I’ve written previously on the importance of buying your games locally. This tends to be harder with video games these days, as you can probably plot out the route to two different GameStops right now without really trying. Stores that sell ‘traditional games’ like board games, card games, war games, etc, are different. For reasons I won’t get into in this post there’s no strong national competition in that space. Provided you don’t count the generally crappy choices in the Wal-Mart and Target toy isles. But enough about them, let’s talk about my favorite game store.
Uncle’s Games is a regional chain of traditional game stores in Washington State. Though it started out as a side business in the corner of a popular Spokane bookstore called Auntie’s Books, it’s since outpaced Auntie’s and now has four locations as well as an online shop. For now let’s talk the one in Redmond Town Center, because it’s the one I frequent the most.
There are many resons why this is my favorite game store, but let’s start off at the top. First reason? The People.
The Uncle’s staff is professional. You’ll never get an indignant ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?’ from an Uncle’s employee. Plus everyone bathes, so there’s no 3rd day at SDCC odor. In addition to smelling nice, they’re also very friendly. 9 times out of 10, they’ll stop what they’re doing and play a game demo with you if you ask them. Everyone is also very knowledgable about their games, as they tend to only sell products that they’re passionate about.
Next reason: The store itself. Uncle’s Games has plenty of space for gaming. It’s well-lit and laid out. All the ‘hardcore’ games like Decent and Axis & Allies are in the back, and all the shiny kid’s stuff is up front. Card games behind the counter, and snacks in the mini fridge. Oh and there’s a whole wall of puzzles in case that’s something you care about. It’s not really my bag, but 3 out of 4 walls get me going every time.
Next next reason: The schedule. Every day of the week there’s a scheduled event, be it Magic on Thursdays ,Wargaming on Wednesdays, or the Pokemon CCG league on Saturdays (so you can drop off your kid and take the wife somewhere special for dinner). There’s always something going on at Uncle’s.
Next next next reason: The stock. They never seem to have a problem getting a hold of games and merchandise. I visit Uncle’s at least once a week and every time I do there’s something new and exciting to add to my game collection. If there’s something you’re looking for and you can’t find it, hit up of the employees to get it on to their special order list, even if it’s out of print and impossible to find they’ll do their best to find it for you. They really go the extra mile in this regard.
Final reason: The discounts. If you’re a frequent shopper at Uncle’s, or if you’ve organized an event or 3 at their store, chances are you’ll end up getting a discount. Or if you’re not interested doing either of those, if you time your purchases to coincide with right day on their schedule, you’ll automatically get a 15% discount. Which is more than enough reason to hibernate your PC long enough to get out of the house and hit them up at least once a week.
So if you’re ever in the Redmond, WA area, stop by Uncle’s Games in Redmond Town Center. They’re always willing to answer any questions and help out as best as they can. More so than any other game store I’ve been to in the past, they’re just as invested in you as you are in your hobby.
Until next time, Good Gaming!