06 February 2015
Northern Ohio Game Stores 2015
Four years ago I posted a blog entry about the lack of game stores in my part of town (East side of Cleveland) and then followed up with a review of the game stores around town -- almost all of which were on the West side of town.
Well, since then, a lot has changed. I now live on the West side, where most of the stores are/were. Additionally, I drive about an hour further west once or twice a week, putting some other stores within range of an occasional visit. So this is more of a "Toledo to Cleveland" review than the old one, which focused on Cleveland. Another other big change is that I don't actually play much, so in-store gaming isn't much of a factor for me anymore.
Having stopped by a few new stores, and having changed my opinion on one of the previously reviewed stores, I thought it was time for an update. Just brief comments about the stores this time. So, going roughly from the furthest west, through my own neighborhood, and beyond to the east, here are the stores of which I am aware:
Game Room (Toledo)
Have not been there for over five years, but the "bits bins" were legendary. Giant tubs of second hand Games Workshop bits and loose figures in giant plastic bins, sorted by army. Bigger store, with a bunch of gaming tables. I don't usually head as far west as Toledo, but if I'm out that way, I'd like to stop in again.
Games! (Port Clinton)
Small store, just a handful of 40k miniatures. Looks to be more of a board & card game and RPG store. They did have a table with some 40k terrain set up, and the owner was really friendly. I didn't explore too much, but the web site says they have some vintage stand-up arcade games.
Hero Zone (Sandusky)
I finally got a chance to stop by. The store seems like it is mostly card games, with a small amount of RPG, board games, and a little bit of GW product (including a full looking paint & hobby rack.) I think there was a miniatures gaming table in the back of the store, in addition to a lot of card playing tables near the front.
A clean & roomy store with a lot of tables. Seems to be mostly card games, but there's a very small selection of GW figures and a full paint rack (plus a few Vallejo paints.) They have miniatures gaming tables, and the night I stopped by there were three 40k games going on.
Recess (North Olmstead)
Moved since my last "review." No longer in the mall, nice roomy store near the old location. Recess remains one of the cleanest & most professional/organized stores I've been to. A ton of board games & family games, card games, some miniatures games (mostly Games Workshop) and I think a small section of RPGs. Big section of tables in the back portion of the store.
Immortals Inc (Rocky River)
Small store in the lower level of an office building. A lot of board games, RPG, and I think some card games. Very little miniatures, just a handful of Games Workshop and a small selection of paints & supplies. Plenty of tables for board & card games.
Warzone Matrix (Cleveland)
This store deserves an update since my last review. Someone who's never been there before might not be able to tell, but it's way more organized & clean than it used to be a few years ago. Much easier to find things & see what's available. Despite being a big store, it feels a bit cramped. But that's because there's so much available. Personally, for me it's hit the tipping point of being clean enough to be a great place to go and look for the stuff no one else is carrying. A ton of miniatures, board games & RPG. Maybe card games too? (I'm not a card game player, so I don't usually look too hard.) If you feel overwhelmed, just let the owner know what you're looking for. I didn't go into the back room, and the lights were off there, so I don't know the status of the in-store gaming tables.
Although Wings didn't carry games, they did carry plastic models and hobby supplies. Unfortunately, they are now out of business. In the brief year or so that I lived nearby before they closed, I had grown fond of having a hobby store so close by, and bought a lot of supplies there that I will otherwise have to mail-order now.
Games Workshop (Mayfield Heights)
Not long after I moved to the west side, GW opened up a shop in the gaming vacuum of the East side. I haven't been there, and being a GW store, I don't really have any reason to go other than mild curiousity. If I'm in the area, I'll drop by.
Comic Heaven (Willoughby)
Haven't been there in a very long time. I'd like to check it out again, though. I will update when I do. Last I was there, about half the store was dedicated to board, card, RPG and miniatures games.
Have I missed any stores? I'm not really familiar with anything further east. From looking at Google Maps, it seems like there might be a few stores catering to card games in Mentor, Painesville, Madison, and Ashtabula.