For years, a store called Gamescape (in Palo Alto) was where I always went to buy games. I didn't buy very many games, or very often, but that was the place to go when I did.
But they closed down the Palo Alto store a few years back (it's possible they still have stores elsewhere, I'm not sure), and since then I haven't had a local place to get games. I've sometimes bought them from stores elsewhere, while traveling, and sometimes online, and sometimes at the one in Santa Cruz. (Is it Game-Alot? I don't remember.)
Back in March, Bhadrika and I were looking for a particular game, and a web search turned up Gator Games in San Mateo. When we stopped by there, they seemed to have a decent selection (though not the one we were looking for--Bhadrika later found that in Santa Cruz), but it's a little far for me to go if I just want to pick up a game quickly.
Yesterday, I decided to see if I could find a copy of Tsuro, a neat boardgame that I played at Alumni Weekend a couple months ago, without going all the way to San Mateo. And lo! some further web searching turned up Game Kastle, on Coleman Ave in Santa Clara, right next to the San José airport.
Turns out to be a nice store. It looks to me like their main focus is on miniatures and wargaming, but they have lots of RPG materials, and a few bookcases full of boardgames. (I picked up Tsuro and Puerto Rico, and ordered the next printing of Pandemic.) Plus dice and stuff, of course.
Nice people, too, and knowledgeable, of course. And there was what sounded like an RPG going on in the back room.
It's a kind of strange location--hard to find (toward the back of one of those ubiquitous nondescript South Bay mini business buildings), with no chance of foot traffic from passersby; you have to know it's there. But I gather they've been around for a while.
They had much the same feel, to me, as Gator Games. And in both cases, the websites could use a facelift.
I wonder if there are a bunch of these little game stores hidden away in odd corners of the Bay Area that I've just never run into.
At any rate, I figured both stores could use some increased online visibility, so figured they were worth posting about.
Do you have local game stores that you like, either in the South Bay or elsewhere? Feel free to post names and links in comments on this entry.