Today I drove around to five of Seattle's Friendly Local Gaming Stores (FLGSs), trying to work out which ones make most sense for me to frequent. Here are my thoughts on them:
- The Dreaming: Wasn't a huge fan of this one. It's almost entirely comics and RPGs, with a smattering of board and card games. The staff was pretty nice, though, and apparently they do gaming afternoons on Sundays. It's pretty close to the University, and was definitely the tightest-knit of the places I went. But it's not selling my goods, so to speak.
- Gary's Games: I bought Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space here for a decent price - a game that is impossible to find online, and one for which Shut Up and Sit Down gave a strong recommendation. They seem to have a really good stock of obscure games and also had the widest selection of legacy card game products of any of the stores I visited. I think I'll come back here quite a bit, even though it's really out of the way.
- Blue Highway Games: This place was really crisp. Half for game hobbyists and half for the "lay folk", this store has a really impressive demo library and frequent community events. The prices were slightly steep and the purchasing selection wasn't perfect, but the location is really great, pretty much in the heart of Queen Anne.
- Card Kingdom: Now this place was badass. It's store almost wholly dedicated to hobbyists, with lots of open space and dedicated rooms for RPGs, card games, and miniatures, with a huge selection of board games sorted by themes and mechanics at incredibly reasonable prices. I expect to come here an awful lot.
- Gamma Ray Games: Assuming I live in Capitol Hill, this will be the most local of the FLGSi, but I wasn't too impressed by it. It's rather small with an accordingly small selection and space for playing games. In fact, I don't think they had a demo library, which is sad. The place looks very sharp, though, and has a neat feature to compensate for their slightly steep prices: they have both a "buy 1 get 1 half off" and a "spend $50 and get a game from this pile for free" offer, and while I think they don't stack, that's still a pretty decent deal. We'll see if it grows on me.
I think this is a pretty good sampling of this sort of venue in Seattle. I look forward to seeing how my impressions of these stores evolves over time, and hopefully meeting more people who share my hobby.