Modern and classic board, card, and dice games
from an independent retailer
Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Wingspan, Codenames, Dixit,
Qwirkle, Hanabi, The Mind, and many more…
Thanks to all our customers during 2020, for deciding to keep yourselves amused with board and card games and for choosing us as your independent retailer! So many people have told us how helpful it has been to get through periods of isolation and lockdown with a board game, whether played in your household or in many cases over Zoom. Let’s hope better days lie ahead, meantime don’t forget we are still here for your board game needs all year round, birthday gifts, and once restrictions are lifted, in-person games nights!
Hi and welcome!
Hi, I’m Martin and I’m passionate about board, card and dice games. I love the way they bring people together for fun times and friendly rivalry. This is an independent, family-run board game store and has been trading since 2005, initially with a small shop here in Cheddar in Somerset (30 mins drive south from Bristol), and subsequently switching to on-line only in 2008. We don’t sell on Amazon at all, and only occasionally on eBay.
My games store differs from many others in that I personally curate a select range of games that appeal to casual or family gamers, people getting in to board gaming for the first time, or those rediscovering board gaming and looking for new ideas. Other stores may stock everything down to the last set of speckled dice and Pokemon cards and can be a bit daunting for first-time gamers.
I generally steer clear of mainstream games such as Monopoly and Cluedo, epic games that take hours to play, anything with a thick rule-book, games that have lots of components (to lose) and those that require significant set-up time. As well as competitive games I also stock many cooperative games, where everyone teams up to try and beat the game itself. I also look for games with “different” themes, those which have won awards (particularly Mensa or Spiel des Jahres), those with good educational and replay value, games of manual dexterity, bluffing, storytelling, and many other types.
On most product pages I also embed an explanatory video review or playthrough from the manufacturer or from a gamer blog site so that people can make an informed purchase decision. And I can answer your board game queries by email – traditional hobby store service, but over the internet, with full SSL checkout security. You can also keep up with latest updates on our Facebook page.
Board & card game types
This store is based around products that get people together for a happy time playing games with friends and family, and enjoying the social interaction that comes with it.
Whether 8 or 80 years old, you can be trying to outwit your opponents in colonising the island of Catan, working together to save the Forbidden Island‘s lost artefacts from sinking, adopting a poker face for a game of Mascarade, bluffing your way past the Sheriff of Nottingham, or saving the planet from a Pandemic, but spending quality time with family and friends is the name of the game!
We don’t stock every new game that’s published, and don’t expect to find the latest dystopian or apocalyptic epics, dungeon-crawlers, RPG fantasy or war games, trading card collections or other heavy-duty games.
With our focus more towards “Euro-style” titles and personal favourites, games such as Dixit, Ticket to Ride, Tsuro, Kingdomino, Qwirkle, Codenames, Jaipur, and many others of that ilk, will always have a home here. We can also try to source a particular game that fits our portfolio, if you are looking for something we don’t currently stock.
Independent game store
It’s great to see the feedback that we receive when people place orders, that they had looked to buy from an independent game store and were doing their best to avoid buying from Amazon! Really encouraging for a small independent business that this is happening, especially in these weird times when we need all the help we can get. Amazon is pretty ubiquitous and it is hard to avoid them – and we will never compete with them on product range (but then a more “curated” experience is what we offer anyway). But our family isn’t allowed to order anything from Amazon without handing over the box it came in, so we can recycle and reuse it for sending games out. With the increase in mail order goods since lockdown it’s really helped save on packaging purchasing. So don’t be surprised if a delivery from us comes in what looks suspiciously like an old Amazon box! 🙂
Active Minds category
Your intrepid store owner is running the 2021 London Marathon in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, who are looking into causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cures for dementia. Playing board and card games can of course help to keep your mind active and boost cognitive functions, and a new Active Minds category has been created here to help you find titles that could be useful for those in a dementia care environment or just anyone looking for a decent brain workout. Many of these are Mensa award winners and focus on use of words, numbers, shapes, colours, quick thinking and so on. You can see the Active Minds games here, and if you would like to donate to Martin’s Alzheimer’s Research fundraiser, click here.
Customer feedback:Thank you for the speedy delivery. Love the selection of games you have curated and the ethos behind the business. Have shared and recommend to others. Hoping trade increases over the Christmas period for you. Virginia G.
Delivery and collection
Postage and packing is included in all the prices shown for UK mainland (non-Highlands/Islands) addresses, nothing extra to add at checkout. Small parcels up to 2kg should be with you in 2-3 days via Royal Mail, larger items by Second Class or by courier, so allow an extra day or two for delivery of these. If you are picking up a game you have ordered or seen online, call ahead first to arrange a convenient time, then head to living.strong.surpasses. Look for the parking area with the VW camper.
Jamaica£37.95 Add to basket
Paris£43.95 Add to basket
Qwixx£12.95 Add to basket
Telestrations£25.95 Add to basket
Confident?£23.95 Add to basket
Happy Salmon (blue)£17.95 Add to basket
Rory’s Story Cubes£11.25 Add to basket
£27.45Add to basket
Photosynthesis£37.95 Add to basket
When I DreamSale!
£23.95Add to basket
£9.95Add to basket
Not sure what board game to get? Have a look at our top 10 board and card games for some inspiration, you can’t go far wrong with any of these. Also, The Guardian newspaper often carries articles on board gaming which are well worth a read. Plus, visit the internet video channels TableTop and Shut Up and Sit Down for more inspiration on what to play. Finally, every spring, don’t forget to look out for International Tabletop Day and the UK Games Expo – and the Spiel Des Jahres board game awards each summer.
…and what on earth is a Meeple?
A small (usually person-shaped) figure used as a player’s token(s) in a board game, such as Carcassonne, a concatenation of “my people”.