection was impressive, distinctive, and varied. There were new and old board, card, and war games, geeky tshirts, gaming accessories, promos, and some random, hobby-related items, all mashed together in what felt like a secret cave filled with treasures. Not only was it fun to discover these treasures and to do so in a unique and interesting way, but it was also great to find some strange and lovely games we had not seen before. We did purchase several games and I was excited about Piepmatz, which I’ve had my eye on for a while – here I found it in lovely, thematic packaging. I was also happy to pick up all three versions of Penny Papers for about $8 apiece. I’d seen these at a con sometime/somewhere in the last year or so and wanted to check them out; I was happy to get the opportunity to try them relatively cheaply. Nic also found a war game he was interested in…on the back of the box it states the time length is “2 turns a week” and I found this interesting. Lastly, we grabbed Cover Me which features clever packaging, fresh theming, and a recommendation from a friend. Of all the games we bought, this is the one I am most looking forward to trying.
Before we left the owner, Elaine Petruzzelli, gave us her business card and told us that the store does a lot of online orders but they hope to someday establish a “real” storefront. Check out gamesurplus.com for more information or to place an online order.
While at S’mores and Meeples we also went to The Games Keep in West Chester, PA. This store has the most selection of any I’ve ever been to but was incredibly disorganized and induced a strong feeling of claustrophobia.
The people in the store, staff and customers alike, were not friendly or helpful in any way…
I wanted very much to enjoy the experience; as I said, this store was better stocked than any store I’d ever been in before. That was exciting and I wanted to be excited…but I just couldn’t shake the uncomfortability the disorganization, crowding, and unfriendliness caused me. If you’re in the area, stop in. It was incredible. Just be prepared for potentially unpleasant experience.
If you would like to see more pictures from this trip, or from any of my travels, follow me on Instagram at @sarahmtrager