More than ever, we need to be brought together. What better way to do this than through games? Enter The Guild House – a board game cafe founded by a husband and wife team, Jason and Cat.
Working in stable jobs, this game-loving couple took a risk on a growing trend: board games. They pooled together their resources and drew upon their mutual passion for how games bring together families and friends to open their doors at 579 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto on March 3, 2020. Then COVID-19 passed go. Was it game over for the game playing duo? No. This enterprising couple, instead, picked up their pieces and shifted to providing games for delivery. And the demand couldn’t be greater as parents scramble to provide their children with alternatives to screens and as house hostages scramble to protect their sanity by playing with friends from a distant, reminiscent of the days when correspondence chess (i.e. players mailing each other chess moves) entertained many centuries earlier.
As a product of the 90s, I’m not surprised that games such as Clue are making a comeback during this COVID-19 period. What is surprising, however, is the positioning of Dungeons and Dragon from a game that no one “cool” would ever admit to playing to a game that inspires thousands of fans, a shout out on Stranger Things and millions of dollars of crowdfunding. Take, for example, the team behind Critical Role which raised over $11 million from almost 90 thousand adult patrons to produce a D&D based show. Other popular “D&D” like games, such as Gloomhaven and Frosthaven, have raised close to $10 million and retail at $150. These games are almost impossible to find….unless you have a wizard on your side or the less difficult to find Guild House.
The 3D Printed Castle was created by Jason, founder of the Guild House, for when you roll a die.
While COVID-19 has spurred interest in board games as an excellent method to unit families, educate children and distract one from conspicuous snacking, COVID-19 has also made it difficult to find games online. In essence, COVID-19 has boosted demand while destroyed supply, making games even more difficult to find. The destruction of supply is due to the fact that manufacturing overseas has slowed. What is more, even once manufacturing does start, games, despite their utility in delivering sanity, will be the last in priority. Nonetheless, some &ldquood news” stories coming from COVID-19 is that Jason and Cat have received a lot of support from the community, for which they’re grateful. For example, people have been ordering board games from The Guild House to be dropped off at their friend, client or family member’s home. Jason and Cat, of course, take every precaution to sanitize the games and remain socially distanced during each drop-off.
If you want to start a virtual game with your friends or clients, Jason and Cat have given us insights into what is most popular.
For the conflict adverse friend who can’t stop talking about COVID-19, send them Pandemic where the goal is to cure and eradicate the disease together.
For the enterprising friend in real estate who is always looking for the next opportunity, send them Ticket to Ride, a game where players compete to build railways across the country.
Another great alternative for your business-minded friend is Machi Koro – a city building game where players compete for prime locations.
For the classic card player or casino goer choose Illimat, a classic card game with a twist.
For the friend with children who needs a break from homeschooling, get Battle Kittens, an impossibly cute game where kittens battle it out by leveraging their cuteness or cleverness.
For the friend who’s finished every horror show on Netflix, send them Mansions of Madness, an app-enabled horror game that will make players happy they’re not leaving their homes any time soon.
For any friend who needs a laugh, try Clue Bob’s Burgers or Clue Golden Girls.
Why not perfect your skills now so that when we win the social distancing game, you can boast your new skills at the Guild House?