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 café. There are a few different options for both curbside pickup and delivery in Calgary right now, and earlier this year, these retailers also made suggestions on games ideal for isolation.
The Discovery Hut is offering curbside pickup and free, 48-hour delivery for orders of $29.99 or more placed through its web store, by phone or by email. Curbside hours over the holidays are 9 a.m. to 9 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 west side of CF Chinook Centre near Boston Pizza — 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.
Discovery Hut’s new CrossIron Mills location also offers curbside pickup, though all deliveries are handled by the Chinook location. CrossIron Mills customers can place curbside orders by phone, at which time they’ll receive instructions on how to receive their order.
Game recommendations: Discovery Hut’s James Brewer said the top sellers near the beginning of the pandemic were 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; CrossIron Mills, 403-984-4949; 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 but you can have an order shipped to you.
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.ca
Hexagon is offering curbside pickup for orders placed on its web store. Its web store has board games, Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia, Star Wars X-Wing fantasy flight game pieces, merch and beverages (including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options).
Game recommendations: In May, the staff suggested 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. Delivery costs $10 on order of less than $100 or free for orders of higher value, 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 and delivery is usually available same-day.
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.
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. Place your order by phone to arrange a pickup or delivery window. Delivery costs $5.
Game recommendations: In May, Metal Galaxy owner Pascal Espinosa suggested 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 8 p.m. while deliveries go out on Mondays 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 cooperatively.
509 McKnight Blvd. N.E., 403-475-7217, shoeboxgc.com
Calgary’s oldest games store turned 41 this year. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 out your order. Pickup hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. All pickups are made at the back entrance. 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