A guided tour through Games of Berkeley December 02 2015
PLEASE NOTE that GAMES OF BERKELEY is moving to a new address, 2510 DURANT AVENUE (at Telegraph). This article will be updated with new photos once we are settled in, but the size and variety of our selection will remain largely unchanged.
Thinking of visiting the store in the near future? Here's a quick walk through of our aisles so that you can better navigate the store during your visit. We'll update this description of the store as often as possible.
Welcome to Games of Berkeley
When you enter the first thing that greets you is our dice selection. If you have a question, just wait here for the next employee to help you. Have a good look at the dice while there; you'll find everything from oversized 20-sided to DIY dice towers and even dice rings! To your right you'll find a large selection of poker chips and casino roulette wheels.
Walk to the right and continue into the store and you'll pass by the classic games section behind our new arrivals. If a game made its debut in the past two weeks, you'll find it here. In the classic section you'll not only find high-end chess sets, accessories and books on chess, but also a range of backgammon and GO, even wooden deluxe versions of Scrabble.
Look to the far right and you'll find a whole bookshelf of brain puzzles, sudoko, crosswords and a plethora of other books. Right next to our wall of marbles!
In the middle we also have a glass case with enough playing cards to rival a small casino.
Jigsaw Puzzles and More
Continue past this section and you'll find our physical brain puzzles. Everything from Rubik's Cubes to wooden knots to wine lock puzzles to Perplexus Maze puzzles shaped like Death Stars. This is also where we keep game-like puzzles like Rush Hour.
Don't rush through the next section though. Slow down and take in one of the East Bay's largest puzzle selections. We have plenty of children's puzzles, but our pride and joy are the wall of gorgeous boxes collected over decades of running the store. Keep an eye near the bottom shelves and you'll also find lots of 3D puzzles. You're bound to find one of your liking here.
Strategy Games, RPG's and a Mountain of Bargains
If puzzles aren't your thing, just move on and you'll suddenly find yourself in the war game area of the store. First there's the classic strategy game section with classics like Axis and Allies, Memoir '44, Diplomacy and Stratego. And all kinds of flavors of Risk. Behind them you'll find all things Malifaux and an entire wall of Bones miniatures and other minis for your tabletop roleplaying games.
Yes, a large section of our store is devoted to roleplaying games of all kinds. If you're looking for an old edition of your favorite system, we very might well have it. Browsing through our selection can take quite a bit of time.
Don't get distracted by the discount area across from this section. If you're looking for a gaming bargain, this is where you'll find it. Our 'Red Tag Mountain' as we like to call it features games going out of print, last calls and plenty of other goodies.
Indie Games from the SF Bay Area
Once you're done with digging through that section you'll find our Locally Grown Games right next to our wall of Star Wars X-Wing, Imperial Assault and Armada games. This section features games and products designed or published by individuals and companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Did you know the designer of Dominion lives in Berkeley? Or that both Pandemic and the Ultimate Werewolf series come from brilliant minds just a few miles away? Ask if we have signed copies available.
In this area you'll also find our miniature painting and storage supplies. Even a few rare pieces of war gaming terrain can be spotted high above the products. Turn around and look up and you'll also find rare games stored and ready for purchase up near the ceiling. These games are often collector and hard-to-find games. Again, always ask if we have something. Our selection is deep. You can also find a small selection of some of our rare items in our online 'Obscure and Rare' store.
War Gaming and Dart Armory
Speaking of war gaming; you might now also have noticed our tabletop selection of historical war games. You'll find gems here like 'A Few Acres of Snow' and plenty of others.
Across from the wargames you'll also find our 'Newly arrived Roleplaying Books' display. Here you'll discover the latest from favorites like Paizo and WotC, plus plenty of indies and new releases. While you have a peek, watch other customers try their skill at our dart board. This area doubles as a free gift wrapping station as well as the best selection of darts in the East Bay area.
If your darts go flying the wrong way you'll find yourself in front of our disc golf wall. Beware; there is a very important difference between disc golfs and frisbees. Ask us for help so you don't pick a disc golf instead of a regular flying disc.
The Best Board Game Store in the Bay Area?
A much safer set of activities will be behind you as you admire the wall of disks. Our board game selection is our pride and joy. From the humblest of 2-player games like Lost Cities to massive sprawling epics like Twilight Imperium or Descent: we've got you covered in the tabletop games department. From every expansion of Settlers of Catan and Smallworld to every version of Ticket to Ride and Monopoly.
And we've placed all our smaller games in the middle of the store below Garreth, our store wizard. You'll find both the Living Card Game section here (Doomtown, Netrunner, A Game of Thrones, LotR) and more flavors of Munchkin and Love Letter than strictly necessary.
Family and Outdoor Fun Activities
By now you've made a nice loop in the store. Don't miss out on our word games before you return to the kids section. This is where you'll find family favorites like Scrabble, Bananagrams and Yathzee. You'll also see plenty of travel and Spanish versions of popular games here. If you're looking for family gifts, pick up one of our greeting cards from the center of the store.
For the younger members of the family, did you know we have coloring books, toys and even Lego? If you move away from the game section you'll find a wall of outdoor fun ranging from marshmallow shooters to hoola hoops to Poppers. There's also a small armory of Nerf Guns.
Smart Gifts for Young Scientists
If you're of the brainier type you'd be well served to explore our science toy and gift aisle. Perfect for aspiring UC Berkeley alumni. It's right behind the magic supplies. (Magician supplies, not Magic the Gathering.) We have all sorts of curious activities here to satisfy the most inquisitive customer. Grow your own crystals, build a catapult or explore space; and we can always order more if you have a special request.
This is also where we keep kids games. Timeless classics like Candyland, Operation and Game of Life are next to fun new alternatives like Robot Turtles and Animal Upon Animal. Plus you'll find a fun range of toys here like Mr. Potato Head, Etch-a-Sketch and wooden building blocks. They're all arranged opposite of our massive plush family.
Games of Berkeley is known for a long tradition of unconventional plushies. Sure, you'll find the generic teddy bear and rabbits here, but how about something new like an octopus, mountain goat or a Star Wars Rancor? We even have giant plush Microbes.
Anything we missed? We left out mentioning our selection of tarot cards or our collectible card game area. And our bargain roleplaying map bin. And the yo-yo's. And the gag gifts. And the origami shelf. Because no matter how hard we try, we'll never be able to cover all the items we have. The only way to discover them is to come in and explore. We look forward to seeing you here!