Regina’s Thriving Gaming Scene
Four bombs sat on the table before me. Each one had a fuse, and each fuse had been cut short. If I didn’t choose carefully, one bomb would explode. Of the three of us at the table, the other two had made their decision. The furthest bomb on the right – the red bomb – had the longest fuse. It would be the safest one to cut. I paused and then made my choice.
We put our chips on the table and simultaneously flipped them. All three of us had chosen the red bomb. The fuse wasn’t long enough for that many cuts and a moment later the bomb exploded … costing each of us five coins.
After a few more rounds of Bomb Squad Academy, we took a break. In this pause, I got up, walked to the main counter and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. While it was a Friday night, Regina’s newest board game café, Boards n Beans, was quiet. During the time we were there, only a few people came and went, and the place never seemed to have more than a dozen people in it. This was great for games that required a lot of effort, and for light conversation between friends.
I rejoined my group, sipped my delicious chai tea latte and picked a new board game off the shelf. With over 200 games to choose from classics such as Monopoly and Risk, to more obscure games like SmallWorld and Galaxy Trucker, there’s an option for almost everyone. For those looking to play more adult oriented games, they are available upon request, too.
Boards n Beans is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to about 1 a.m. With a $5 cover charge, you can come in and play as many rounds of any game you’d like – and can bring your own games too. Whatever you end up playing, there’s nothing better than tossing dice around on a board with friends.
Although Boards n Beans opened last year, the resurgence of board games have been increasingly popular throughout the Queen City, and many other locations are opening their doors to it as well.
The Artful Dodger is one such location that offers visitors a handful of games to play while they can enjoy a coffee, snacking on some food or listening to live, local talent. While their private collection of games isn’t overly diverse, it’s become a hit within the local board game community. Every Tuesday the building is flooded with board game enthusiasts, each brining their own games to play. While nothing has officially been set in stone yet, The Artful Dodger is hoping to set up a weekly board game night sometime this summer.
The Saskatchewan Gaming Community also has board game nights every night at locations spread throughout the city. Monday nights are often at South Albert Wok Box, Tuesday nights at the Northern Albert Boston Pizza, Wednesday’s at Beer Brothers, and the rest of the week varies between Comic Readers, Tramps and the Saskatchewan Science Centre. While some venues have an entrance fee, others are free. Please remember some of the venues serve alcohol, so minors might not be allowed.
Gaming is a changing medium, and as the years pass it becomes more and more entwined with technology. While nothing is wrong with a good old fashion wooden board game, sometimes people seek out an immersive experience. The Matrix, Wonderland Entertainment Centre and The Grid are just a handful of places in Regina you can mix these two mediums. New to the gaming scene is The Grid, Regina’s very own virtual reality gaming arcade. With scores of games to play, The Grid takes you deep inside the virtual world offering an experience unlike any other.
Video games have even found their way into one of Regina’s local taverns. While Bobby’s Place Olde World Tavern no longer offers weekly Mario Kart Marathons, reservations of over 12 or more people can still book the game to play amongst themselves. If throwing turtles shells, racing in zero gravity and staying clear of the evil Bowser aren’t your cup of tea, try adding a pint of beer instead. At $10 a person, this is the perfect place to unwind on a Friday night.
Board games have always been a part of our lives. While the means of them have changed over the years, games still challenge us, bringing us together and offering an escape from the outside world. The excitement, the frustration and the occasional lapse in judgement while playing a game makes them the perfect way to spend time with your friends.