The setting, Greenwich Village, on average weekday morning.
Preparations for my son’s departure to sleepaway camp were finalized and we took the day off to spend it with him. On a last minute whim, we drove into the city to investigate a rumored shop. Home to a myriad of board games, this option was an enticing one for our board-game-addicted family.
Little did we know we were about to step into a gold mine, brimming with hours of endless board-game-heaven fun.
Why We Play Board Games
Because it’s just such a great past-time to engage in. I personally grew up playing board games all my life, and a good challenge still makes my fingertips tingle with excitement.
I found a great blog, called Growing Up Gamers, which summarizes some of the reasons to play board games with your children in a well-written post found here.
Back to our day.
To start things off, when we reached the shop, our morning was made sweeter when we met a young man from Manilla, Phillipines, who was here visiting family. He approached us when we arrived, asking if he may join us in a game. Matthew was very polite, even timid, but seemed to know so much about the games.
We agreed, and 5 hours of game playing ensued.
He even kindly gave us parting gifts, culinary goodies from his country, which he magically whipped out of his bag. What a great experience meeting with new, kind, and interesting people in a random shop in NYC.
The Games We Played
We started out with a fantastic game called Splendor, which was nothing short of just that, splendor. This is a strategy game, involving both cards and tokens, in which your goal, as gem collector, is to reach a certain point value all while collecting different colored gems. The game can be a bit complicated to learn, but once mastered, provides hours of challenging, nail-biting fun.
We moved on to the next game of the day, called King of Tokyo, which was also surprisingly enjoyable, despite the initial Dungeons and Dragons look to it. Sharing some similarities with Yahtzee, this dice rolling game had us attacking Tokyo with our monster characters, and rolling the dice to wipe each other out in the process. Very fun game, as well.
The last game we played was a complicated one called Bang!, a card game where players are anonymously assigned the roles of sheriff, deputy, or outlaw, and must play out their cards by shooting each other, dueling, or engaging in other Wild West-type activities, depending on cards drawn.
The cafe where all the fun was had, The Uncommons, offers a casual space where patrons can rent games, paid for by an affordable fee of $5 per player for the day. They offer dizzying shelves filled with board games for all ages. There is also coffee and drinks, plus a rather full menu of food to nosh on while you play.
The place got packed from the mid-afternoon on, with no empty seat in sight. I was somewhat relieved, if only by the sheer number of gamers other than me.
It was board game heaven in the truest sense of the term.
Read more about board games in 7 Educational and Stimulating Board Games for Kids (Dual-Physician Recommended).
The Uncommons is located at 230 Thompson Street, New York.