Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Miscellany: A survey of some Gainesville gaming stores

There are few places more insulated than the gaming hobby shop. You know the type of place - the walls are invariably stacked to the brim with Warhammer miniatures, D&D books, "Magic: The Gathering" cards, and Star Trek ship models. In more recent times you'll probably find a large selection of obscure manga and anime titles for sale, as well as specialty and European-style board games.

First up is Mega Comics and Games. This place certainly lives up to its name - the selection of European-style boardgames is fantastic (they have Power Grid, Tigris & Euphrates, umpteen different versions of Carcassonne, etc.), and the comics selection is also the largest I've seen in Gainesville. The pen-and-paper roleplaying selection is decent, though unimpressive. Unfortunately, though the selection is great here and the store is very clean and well laid-out, the service is decidedly poor.

Next up is "Level Up Gaming." This place is currently undergoing a move, so the inventory isn't as great as it could be. Still, they keep many Eurogames in stock, as well as a healthy supply of miniatures. The main draw here, though, is the large vacant room (complete with green felt-topped tables) that allow people to play games right there in the store. The community aspect of this place definitely makes up for the sometimes-spotty service and the helter-skelter layout.

Finally, there's the Florida Bookstore Volume II. This is probably one of the few places where you can buy law books, Eurogames, and RPG stuff all in the same place. The owner and staff are very friendly, and the service here is excellent. It's too bad the selection is kinda limited, but then again, you aren't buying Glannon at any other gaming store in Gainesville, either.


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