FLGS Highlight: The Guardtower

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Hey folks, I’m back again to spotlight a FLGS. When in Columbus Ohio, I wanted to visit a local game store. I was excited to see what Columbus has to offer in terms of game stores. Origins Game Fair has been taking place in Columbus since 1996. It’s a convention that lasts 5 days and is filled with board game goodness. It has booths from various game makers, seminars, and planned game events. This year they had 18,648 attendees. It’s also something I hope to one day attend, since it’s not too far from Michigan. With the number of years being in Columbus, there’s got to be great game shops in the area.

The first one I found online, was only 10 minutes away from the hotel. Great! I took the first chance to stop by and check it out. I put the address in GPS, and drove to the destination. There were no signs of life, no store frontage sign, and it was an empty parking lot. Whelp, this one was a bust. I had to regroup and re-plan my next step. I was bound to get some board game into the trip.

Onto the next game store on my list, and about 20 minutes away. A game store called The Guardtower. It’s a pretty cool board game store in Columbus. And it has cats. Games and cats, you’ve probably seen those cute pictures of cats in boxes.

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Pulled from Guardtower Facebook

The store is opened 10AM-12AM Monday-Saturday, and Sunday being opened 10AM-9PM. When I was able to visit this store, it wasn’t until 9:00 on a Tuesday night. And there were more people in the store than I expected so late. I thought, this is a good sign. A good store brings people in, and this late at night on a weekday the store had about 15-20 people inside.

The store was well organized. When you first walked in, new releases were at the front, then each isle was separated by company that produced the game. This made it easy to browse and look for game titles. There was even a spot for small company games. They had a section for miniature based games, tables set up in the back and one smaller table set up in the front.

The table areas had people playing X-Wing, Magic the Gathering, and a couple other games. At the front, I got to watch a little bit of Magic Maze being played. It’s a game where each player is working together to get the gear and get out of the mall. Each play can only move a game piece one direction or do a special move, so players work together to get around the mall. It’s also a tile placement game, so you explore and expand the mall. Players can’t talk while playing either, so it’s entertaining to see how they try and communicate with each other. After witnessing it, it’s a game that I want to try now.

The cats add some uniqueness to this store. Named Moon Dragon and London, these cats roam the store freely. They act as sentries and protect the land. More accurately, they probably just act like cats and do stuff like meow and nap. I like animals, but I wasn’t sure what to expect with cats roaming around a game store. I barely noticed them when browsing. I do like to imagine them plying Sushi Go when the store is closed though.

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Pulled from Guardtower Facebook

After looking at their Facebook page, it looks like they have regular events for Magic the Gathering, X-Wing, Blood Rage, and even special events. They had a Kickstarter demo from a local board game maker recently. They look involved with the community and like to host these events and tournaments. It’s nice to see a store not only sell good products, but encourage game play too.

Overall, this is a store that I’d shop at again. It has a nice layout, easy to browse and easy to move around. I even had a question about a game and they were able to answer easily. I would recommend this as a place to stop at if you’re in the Columbus Ohio area.

The Guardtower Website – Guardtower

The Guardtower Facebook page – Guardtower Facebook

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