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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