Saturday, April 20, 2013

Adventure Games, Dickson City, Pennsylvania

While I was building up the motivation to attend Mepacon,  I decided to load up the directions to Adventure Games in Dickson City, PA.  I've mentioned them once or twice before.  They had previously been at two different locations along Business Route 6 near the shopping centers and must have moved within the last few years to a location closer to the downtown.
849-851 Main St., Dickson City
The location itself isn't too bad.  Despite being in a high volume traffic area near the mall, the traffic was too much for a quick trip to see if anything new came in, and then to zip out.  This new location looks like it has off street parking in the back, as well as on-street parking with an hour time limit.

As I walked in, I thought about finding a local historical society and borrow an old miner's helmet.  The store is DARK.  Sure it was an overcast day, but there were two small hanging lamps lighting specific tables and nothing else was lit.  And it's not as if there weren't people in the store.  There were two woman playing some game on their computer network, some kids perusing merchandise, two guys playing 40k, and a three player of the Babylon 5 CCG, plus the ever-reading register guy.  If they can't afford to turn on the lights then, do they save it for giant GW or Magic tourneys?

Oooh, I forget about this light as well.
Enough about power bills.  The main store is situated in an L shape, with computers for rent along the one wall and multiple gaming tables filling in the middle.  There is also another large, unused back room that could easily fit overflow players from any big tournament.  Most of the tables were small and easily movable, except for the two large 40K tables, which were game boards placed over pool tables! 

Dreadnought, off the scout squad, corner pocket.
Alright, let's get down to brass tacks:

Role-Playing: When I walked around the 40k tables I came upon their main role-playing section, a number of long racks stretching across the 20-25 foot section of wall and two four-sided freestanding displays. The first thing that caught my eye on the displays was the Torg: Los Angeles Sourcebook. I found it amusing for a number of reasons: a) it was the only Torg product in the store b) it was full retail, where everything else around it had a discounted sales sticker c) I lied, there was another Torg book... another Los Angeles sourcebook!  Throw in some L5R CCG and collectible mini game blisters and it wasn't an impressive display.

The racks were a mismatched collection of 3.X, 4th edition and Pathfinder with most of the racks filled in with old issues of Dungeon Magazine. A lot of single issues filling a lot of otherwise empty spaces . I guess I should add here the I did spy some issues of Game Trade Magazine on one of the game tables, so special ordering is possible.

Quick pic of the roleplaying shelves.  That's a LOT of old magazine covering up shelf space.
Miniatures: GW has a solid foothold here. The 40k boxes were wisely behind a counter that housed Magic singles as well as someone's nicely painted army. Stock looked to be one of each boxed set, a wise move. A rack in the corner housed the rule books, codexes, and a few Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay items. They stocked the full line of GW paints, and even have a few of the Army Painter flocking supplies on hand, possibly the only $5 or less impulse buy on that side of the store. One interesting item of note was a scattered display of sealed copies of Blood Bowl around the store, each one going for $82.50.
The Warhammer/40k stock... and another light.
Amenities: One plus was the veritable gamer feast available near the counter. Standard snack fare, a large convenience store cooler for drinks, and even a freezer of "microwaveable" snacks options like corn dogs.

Staff: the ever diligent guy reading behind the register did acknowledge me and was quite pleasant. Bare minimum in traditional retail, but in gaming retail that's a step in the right direction
Random sealed copies of Blood Bowl adorned the shelves.  $82.50 each

The even more disturbing (but better lit) backroom for tournament overflow I gather.
All in all, Adventure Games has upgraded in location, but maintained its dull and dingy atmosphere. If you play GW or Magic and live local, this may be the place for you. RPGs and board games are an afterthought. There was nothing there to convince me to return again and make actual purchases.

On the Gaming with the Gnomies rating scale, I give Adventure Games 2 out of 5 Gnomes.

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