Sometimes it’s nice to unplug and play games that don’t require a screen. For all you lovers of RPGs and board games, the Austin community welcomes you with plenty of places to check out what’s on the market, buy that newest expansion, and settle in with your friends for your weekly game night.
By Devin Baumann
2438 West Anderson Lane
Dragon’s Lair is not only the place to go if you’re obsessed with tabletop games, but it’s also a wonderful store for comics, toys, collectibles, and meeting new people. They even have two lovable cats roaming about for you to pet! Events, special guests, and gaming leagues abound, so take a peek at their calendar to find something that catches your eye. If you’re interested in gathering some friends for a game night, you can reserve a table for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Just email them in at least 48 hours in advance on their reservations page, and remember: tables fill up fast!
Great Hall Games
5501 North Lamar, Suite A-135
Great Hall Games started in Texas Renaissance Faires, but has since set up shop in Austin to cater to such interests as RPGs, board games, chess, historical miniatures, and more. Gaming events are hosted weekly (such as open gaming on Saturdays from 11 am to 8 pm), so be sure to keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for any updates. Looking for something new? They have a huge selection of games available for purchase, along with many open games for you to try before you buy.
Emerald Tavern Games & Café
9012 Research Boulevard, Suite C6
Emerald Tavern Games & Café, simply put, feels like home. They know that sessions can often become intense and lengthy, so they double as an excellent café with plenty of snacks and drinks (including the caffeinated and alcoholic kinds) to cure your mid-game-hunger-pangs. Just short of the money needed to purchase a new game? No problem. You’re more than welcome to BYOG, and you have free access to their tables and game library with a purchase from their café. If you’ve never played a board game with your friends over a bottle of mead, you’re definitely missing out.
Outlaw Moon Games & Toys
5000 North Lamar Boulevard, Suite 105
Outlaw Moon Games & Toys is a cozy spot for you and your friends to get started on your newest game purchase after you recover from your inevitable nostalgia haze, or if you’ve just finished visiting the amazing Guzu Gallery and Austin Books and Comics located next door. Even if you’re not much of a gamer (which is surprising if you’ve read this far into this post), you’re sure to swoon over their wall-to-wall shelves of toys, especially for all you Star Wars fanatics. Don’t forget to visit their Facebook page to find out their RPG and tabletop game events, and to see their newest deals on new and vintage merchandise.
Wonko’s Toys & Games
13776 Highway 183, Suite 116
Wonko’s mainly sold collectible toys when they first opened, but new ownership in 2009 changed things up a bit. Games were introduced into the store’s inventory, they began to host game nights, and they were even featured on Travel Channel’s Toy Hunters in 2012. The store’s owners, Eric and Denise Dow, are just as enthusiastic about what they sell as their customers are, and they strive to provide an open learning environment for those new to collectibles and gaming – perfect for families! Tables are open for board games and collectible card games alike, there are frequent demo nights and release parties, and they don’t shy away from holding tournaments. Check out their events page for more details.