If you’re bored at home right now, you’re not alone. We’re all finding different ways to cope with that, and one of those ways is to try out a new board game or finally buy that one you’ve been playing at your local board game cafe. There a few different options for both curbside pickup and delivery in Calgary right now, and these retailers have also made suggestions on games ideal for isolation.
The Discovery Hut is offering curbside pickup during modified store hours and free, 48-hour delivery for orders placed on its web store or by phone, email or even social media. Curbside hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. There’s a designated parking area for curbside pickups on the east side of CF Chinook Centre under the pedestrian overpass — just call when you arrive and someone will bring out your order. Not everything available for purchase is listed on The Discovery Hut’s online store — call in or send them an email if you want something that’s not displayed online.
Game recommendations: Discovery Hut’s James Brewer says top sellers right now are Pandemic (“a great co-operative game for the family where each player uses their character’s unique abilities to help stop four plagues from overtaking the planet”), Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (“a silly card game that requires a bit of concentration as you chant the title while flipping cards watching for a match”) plus Root and its expansion, The Riverfolk (“an asymmetric area control game that is popular for people 10 and up”).
CF Chinook Centre, 403-301-4180 and 403-301-4036, thediscoveryhut.com
Shop online or place an order by phone to get curbside pickup from Eastridge Sports Cards & Games. Pickup hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. No delivery is offered at this time.
Game recommendations: Eastridge is one of several retailers who told us that demand for games playable with just two people has skyrocketed and that popular titles are flying off the shelves. Notably, there’s been an explosion in demand for hobby products like miniatures and other items you paint and customize. These are great options for folks isolating by themselves.
7132 Fisher St. S.E., 403-720-6690, ergames.com
This long-running games store located at the North Hill Centre has a unique system to get games into customers’ hands. There are no regular hours and no curbside pickup. The store is accepting orders via emailed wishlists only. Once the staff have reviewed your list they will call you with what’s available and suitable recommendations for alternates if your preferred titles are out of stock. Delivery costs $15 and orders can be paid remotely by Visa or Mastercard.
Game recommendations: You’ll see right on the store’s home page that it has a particularly special recommendation in mind for self-isolation: a 40,320-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Hexagon is offering both curbside pickup and delivery of board games on a by-demand basis — staff will work with you to determine a good time for either option. Its web store has board games and game bundles, Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia, Star Wars X-Wing fantasy flight game pieces, merch and add-on packages of food and beverage (including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options).
Game recommendations: The staff suggests trying out mystery-solving games (various Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective titles, Chronicles of Crime), escape room-style games (the Unlock! and Exit series) or campaign games (Pandemic Legacy, Near and Far, Mice and Mystics, Stuffed Fables).
200, 1140 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-209-2881, thehexcafe.com
One-man operation Imaginary Wars is taking phone orders for curbside pickup and delivery Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Depending on order size, delivery is typically $8 and Imaginary Wars throws in two to four free comic books to sweeten the pot. The owner will work out a specific pickup or delivery time with you when you place your order.
Game recommendations: Imaginary Wars’ owner told us that both co-operative games — like Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island — and miniatures are great options for the social-distancing era. Miniatures belong more in the “hobbies” than “gaming” category, but often overlap within a category known as miniature wargaming. Imaginary Wars is running miniature-related challenges on Facebook and Twitter that can rack up future discounts for those who participate.
135, 10233 Elbow Dr. S.W., 587-351-1939, imaginarywars.com
You can order board games, dice games, trading-card games and more for pickup and delivery from Metal Galaxy. Pickup is offered between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, while delivery runs $5 and is offered by direct request.
Game recommendations: Metal Galaxy owner Pascal Espinosa suggests Codenames: Duet for two players, Splendor for up to four players and, for people looking for a “longer term project and a heavier strategy game,” Betrayal at the House on the Hill.
4624 Macleod Trail S.W., 403-253-1414, metal-galaxy.com
ShoeBox Games is running curbside pickup from Monday to Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. while deliveries go out after 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Like some others on this list, not everything offered by the shop is displayed online. Call in if you don’t see what you’re looking for.
Game recommendations: A staff member we spoke to at ShoeBox suggested some “chill” options to game your way through lockdown without starting a feud. There’s the two-player Azul, which comes in three different versions that are all easy to learn; Tokaido, a game where players compete to see who can have the most scenic vacation on the streets of old Japan; and Letter Jam, a game inspired by older word games that is played co-operatively.
509 McKnight Blvd. N.E., 403-475-7217, shoeboxgc.com
Calgary’s oldest games store turned 40 back in December. In response to social-distancing measures surrounding COVID-19, the store is offering curbside pickup and limited delivery service. The preferred way to place an order is to email email@example.com with your list of requests (a catalogue of what’s usually in stock is here), process payment via credit card, Paypal or Interac e-Transfer and call the store upon arrival to have a staff member bring our your order. (Cash, while not preferred, can be accepted upon pickup.) Pickup hours are Saturday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also have your order shipped via Canada Post or delivered by a staff member (subject to availability) for $10. More information of pickup and delivery options here.
Game recommendations: Staff at the Sentry Box noted the popularity of board games 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. They also said there’s been a wave of new interest and increased demand for games that involve assembling and painting miniatures, like Warhammer.
1835 10 Ave. S.W., 403-245-2121, sentrybox.com