Game Store Spotlight: Mancala Monk

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.

Mancala Monk outside
Here’s Mancala Monk from the outside.

Today we’re looking at the coolest game café in Hamilton, Mancala Monk. From the moment Bill and I first went in there, we were impressed. The store didn’t seem that big from the outside, but when we stepped in, we saw how deep it was. And there was shelving covered in games all along the side wall, and across the back! So many games to play!

Mancala Monk's Game Shelves
So many games!

We were greeted by Will, who was interested in what we were doing as game designers, and sat down with us to play Mathemagician’s Duel, and further went on to ask us about the other prototypes we were working on. His excitement and enthusiasm for games was contagious!

Will and Bill at Mancala Monk
Bill tells Will about the games we’re working on. There are two Wills working here, of quite different sizes. This is little Will.

The owner, Matt, wasn’t in that day, so we went back to see him some time later, and he was just as friendly and welcoming. He is so invested in creating a space where people will come to have a good time and relax.

Matt with Mathemagician's Duel
This is Matt. He’s a great guy. You should meet him!

Now, COVID has made it difficult for Matt and Mancala Monk, so they’ve adjusted their space and increased their menu (which already had delicious food on it) to encourage people to come and get take out, and are putting together a game rental system so people can keep playing! The website is still being updated to reflect the changes being put in place, but check it out anyway: www.mancalamonk.com

We’ve had a great time every time we’ve been, and met old friends and new ones there. Support Mancala Monk now with take out orders and game purchases, so they will still be open for gaming and good times when we’re clear of COVID. We want to go back there and play!