In the first of an occasional series, I’m taking a look at a game shop and writing a short review of what I find.
There are many ways to both buy games and to get recommendations without even setting foot in a game shop. But there’s something nice about chatting to someone who knows what they’re talking about and walking away with a new game there-and-then that Amazon will never quite replace.
Harlequins in Preston, Lancashire, is my local game shop, and it’s one I’m getting to know fairly well.
The shop itself sits above a carpet shop just outside the city centre. It’s not difficult to get to and has its own parking. The opening hours are also really useful. It normally opens at midday, and on a Monday for instance, is open until 10pm. This is to accommodate the various gaming sessions it runs through links to groups like the local university gaming society.
The store is mainly a large room with a good number of tables set out for gaming and plenty of games for visitors to try out before buying. There’s a smaller room where the actual shopping is done.
There’s a heavy emphasis on Magic The Gathering here, or at least that’s the impression I get. Each Friday there’s a FNM (Friday Night Magic) event.
But for a small shop there’s a good range of games, from tabletop to card games and dice games, and a good stream of updates from the shop’s Facebook page letting followers know what’s new in stock.
The staff are friendly and clearly passionate about what they do, and have helped me choose games on a number of occasions. I’m still a complete newbie when it comes to gaming, but at least I now have an idea of the games I like, designers I like and what I’m looking for when I’m shopping.