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Thinking Out Loud

Monday, February 20, 2006

"The Source" = The Bomb

I flew up to Minnesota last week for a job interview, and before my trip looked up nearby BoardGameGeek members in the area. Aside from wanting to find some gaming while I was in the frosty north, I also wanted to participate in my favorite travel pastime -- visiting new game stores!

After no less than four people replied that I had to visit this game store called The Source in Minneapolis/St. Paul (in Falcon Heights), my curiousity had been piqued. I was dazzled with comments about it being the best game shop in the world, featuring hundreds of games, tons of space and items for every enthusiast -- comics, anime, RPGs, boardgames, miniatures games, historical wargames. I was excited to visit, but balanced my enthusiasm with a bit of skepticism. I mean, after all, how great can one game store be?

The answer, surprisingly, is AMAZING.

I can now say without reservation that The Source is the best all around game/hobby shop I've ever set foot in. I actually had the taxi take me there straight from the airport, and spent 2 hours just browsing through everything they had.

I'd guesstimate The Source had easily 3-4,000 RPG items in stock -- from the popular D&D, Warhammer, Werewolf and d20 products to tons of small print run, indie published and out of print games. I looked through every rack of RPG games they had, and was amazed to find supplements of obscure games I own which I never realized had spawned any additional material!

They had 5 large tiered shelves bristling with Eurogames and designer games -- Fantasy Flight, Rio Grande, Ravensburger, Mayfair, Queen Games, Days of Wonder, you name it... There were nearly as many racks of grognardian wargames, and an entire back room filled with historical miniatures. Then you get all the Warhammer and fantasy miniatures. Not to mention the comic book and anime section as big as our entire basement.

The staff was incredibly helpful, and I was able to track down some small indie press run RPGs from the Forge.net forums, as well as a variety of obscure Call of Cthulhu/Lovecraftian bits -- the Call of Cthulhu soundtrack (from the indie Lovecraft Society production) and Cool Air, an amazing Lovecraft Society DVD featuring several short films inspired by HPL.

I was overwhelmed, and could have easily spent 2-3 more hours there shuffling through the different games, books and bits they had. The Source is amazing, and I'm looking forward to another trip to Minnesota just to visit that store again!!

So what's the most amazing game store you've ever been to?

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