Image via Facebook.com/pawnsandpints

By Katy Schamberger

It’s an exciting time to be a game player.

Consider the steadily increasing (yet throwback) demand for table top, board and card games, and the result is growth in new game shops. Kansas City is a prime example. Several locally owned game shops give board game enthusiasts and amateurs alike places to browse, shop, learn and, of course, play.

And now, your gaming journey begins. Follow along to learn more about local game shops and events. Then, choose a place and test your skill. As part of Kansas City’s gaming community, you’ll join a noble quest.

It’s your move.

Make New Gaming Friends


Image via Facebook.com/LevelOneGameShop

Board, card and dice games are appealing to so many because they’re communal—a great reason to gather, unwind and have fun. Yet what if you can’t find friends that share your gaming tastes? That’s where Level One Game Shop comes in.

The thoughtfully curated shop in River Market’s City Market offers an enticing array of games with which to expand your collection. The shop also hosts weekly game nights at venues throughout the metro, giving players a chance to meet and connect.

“We’re great at teaching people how to play a certain game, and also pairing them up to play together,” owner Shawn Davison says.

Ready to make new friends? Add one of these metro events to your gaming rotation.

Eat, Drink and Be Victorious


Image via Facebook.com/pawnsandpints

You know what pairs perfectly with board games? A beverage—or three. Hungry and thirsty gamers love Pawn and Pint, an aptly named gaming café in the Crossroads that offers a pub-style atmosphere and an impressive offering of games.

A $5 cover includes a seat and access to Pawn and Pint’s collection of approximately 600 titles. Snacks are for sale while additional menu items and alcohol will soon be available. If you prefer certain types of games or love a good theme night, check Pawn and Pint’s monthly events calendar (posted on Facebook and Twitter). The café hosts everything from chess and Settlers of Catan tournaments to decade-themed days and even speed dating. 

Your Mission: Shop, Then Play


Image via Facebook.com/missionboardgames

Stroll into Mission: Board Games to find more than 500 games and accessories, making it a  destination for gamers of all ages. Inside the shop you’ll find classics like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Scrabble mixed with newer titles like Potion Explosion, Scythe, Pandemic and the game du jour: Star Wars Destiny, which is so popular that the store has trouble keeping it in stock.

Mission hosts regular events onsite as well. Coveting a particular game? Swing by and see if it’s available to play before you purchase it. Or, check the events calendar for recurring gatherings like Board Game Wednesdays, Star Wars Saturdays and (of course) Pokémon Sundays.

“When people come home from work, they want to unplug and interact, and playing games is a great way to do that,” owner Mason Hans says.

If you find yourself at one of the aforementioned shops or events and playing with some newfound friends, take note of a word of caution. Be prepared to quickly see their true colors—and reveal your own.

Bonus Round

Congratulations—you’ve reached the end of the story and have unlocked a secret tip. Here’s the scoop: game shops don’t get to have all the fun! The Kansas City Public Library hosts a monthly board game night, typically on the fourth Monday of the month. Check the library’s event calendar to confirm dates and locations.

Additionally, be sure to swing by a few more game shops in the metro:

Contact Visit KC