Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In an effort to actually play more board games rather than simply ogle at them on the shelves, I have been making the long trek to my good pal One Angry Gamer's neck of the woods in the Joliet/Plainfield Il area. There are two good gaming stores there offering a decent  variety of games for sale as well as dedicated gaming space. Further, customer service is friendly and knowledgeable although a bit talky in the Games Workshop way where you know you are being chatted up in an effort to purchase something. Regardless, a good gaming store is like gold these days if you want to do something more than just play with yourself (we are nerds after all).

Therefore, I wanted to try and locate a store closer to the Crab Shack. You know, a quick car trip rather than an hour's drive. Twenty minutes driving time  or less was the goal and Angry (the king of all Social Media and Google-Fu) sent me a link for the Gaming Goat stores in Elgin and Schaumburg. IL:

I asked Mrs. Crabby to accompany me. Normally I try to shield her from all things geeky since she willingly married me and truly doesn't need any more exposure to nerdom. However, I thought that another opinion might be a good idea since often times I let my inherent grumpiness cloud my thinking and judgement

Thus we first visited their Schaumburg location as it was a bit closer and would be on the way home from work. Upon entering the strip mall storefront, there was a wall of games, many banquet tables, and the usual glass cases filled with collectible gaming cards singles and boxes. A small group of typical gamers were hunched over a table eating and playing something. One of them acknowledged us and provided the obligatory spiel. I stated we were just looking and as it was Mrs. Crabby's first time in such a store she wanted to poke about and get her footing.

I could not find what I was looking for but she picked out a fun looking card game called Gloom (that's why I love her).  When we tried to check out we were ignored as the customer service person had his back to us while he was eating and his confederates who could see us standing by the register didn't deem it worthwhile to alert him. Eventually they figured it out and once he was ringing us up I inquired about the things I was looking for. Sadly, it was obvious he had no idea what I was talking about although these were really common items (FFG sleeves and Warhammer: Invasion expansions). After some explanation on my part he did state their Elgin location would probably have these.

Upon exiting the location, I asked my wife what she thought of the place.  Her one telling comment was, "The place smelled like urine."

Okay, on to the Elgin location.

Presumably traumatized, Mrs. Crabby decided to stay in the car and not brave a second exposure. The good news was this location's interior was visually more pleasant and the storefront made better use of space. Multiple walls in the front of the store shelved a better selection of games and card games including the expansion I was looking for. Unfortunately, the customer service person was not particularly any more knowledgeable than his fellow as he had no idea FFG offered card sleeves and kept trying to sell me more expensive Magic the Gathering sleeves instead. But at least this guy wasn't eating and did mention they would match on board game pricing (note to self: this is good). Moreover, there were actually people other than the owner's friends playing games in the dedicated gaming area and the joint had no untoward odors.

So, of the two locations, I will obviously visit the Elgin one again. They offer a Tuesday night Meetup group for board gamers so that will be my next exposure. I just hope their employee training improves because if you really want to sell something knowledge beats inane chatting up every time.


  1. I would love to see a game shop owned and operated by the Crabby Old Gamer. I'd be there so often that I'd probably end up putting his kids through college.

  2. Kids??? I never touched that woman, officer!"

  3. Just go to GamesPlus in Mt. Prospect. They have a great selection and the guys are just hands off enough to be cool.

    I'm suggesting this, and I work at Gamers World in Woodfield Mall. We have some board game stuff, and we are somewhat knowledgeable.

    If you would like to visit the second best game store around, visit us.

  4. Hey Mage,
    Games Plus is the store I regulary go to when I am on my lunch break. I was hoping to find a store closer to the Bartlett area. I will check your store out the next time Mrs. Crabby drags me to Woodfield. Best regards!