Category Archives: News

Turn off your TV and turn on your brain!

Turn off those screens!Don’t let Screen Free Week get in the way of having fun! Reconnect with your kids, while disconnecting from high tech – by playing a board game. Fair Game has a variety of games to fit any interest, genre, group or age. Come in during Screen Free Week, May 5th – 11th, and try out one of our demo games (our library has hundreds!) – bring your whole family. We will  find a suitable game for you that everyone will enjoy.

 

New Twitter feed for MtG News

Attention Magic The Gathering Players!

Are you:

  • A last minute planner?
  • A Mom or Dad  who enjoy an hour or two of peace and quiet while your sons and daughters play in our Beginner Friday-Night-Magic Tournaments?
  • Someone looking to Draft after FNM?
  • A MtG aficionado who wants to keep up with Fair Game’s MtG scheduling because, ya just gotta be in the know?

If you answered “Yes” or “Kinda” to any of the above, why not follow the new Fair Game MtG Twitter feed?  @fairgamemtg


You can even set up your twitter account to forward tweets from that account (or any other) directly to your cell phone via text message!

We promise to use this to forward important and timely information regarding MtG related news as it applies to Fair Game. For example, this Friday (Jan 10th) we are unable to run our Beginner’s FnM tournament; we will send a tweet in the regard to notify all players and parents.

The status of drafts after regular FnM are another semi-regular event which may be of interest to many of our players.

Note: we will NOT use this account for marketing or product announcements; just tournament and event info as it applies to MtG at Fair Game.

Three year anniversary sale!

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Quick Update: Fair Game will open at 9am on Friday, November 29th (otherwise known as Black Friday Our Third Anniversary)

 

As many of you know, Fair Game was opened on a Black Friday – almost three years ago! Blowing past our terrible twos, we are looking forward many more years of bringing great games and family fun to the Western suburbs.

In celebration, we are having a sale on November 29th featuring the following items:
Laser Maze – 20%
Wangle – 20%
Hello Sunshine – 20%
Orchard – 20%
Rise of Augustus – 20%
Pathfinder Minis – 20%
Selected Heroclix – 30%
All Playing Cards – 10%
Field Notes – 10%
All RPG Books and supplements – 10%
Select reaper bones – 30%
All FFG LCG – 20%
Plus, below is a coupon good for 30% any full-price item in the store.
Click, print and bring it in!

(note: this sale, and the coupon, are good for November 29th only)

CCWS01

Holiday news – new store hours and gift suggestions

3cupcakeI can’t believe that it is time again to plan for holiday madness.

This season will mark our third anniversary(!) of doing business in Downers Grove – how cool! Three years of fun and games in the greatest town east of the Mississippi. Past our terrible twos, we are looking forward to many more years in this wonderful business.

In holiday news, we have updated our gift guide to take into account some new titles and favorites – we have also decided that Mondays aren’t that bad at all, so are opening the store on Mondays from 11am to 7pm. Amy’s in charge so watch out! 

As always, Fair Game has hundreds of games which make great gifts for anyone. Our gift guide goes over a small portion of them – we have many, MANY more in the store and would love the opportunity to discuss that special person in your life who you just can’t figure out what to buy for. Check out our guides for families, parties, travel, and kids games. For the couples, we have some ideas for 2-player games as well. Don’t forget the more “serious” games including science fiction, horror, role-playing, and head-scratching strategy. Finally, a simple game-themed stocking-stuffer may be just the thing for that gamer in your life who already seems to have everything.

We will be doing some holiday craziness over the next month or so too, so make sure to stop in and check out what’s up!

 

 

Second annual 24 hours of gaming at Fair Game!

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This weekend (November 2 & 3) Fair Game is hosting a 24 (well, technically 25) hour marathon gaming session to support the Children’s Miracle Network via the Extra Life foundation.

Every year Extra Life hosts a 24 hour event to increase awareness of their cause and encourage gamers and their friends to donate to a great cause.

On an Autumn Saturday each year since 2008, tens of thousands of gamers have joined together to save the lives of local kids in a celebration of gaming culture that we call Extra Life.  From console games to tabletop RPG’s to even lawn sports, Extra Life gives people that love to play a chance to do what they love to save lives and make a difference.

Again this year, a local group of gamer-friends formed their own team, and asked us if we would host the event. Establishing a tradition only takes commitment so we agreed immediately – and now the time is upon us.

If you would like to participate, come in and play any time between 10am Saturday November 2 until 10am Sunday, November 3. We will close the store at 10am Sunday, but will be open again at noon as usual. We are encouraging (but not forcing!) gamers to donate during the 24 hour marathon – we can take donations through the register. As an added bonus, numerous Downers Grove merchants have generously donated prizes to be raffled away during the event. Thanks to Emmet’s, The Spice Merchants and Another Round!

UPDATED: More donations are coming in for the raffle! Thanks to Ballydoyle, and Edward Health & Fitness for generous donations of gift certificates. Also, one of the Naperville group has graciously donated Gloom and all expansions including exclusive promos from Table Top! Finally, game author WJ MacGuffin has offered some of his role-playing titles on PDF including Triune, Outlive Undead and the quirky variant of a classic: Personality Chess. Of course, we (Fair Game) will also be adding a few gift certificates of our own to the mix!

If you can’t make it out and still would like to contribute, why not go right to our part of the team page and give a little by pressing that big orange “Support Me!” button. Every bit counts!

Eric, Richard and I look forward to seeing the hilarity ensue as die-hard gamers and over-tired shopkeepers try to keep their sanity.

Play Games, Heal Kids

 

Get your engineering on!

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I feel like I shouldn’t even have to warn you any longer that the following post isn’t directly game related.

So consider yourself decidedly NOT warned.

Something really cool happened right here in Downers Grove this weekend (Sunday July 21st to be exact). A group of college kids on a sort of engineering tour of the US (driving the SparkTruck) stopped by Downers Grove North Highschool to show some of our kids (and adults!) a small example of what it is like to take an idea from initial concept to design by using a small variety of pieces and parts and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

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My son Sam went to two of their sessions (organized by the FRoG group right here in DG also) and had a great experience both times – designing and building a photo (5)“jelly-tick” consisting of a foam carapace and long tentacles (is that what a jellyfish has?) which moved in a somewhat organic way by virtue of a small pager motor and coin-sized battery. He also learned to work with a team to help their “alien robot” maneuver around a newly discovered planet in search of energy.

 

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These two exercises were – themselves – cleverly designed to show the participants a variety of design principles without becoming a lecture. Kudos to the originator of the idea(s), and even more props to these students who are basically following the same routine of a small touring band; stopping from city to city and sleeping wherever someone will let them. More often than not, they wake up in a new city and hit the ground running: sharing their love for creativity, engineering and discovery one city at a time.

If you get the chance to check out one of their sessions, I highly encourage you to do so. If you don’t have kids, register your niece or nephew or pretend your child “got sick” the day of an event and go “in their place.”  It is that good.

So here’s to Sarah, Benji, Brittany, Steven, and the “do you know anyone with that name” Warren. You guys GOT IT GOING ON – keep it up!

 

 

Chestnuts roasting, X-Wings flying

We are rapidly coming up to our two year anniversary here at Fair Game – and like we have done in the past, we will celebrate with a Black Friday sale. Details are a well-guarded secret that will not be revealed until the day before via email (so if you are not already on our email list, sign up over there on the right).

Steeped in mystery, the Black Sale Seance is held each year to determine which products will achieve “sale status”. In all honesty, I cannot recall what occurs during these events since our minds are erased after each one. I’m sure it involves incense and eggnog however.

In any event, I have prepared a gift guide for those of you who have a gamer to buy for. This is just a itsy-bitsy tiny sampling of the games we carry and recommend, so if you still can’t think of something after perusing it, come on in and ask. We love to talk about giving games as gifts!

You can access the 2012 Gift Guide right here.

–josh

 

24 hours of gaming marathon at Fair Game – Play Games, Heal Kids

This weekend (October 20/21, 2012) Fair Game is hosting a 24 hour marathon gaming session to support the Children’s Miracle Network via the Extra Life foundation.

 

 

Every year Extra Life hosts a 24 hour event to increase awareness of their cause and encourage gamers and their friends to donate to a great cause.

For the last four years, thousands of gamers have joined together annually to play for 24 hours for Extra Life – a gaming marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. Gamers rally friends and family members to sponsor their play. The funds they raise go to help save and improve the lives of kids at the CMN Hospital in their community.

This year, a local group of gamer-friends decided to form their own team, and asked us if we would host the event. Naturally, we agreed immediately – and now the time is upon us.

If you would like to participate, come in and play any time between 10am Saturday October 20 until 10am Sunday, October 21. We will close the store at 10am Sunday, but will be open again at noon as usual. We are encouraging (but not forcing!) gamers to donate during the 24 hour marathon – we can take donations through the register. As an added bonus, numerous Downers Grove merchants have generously donated prizes to be raffled away during the event. Thanks to Emmet’s, The Spice Merchants and Caribou Coffee!

If you can’t make it out and still would like to contribute, why not go right to our part of the team page and give a little by pressing that big blue “Support Me!” button. Every bit counts!

Both Eric and I look forward to seeing the hilarity ensue as die-hard gamers and over-tired shopkeepers try to keep their sanity.

Play Games, Heal Kids

 

Psst! Turn around, we’re right over here!

This community; these people; our gamers continue to amaze and astound me. Not only do we have some of the most friendly and outgoing people frequenting our store on a routine basis – it turns out many of those same people are not only great customers, but generous beyond all reason.

We moved the store – literally across the street – last Wednesday. Our customers and friends (often times one-and-the-same) were instrumental in making the the move quick and painless.

Thanks everyone!

Our new address is 5147 Main St. in Downers Grove. If you happen to head to the old store by mistake, just turn right around and look across Main Street – there we are!

We will be living in a bit of chaos as we get things unpacked and shelved over the next few days – but don’t let that stop you from coming by and checking out the new digs. I think you will really like our new location and more open floor plan.

I know I certainly do.

 

[Achievement Unlocked] Survive GenCon 2012!

Yes, yes, peoples, GenCon 2012 officially ended over a week ago and I’m just writing about it now. In all honesty, I’m still somewhat recovering. 45 years running and still going strong, GenCon remains the standout gaming convention in the United States bar none. Initial reports have attendance at over 41,000 attendees. Wow!

I won’t bore you with the history and background about the ‘con – just dive into the highlights from my perspective.

For me (and I suspect for many others as well), GenCon isn’t only about the games. The people, environment and the energy at this convention is amazing. Everywhere you look you will find the gaming culture permeating the convention hall and outlying hotels, restaurants and bars. It is – frankly – awesome. Being around so many gamers brings about a sense of familiarity which I cannot imagine anywhere else. It is like being at a yearly reunion with forty thousand of your friends and acquaintances who come with no pre-conceived opinions or biases based on your gender, race or gaming preference.

Everyone just kind of gets along. At all hours of the day (and night). For 4 days straight.

How cool!

Anyway, more to the point. For this post I wanted to go over my biggest surprises  – both good and bad. I will write more in a later entry (I don’t want this to get too long). So here goes.

Surprise #1 – Kickstarter is EVERYWHERE!  It was amazing how many vendors had projects already on Kickstarter, or were showing/selling games which had been funded through Kickstarter. As a retailer, I am conflicted with the fulfillment methods used by various participants, but I am absolutely convinced we are seeing more games produced by smaller independents which would not exist without this “crowdsourcing” facility. More games (usually) are a good thing for our industry.

Surprise #2Wooden Wars. I happened upon a game being played in the

family/kids section of the vendor hall called Wooden Wars. Within 60 seconds I was hooked as I watched 6 kids (I would say ages 5-12) moving wooden soldiers (about 5″ high) around a battlefield which was sprawling on the floor. Each child was in charge of a variety of units including infantry, calvary and artillery. These particular soldiers were painted up as Napoleonic era units in bright colorful uniforms. After movement, the moderator (who turned out to be the creator of the game) would allow the kids some combat – which basically involved lobbing a ‘super ball’ from the firing unit to their target. Any unit toppled over was eliminated.

Brilliant.

I watched with a grin on my face as this kids had an absolute blast for 30 minutes or so until the battle was over. I walked over to the designer of the game and introduced myself – expressing my desire to have this game for sale at Fair Game as soon as possible. Which leads me to…

Surprise #2A – the creator of Wooden Wars, Thomas Voss, has a Kickstarter up in order to collect enough money so he can start manufacturing the pieces in a cost-effective way using a laser cutting machine. I vowed to back his project (and promptly followed through when I returned home) even though he hadn’t really considered the small retailer in his business model. Thomas and I have been in email contact, and I guarantee at some point we will be carrying these soldiers in some capacity at Fair Game. That being said, I encourage you to get in early on this project if you are considering giving these wonderful soldiers as gifts this holiday season. If you do contribute, make sure you mention that Fair Game sent you!

edit: Thomas pointed out that the lack of retailer contributor levels certainly does not imply he has not considered the retailer. Once the initial launch of Wooden Wars has succeeded and he manages to get his laser machines working without hurting himself or innocent bystanders, retailer support will soon follow. First things first!

Surprise #3: Zombicide (warning, more Kickstarter content below)

Another Kickstarter success story, this game (brought to us by CoolMiniOrNot) was over-funded by some ridiculous amount. One of my friends was part of the initial funding run and brought his recently received copy to GenCon for all of us to play.

What a disappointment.

The bits and pieces of the game are fantastic – and there are plenty of them. However, after playing the first three scenarios, it seems clear that the game design process took second stage to the production quality of the components.

The scenarios seem wildly unbalanced and too easy for the players. The automobiles are very over powered, and the tracking of sound from each player seems overly fiddly and unnecessary.

In an nutshell Zombicide appears incomplete and inadequately play-tested.

Given the fantastic pieces within the box, I really wanted to enjoy this game – as I believe did everyone else – but we just couldn’t muscle through any more scenarios when there were so many other good games to play. In fact, after that last scenario was played, the owner of the game stated that he would likely sell it when he returned home.

It sold on eBay quite quickly.

Well, that’s it for now. I promise to write some more GenCon coverage in later posts once I get my notes *ahem* organized.

–J