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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boardgame Revolution

Every time I hear the name of the local game store I discovered recently, I get a flashback to high school, when a friend of mine made up a little ditty about the popular videogame Dance Dance Revolution.

"Dance. Dance. Re-vo-LU-shun!"

"Board. Game. Re-vo-LU-shun!"

There are several reasons I've come to like Boardgame Revolution over some of the game stores closer to my apartment:

1. Atmosphere

Boardgame Revolution is CLEAN.  It's quite the novelty compared to the poorly-lit stores that smell vaguely of sweat, cigarettes, and loneliness which I have had to suffer for the last few years.

The bathroom is one of the better public restrooms I have been in, quite the step up from another store that... well, let's just say that I'm always worried that I would get both herpes AND pregnant from that "restroom."

I have yet to enter BR without being greeted by a store employee and asked if I need help finding anything.

The staff seems quite knowledgable about the selection of games, which I appreciate in a game store staff.

The gamers with whom I have associated there did not smell bad, nor were they... overly enthusiastic about winning.

In general, it's just very pleasant there, with a nice, relaxed atmosphere inviting everyone to have fun.

2. Variety

Boardgame Revolution has been striving hard to get a tournament scene going for multiple enjoyable games: BattleCON, Call of Cthulhu, Game of Thrones, and even the recently-released Android: Netrunner.  I can stop by every Saturday afternoon (which is a GREAT time for me) and play a bunch of the games that I love.

Yesterday, not only did I get in several games of BattleCON, one of my all-time favorite games, but I was introduced to Sentinels of the Multiverse.  It was a delightful cooperative game where the players take on the roles of themed superheroes trying to stop a super villain controlled by the game's AI.  I'll probably write up a review soon.

3. Focus

Boardgame Revolution sells boardgames.  That's it.  It doesn't sell boardgames AND comics, or boardgames AND videogames, or boardgames AND miniatures AND painting/hobby supplies.  It's just boardgames.

I really like that.  It's just... so pure.  Now, I understand why other game stores can't be as focus; there isn't actually a ton of money to be had as a brick-and-mortar game vendor these days.  The boardgame INDUSTRY may be doing well, but a lot of that money is going to online distributors.  So supplementing a store's income with other products makes plenty of sense.

Boardgame Revolution doesn't have to do that.  They get away with this by renting boardgames.  It's genius!  You pay a portion of the game's price tag and can take home the rental copy.  You can try out the game with your friends, see if you like it, see if they like it, and if everyone's down, you can buy the game at a discount.  I mean, it's usually discounted anyway, because BR is awesome like that, but it will be further discounted by the rental price.  Why aren't more stores doing this?

BASICALLY, I really like this store and hope to be able to play there on at least a semi-weekly basis.  If you're in the area, I'd recommend checking it out.  It's at 411 E 1400 S in Orem, UT.  They're theoretically open from noon to 7pm M-F and 10am-7pm Saturday, but they hold regular card tournaments on Wednesdays starting at 7pm, so who knows how late they tend to actually stay open?  I myself was there until about 7:20pm yesterday.

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