|(Picture courtesy of Gator Games)|
Christmas is coming soon, and you need to get a board game gift. But you can't seem to find it anywhere online, and when you do, it won't ship on time!
Calm down, take a deep breath. There was a time, you know, when we didn't have the internets, when all of our shopping was handled on foot instead of a computer, and we had to make these long treks through aisles of merchandise...all to find the one item that would allow us rest and a ticket home.
With no time to waste, might I suggest going to your local FLGS? Mine is the spectacular Gator Games, known for-
Huh? "FLGS"? You don't know what that stands for? It means "Family Local Game Store."
It's "Friendly"? Well...I was close.
Anyways, your FRIENDLY local game store can help with your late Christmas purchases. How?
1. Touchy Touchy
The act of admiring a product off the shelf is a lost tradition, one that can tell you a lot about the game. Apart from getting physical with inanimate objects, you can leisurely peruse through the back stories of each game. It's marketed to entice people about the product inside, and it's something usually best felt right at the store. Also, you can get a better feel of the game's weigh, size, and whether you may need to use it to bludgen your friends awake when they sleep after a lengthy game session.
2. Staff are Well Seasoned
Not because it's the holidays and all, but store owners here have, most likely, played the game you're searching for. They can offer more insight into how the game plays with a small or large group, and whether or not the theme is a best fit for your recipients. They can describe to you in detail their experiences with the game, and whether or not it's worth your time and money. If you're not fully convinced...
3. Play a Demo of the Game
Most FLGS have opened copies of their popular sellers, and will offer demos of the game to show you how it will actually play. Does the game have a lot of token? Are there stacks and stacks of cards to handle? Will there be meeples, or figurines? Is that a manual or a novella? Don't have time to sit down to a game? You can even just take a look at the contents, see what you get for your cash. It never hurts to look...that is, until you buy.
4. The Real Social App
Lastly, there's a significant chance you'll find other like-minded individuals in the FLGS - people who share your same interests and who may also be in the same predicament as you. So many times I've walked into the store only to find myself chatting with other customers, often aiding each another in purchase inquiries. And there shouldn't be any apprehension. If they're in the store, they have some interest. What better meeting ground is there than your FLGS?
A Great Christmas Gift is Waiting to be Payed and Played
The best gift is the one bought with care, and nothing shows caring more than a great board game! The second best gift is YOURSELF, to play the game with! So, go out there and support your local FLGS!