Since it opened last year, GameHaüs has attracted a loyal local following and become a must-stop place for board game enthusiasts, blogger and designers visiting Los Angeles. For a $5 dollar cover charge, people can sit-down and play as many games as they want for as long as they want. Many come here as a way to find old-fashioned entertainment and human contact beyond their digital devices. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Since it opened last year, GameHaus has attracted a loyal local following and become a must-stop place for board game enthusiasts, bloggers and designers visiting Los Angeles. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

We’re betting that in your home or apartment there’s probably a tabletop board game, like “Monopoly,” “Candy Land,” or “Clue,” somewhere.

Maybe it’s one under the couch in the den, or you have several stacked in small towers in a hall closet. If you haven’t played in a while and those games are gathering dust, you might think board games were relics, made obsolete by computers, video games, smart phones and other bright and shiny digital devices.

But you’d be wrong if you thought board games had gone the way of 8-track.

Board games have experienced a renaissance in recent years, and there are more interesting and challenging titles on the market than maybe ever before, with a complexity for every age and IQ.

This board game boom has also encouraged two Southern Californians to create the region’s first board game gathering spot, the GameHaus board game café in Glendale. It’s a place where board gamers — both veterans and newbies — are encouraged to come together and enjoy the pleasures of conversation, company and play over a board game.

Listen to our story about this board games crossroads below:

And check out our photos and a discriminating list of board game picks:

If this story and post has encouraged you to take a board game for a spin, Robert and Terry were kind enough to offer their respective suggestions. See you around the tabletop!

Robert’s Picks

Tammany Hall

A strategy game set in the in the rough and tumble world of New York politics in the 19th Century

Agricola

A European game about farming

Bohnanza

A card game involving trading and negotiation

Arkham Horror

An epic cooperative game based on the macabre  stories of H.P. Lovecraft

Virgin Queen

A huge historical war game set in the Elizabethan Era. Be warned, average play time is 8-12 hours!


Terry’s Picks

Betrayal At House on the Hill

A haunted house game where the board is constructed one room at a time as the house is explored

Zombicide

A zombie apocalypse survival game that’s very “Walking Dead” in feel and scope

Letters From Whitechapel

A deduction game set in the days of Jack the Ripper

Alhambra

A tile game where the players construct the Spanish Alhambra

Fury of Dracula

A continuation of Bram Stoker’s novel in a board game

 

Terry Chiu and Robert Cron founded the Gamehaüs Café as their informal group of board game player friends grew. Putting in both their own money and funds raised through a Kickstarter campaign, they sought to create a place where there were both lots of games and room to play them.  (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Terry Chiu and Robert Cron founded the GameHaus Café as their informal group of board game player friends grew. Putting in both their own money and funds raised through a Kickstarter campaign, they sought to create a place where there were both lots of games and room to play them. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Gamehaüs has more than 700 board and card games, all arranged by themes on the shelves. There are the classic games, like Risk, Clue and Monopoly, but also newer European-inspired games that often explore themes of trade, politics and diplomacy as part of game play. What makes a great game? "We make a joke that sometimes you need a Sherpa to bring you through some of these games," says Robert Cron. Cron and Chiu say the best games are the ones  that balance complexity with east of play. Good games are also the ones you can play again and again without getting bored. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

GameHaus has more than 700 board and card games, all arranged by themes on the shelves. There are the classic games, like Risk, Clue and Monopoly, but also newer European-inspired games that often explore themes of trade, politics and diplomacy as part of game play. What makes a great game? “We make a joke that sometimes you need a Sherpa to bring you through some of these games,” says Robert Cron. Cron and Chiu say the best games are the ones that balance complexity with east of play. Good games are also the ones you can play again and again without getting bored. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Although board gaming can still be a dudes' domain, a surprising number of women are also coming to "Gamehaüs." Amanda Chung (right) and her friends are now regulars. To introduce people to new games, Gamehaüs offers tutorials. There are also many people playing who are happy to share their game knowledge. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Although board gaming can still be a dudes’ domain, a surprising number of women are also coming to GameHaus Amanda Chung (right) and her friends are now regulars. To introduce people to new games, GameHaus offers tutorials and special events. There are also many regular customers  playing who are happy to share their game knowledge and walk you through new titles. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

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  • Amanda Wong

    Hi! This is Amanda from the last picture. :)

    I have to say that I love board games even though I really don't call myself a gamer! Loved them since I was a kid. Sadly, as an only child, I didn't have many friends to play with but that's changed! After watching Tabletop with Wil Wheaton on Geek and Sundry, my love of board games was renewed! Then I saw Game Haus's kickstarter and knew I had to some here! Luckily, I found a great gaming partner in Ruby and we hope to spread the love to all of our friends.

    Ruby and I come here almost once a week. The week before we brought a big group of 10 people. Jeny really liked it so she decided to come with us again! Our favorite game is Takenoko. This game all about pandas is a good combination of luck, strategy, and kawaii! Another favorite is Ticket to Ride. We hope to play through all the different versions starting with Asia. :)

    I don't see why girls wouldn't love playing board games especially with all the wonderful artwork on some of these games. With 700+ games to choose from, you will definitely find a game you will love to play!

    Even my mom, who says she doesn't like board games, likes to play Sequence and Dixit. :)

    So, come one, come all!!! And like Wil likes to say, "Play More Games!"

    Just a friendly correction, my name is Amanda Wong (in black), Ruby Chiang is the one in brown with red shoes and Jeny Tseng is in red. :)

  • http://air-dawn.net/userinfo.php?uid=245788 Florine

    Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted to write
    a little comment to support you.

  • Simon

    BoardGameGeek.com is a great resource for finding out more about all boardgames, just be patient with their interface ;)

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  • http://www.bravefrontier.co brave frontier

    great article.you can read on brave frontier

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