Saturday, 13 July 2013

Game Night

 I love to play board games. Getting together with a group of friends to have a fun and social game of "Lords of Water Deep" or "Settlers of Catan" is both relaxing and entertaining. When I heard a few months back that Hamilton would be getting its own board game lounge I was thrilled. There are several of these popping up in different cities and one of the better known ones in the GTA is "Snakes and Lattes" in Toronto where you pay a minimal cover charge and get access to all the various board games in stock and a table to play them with your friends. Usually snacks and beverages are available for purchase. It's a great idea. It's basically a coffee shop with a theme, and a great draw for those looking for a fun night out but too young to go to a bar or just people who want to try out different games before purchasing them.

After waiting for several months to get through the process of opening a business, the doors of Gameopolis, Hamilton's first board game lounge, officially opened tonight at 223 King Street East. Owners Nick and Jessica are boardgamers themselves and saw a need for this kind of business in Hamilton. Tonight some friends and I went to try it out and got in a couple of good games of "King of Tokyo" in honour of Pacific Rim opening at theatres this weekend, plus "Flashpoint" which is a firefighter game where you have to rescue people from a burning house before it collapses. We also  tried some card games with "Flux" and "Smash Up" which combines wizards, ninjas, pirates, dinosaurs and more. Oh my! Other than "Flux", I'd never played any of these games before and they were a lot of fun and easy to catch on!

Gameopolis has a great variety of games, boasting over 550 in stock. There's also something for everyone as one table had a young child playing Hungry Hippos and others were trying out "Ticket to Ride" and "Small World". There were the familiar games we all know from our childhood like Monopoly, Clue, Mousetrap, etc. There are also a whole slew of movie and tv themed games such as Star Wars Monopoly, the Price is Right, a Grizzly Adams board game and more than a few that made me feel much older than I think I am. I even saw a Hardy Boys board game. You're also going to see one or two that you've never heard of before that may seem a little intimidating, but give them a chance. There are some wonderful adventures to be had in that wall of cardboard and plastic.

One thing that may surprise you is that instead of the traditional unhealthy diet associated with gamers, Gameopolis has some healthy options. Salads are available as well as nutritious sandwiches and dips. There are still traditional items like mini chocolate bars and desserts, but it's great to be able to make healthier choices. I asked for a glass of water at one point I was offered the option of a refreshing glass of cucumber water and it was these little touches that made this place stand out.

The cover charge is $5 for unlimited play and half price for children under 10 or for anyone on Tuesday evenings. What was great about this experience was that so many people were doing their own thing but they were so clearly having a lot of fun and were happy to recommend their games when asked. The atmosphere was friendly and casual and we'll definitely go back. Check out the website for Gameopolis at for a full list of games waiting to be played or just drop in as they're open Sunday - Tuesday & Thursday: 12pm - 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 12pm - 12am and closed on Wednesdays.

1 comment:

  1. Gameopolis is open on Wednesdays now but closed on Mondays, see here for the latest hours: