The friendly local games store is a great place to buy new games and accessories, but it also much more than that. It is a place where you can build new friendships and get great advice and ideas that could lead you to your next awesome gaming experience.
Maybe you get your games through Amazon or a big box store like Target or Walmart. This could be because you have a limited budget, or there just isn’t an independent game store near you. I get it. But if you can afford to support a small, independent business, try to find one near you. Especially now, with the pandemic situation, they need your help to survive far more than Jeff Bezos or any of the large corporate stores.
With that in mind, we will be presenting spotlights on some small independent stores that we like! This means that they are all in Ontario, but they do also have online stores and can ship to you!
This series of blogs does not represent a ranked “Top” list, and the stores are presented in no particular order.
Black Knight Games
Black Knight is in Hamilton, Ontario, and is owned by Jay Mason-Grant. Jay is a great guy who is fun to talk to and easy to get along with. He knows the games and the industry, and was incredibly helpful and generous with his time and advice when we had questions about getting our game, Mathemagician’s Duel, into stores. I hear he’s a pretty good employer, too.
The store itself is LOADED with games. The carry a large selection of board games and role-playing games, plus a pile of miniature game ranges, such as all the ones by Games Workshop, as well as Warmachine, Flames of War, X-Wing, and titles by Warlord Games such as Black Powder and Bolt Action. There are more, but I’m not going to name ALL of them (due to space and memory constraints (mine, not the computer’s)). Of course, they have a great selection of the necessary accessories such as paint and other hobby supplies, as well as terrain and dice.
You will also find your favourite CCGs here as well.
There are events and leagues for the various games running constantly, and there is a large gaming area with tables to accommodate this. Although, currently that space is being used to hold more games until it is safe to gather in groups again. And speaking of safety, they take the safety and well-being of their customers very seriously. If you want to visit, you’ll need to call ahead and schedule a time. This is to make sure there aren’t too many people in the store at once. And remember to bring your mask.
If you already know what you want and don’t need to browse, you can also place your order on their website or by phone and arrange a curbside pick-up.
Black Knight Games is pretty much the epitome of the friendly local game store. They have a great community and it is easy to become a part of it. During the shutdown, they had a Discord server and a Facebook group for customers to discuss games and share progress on painting projects.
Go and have a look at the site and see what they are all about: www.blackknightgames.ca