Beat the cold, connect with friends over a board game
Taylor Nakamoto admitted he has “a board game buying problem.”
Instead of run from it, however, Nakamoto started the Montrose Boardgamers group to justify his habit, giving him and other avid gamers an outlet to play and interact over their mutual love of board games.
“We have a pretty good core group,” Nakamoto said.
The Montrose group meets at 6:45 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2705 Sunnyside Road, where Nakamoto brings between five and 10 games from his collection of “probably 90” for players to choose from.
The Montrose Boardgamers has anywhere from five people to a dozen at its “board meetings,” but Nakamoto is open to expand.
Pulling out old board games, investing in new ones or joining a board game group may be the perfect entertainment option as temperatures drop and darkness sets in earlier, potentially forcing people indoors.
The sheer number of board games available today provides people of all ages opportunities to find something to match their situation.
■ Baby-sitting young children? Grab “Candy Land,” a classic, with its peppermint forest, ice cream sea and simple rules.
■ Hosting a party with people who may, or may not, know each other? Consider “Apples to Apples” or “The World Needs a Jetpack Unicorn,” which has few game pieces and hilarious outcomes.
■ Have a group of friends or family who are fans of strategy? Go for “Ticket To Ride” or “The Settlers of Catan,” both famous for their replay value and designs.
Trudi Wagner, owner of The Jester’s Court, 1000 N. Fifth St., specializes in the sale and knowledge of lesser-known, higher-quality Euro-style games such as “The Settlers of Catan” and “Ticket To Ride.”
“I think the tabletop board games are a way to reconnect with people,” Wagner said. “Anybody can pick up a board game. It’s one way to interact with other people without being in front of a computer screen.”
Although “Ticket To Ride” or “The Settlers of Catan” have crossed into the mainstream, many Euro-style board games remain under the radar for those who don’t stay up on gaming trends or get scared off by higher retail prices of such games.
Euro-style games often retail for more than $40 because of their higher quality. “Takenoko” is one such game, and Wagner pulled it out to show off its intricate wooden and elaborate board pieces.
“Every time you play it, you are going to get something different,” Wagner said of Euro-style games. “Monopoly never really changes. You go around and collect money.”
The Jester’s Court hosts a game night from 5–8 p.m. each Wednesday showcasing some lesser-known games.
Of course, there’s still demand for classic board games such as “Sorry,” “Monopoly” or “Clue,” which are all in the top 30 board games sold at Amazon. It’s just about personal preference.
“Board games provide that face-to-face interaction,” Nakamoto said. “You are competing with someone across the table from you. It’s rewarding.”