I previously wrote briefly about my experience with Cafe Myriade back in 2012. Well, since last November I’ve been back in Perth again for work and I’ve been attending more board game events (like WABA’s Decembacon 2013, which I wrote about here) than before. One of the regular sessions is WABA After Dark, which is held at Cafe Myriade on the third Tuesday of every month (details on this and other WABA events are here). I’ve also swung around the cafe a few times apart from the WABA events and I just thought I’d update my review to reflect the changes they’ve made in the past year or so.
One of the more noticeable changes is the presence of TV screens affixed to the South wall of the cafe. Cafe Myriade now offers Wii games in addition to just boardgames. A peek at their events calendar and the signs around the cafe informs us that they even host Smash Brothers and Mario Kart tournaments regularly. I was actually there one Sunday for what looked like a Project M tourney and there were a lot of people in attendance. Some even brought their own controllers.
The events calendar is another change that I noticed. I think there might have always been one, but now it looks much more populated with more regular events. They also host regular Magic: the Gathering casual events in addition to board game tourneys and the aforementioned Wii game events. I think it’s great that the store supports so many different events and could be a great platform for bringing together gamers of all types. I know most traditional game shops also host many events, but the shops themselves can be daunting to newcomers to the hobby. The cafe setting builds a more casual atmosphere and attracts a different kind of crowd, which is a great option for many casual gamers who may then dig deeper into the hobby.
Another thing that I liked was the re-categorisation of the board games in the cafe. The shelves have now been split up slightly, and each unit of shelves houses a different category of games. While hardcore board gamers may lament the fact that the more heavy strategic games have been pushed to the back shelf, I think the categorisation is a great move which other stores should probably consider from the start.
Most of the clientele would be attracted to the light to medium games anyway, so it’s better to have them displayed more prominently. The label for the back shelf does say “games that get less love”, so they probably are just less popular since I did see some strategy games in the front shelves. I liked that they categorised the 2-player games, co-operative games and party games, since they are popular categories anyways.
The categorisation also extends to their updated website, which has a simple alphabetical list of games in addition to options to sort by weight of game and number of players. I think it would be a great tool to have at the store itself. I really hope they do amazingly well and are maybe able to have a few tablet devices with that sorted list functionality available to patrons. I think it’s still great to look at the shelves and boxes and make your choice that way, or have one of the staff recommend a game, but having an interactive sorted list could be really cool. Otherwise, maybe a QR code with a link to the list would be enough since most people would have a smartphone with them.
In closing, Cafe Myriade is still a great board game cafe and I think it has really improved in terms of providing more cool options for casual gamers of various types. I like that they’re now more organized and have many different events on offer, and I really hope they continue to do well in Perth.
Jeannie was down in Perth to visit, and we visited Cafe Myriade together again. Last time, she ate all my poor meeples in Survive. This time, we mostly played Balloon Cup. It’s a great two player card game where you play down numbered cards at different locations to try and win ballooning trophies.
There are 4 locations, and each one will have 1-4 cubes on it. The number and colour of cubes determine what colour cards can be played and in what amounts. Once both players have played the appropriate cards on their respective sides, the totals of the cards are compared. The location determines whether the lowest or highest total wins the cubes at that location. There are then 5 Cups which can be claimed by turning in certain numbers of coloured cubes, and the first person to get 3 Cups wins.
As you can see, it’s a fairly easy game. However, we both really liked playing it. It has the right balance of ease and strategy for a light 2 player game. You have to consider the importance of the cubes you are fighting for as well as plan out the best way to utilise the cards in your hand. Since it’s important to be the first to claim a Cup, you also can try to manipulate when the locations score so that it doesn’t benefit your opponent more. We liked it so much we came back another day for a rematch. The theme is a bit weak, but it’s still a fun game and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
We also played a 2 player co-op of Legendary where things looked incredibly dire at the beginning but Jeannie managed to summon a whopping 25 Power in a turn to go smack the Master Villain silly and win the game. Pretty tense but a lot of fun.