This not sponsored by Mox Boarding House. All opinions are mine and mine only.
I’ve always wanted to review game stores, and it became part of my goal of starting this blog. I recently found myself taking a trip to the Seattle area, and I used it as a chance to check out the popular Mox Boarding House.
My first impression was that a lot of care was put into developing the layout of the store and its connection to the Cafe next door. Each major kind of tabletop game had its own room, from rpgs to tcgs, and minis, even family games. When it comes to the board game displays, they’re categorized by not only game genre (euro-light vs deck builder), but also theme (fantasy vs horror vs sci-fi). They draw in customers and players through the interspersing of play tables amongst the display shelves, rather than sectioning off the play space in an almost isolating and intimidating feel that’s all too common in other stores. The only room that felt separate was the transition from the bright, vibrant shop side of the building to the more intimate feel of the bar/cafe side which allows playgroups to enjoy their fresh new purchase in each other’s company.
Mox Boarding House is part of the Card Kingdom brand, who sells their tcg stuff out of this store which is neat if you’re in tune with the mtg community. For those unfamiliar, they’re a large online card retailer that also sponsors streamers and holds events. Check them out here!
The staff is friendly and approachable, even going out of their way while teaching a new game to engage new potential customers! Someone talked to us about the new Warhammer 40k kill team format while in the middle of teaching a game. The staff struck a good balance between being as helpful as possible without badgering. This allows customers to feel free to browse on their own while seeing employees as an accommodating and supportive resource.
Next door they have a linked restaurant/bar establishment named Cafe Mox, so you can have a drink or food and bounce back and forth in between browsing and playing games. It has a warm and intimate feel, like a normal bar hangout spot where you can play games with friends. This is a hard balance to strike when combining a game store play space with the atmosphere of a bar or cafe. Usually the room will feel more like one or the other strongly.
We ended up eating a bit, enjoying the selection of beers and root beer on tap, and playing with some of the intro magic decks they sell at the store. Mox Boarding House feels like a nerdy staple for natives to the Seattle area, and a must see for visitors. I will definitely be checking it out again when I’m back in the area.
Written by – Adrian Rillon
Photos by – Adrian Rillon and Melissa DeVarney