MOX Boarding House - A Special Experience
I currently am up in Seattle on a work trip and I have had a couple of evenings free to check out MOX a couple of times and boy did I have an excellent experience. If you are ever in Seattle (Ballard or Bellevue areas) you need to carve out some time to hit these locations. I went three times in the course of a week and had a great experience for different reasons each time. (Warning, this is long)
Visit 1, the scouting trip: I had a friend recommend this shop to me and I ended up near the Ballard location and decided to swing by. As I walked in my jaw hit the floor due to the selection of games for sale. Hard to find games like Brass: Birmingham, El Grande, Le Havre, you name it they had it (for the most part). They even had it all broken down into genres with Euros, Fantasy, SciFi etc listed. It made it incredibly easy find the type of game. There was also a rental counter with a medium size selection of games to play for free! I walked away thinking I need to come back when I had more time to get some food and play some games.
Visit 2, Halloween Night, solo: I strolled into the same Ballard location and sat at the bar for some food and drink, the servers were very kind and pretty chill. The food was honestly mediocre but that is not why I went there. I finished up and went to the rental counter and told the guy, "I am looking for a solo game, I typically like heavy-Euros like Gaia Project and Terraforming Mars, any suggestions?" He took a moment and grabbed Wingspan, I told him I have played and was looking for a new experience! He was very polite and offered up Everdell and I went for it! I had only seen this game in pics or videos, but I dove in, set it up, learned the rules and even the solo rules. Typical worker placement where all you want to do is do everything! It was fun, played for about an hour and a half and beat the AI 38-35! Yay! I was till craving some gaming so I packed up and went to the counter again to a different employee and this guy blew me away. He pulled out 7 different games (ERA, Welcome To..., Horrified are what I remember) even after I turned down a couple other games and explained at a high level what each did and why it was fun. Loved the intentionality here. I chose Welcome To... and had a blast. Even though I was not trying to beat anything it was fun. Scored 109 points and felt preeeettttyyy good about that. I was feeling good at this point so I packed up and went home (after looking around at all the goodness that was on the shelves).
Visit 3, Date Night: My wife ended up coming up for the weekend for some fun! Last night we had a date night and went to this place called DERU for dinner in Kirkland then she was the best and agreed to hit the Bellevue MOX location with me for some games and we just had the best time (not just because we hadn't seen each other for a week!). We got a table and ordered some drinks and I went up to the rental counter (they have a much larger selection in Bellevue) and told the guy I am a heavy Euro-gamer but my wife is a lighter, typically luck based game enthusiast. He immediately went to Quacks, I told him that is one of our favorites already and wanted a new game. He conferred with a coworker and they came up with Karuba and boy did it hit with both of us! Enough thinking and enough luck to satisfy both of our itches! It is now on both of our wishlists! We almost played a second game of Karuba but thought we would give another game a shot. They provided Morels, which was fine, kinda boring, the guy who suggested it was a little different than us, but we still enjoyed it mostly, but will not play again. Lastly I got Welcome To... to show my wife, I have told her about it before and wanted to try it out! SHE LOVED IT! She did not get it at first, but we played a second time and she really really liked it. We ended up tying to the 3rd tie breaker....wild! This will also be on our wishlist for Christmas!
All in all, I am craving a board game cafe for me in Socal, but for now I will continue to dream about the lovely experience I had in all capacities with MOX Boarding House.