It has been nearly a year since the local board game cafe opened. I'm sure you remember me posting about it when their Kickstarter went live. I also briefly mentioned in another post that I had attended their backer party the night before they opened. But I haven't yet written an article about them.
I will rectify that right now.
Loot & XP (the gaming hub of Norman) is the local board game cafe. They began a successful Kickstarter in August of last year, and opened their shop on 12 December 2015. The venture was undertaken by five friends who owned a massive game library, and decided to share their love of games with their home town. They held a series of public events at the local library to generate interest, which paid off in the long run.
As you walk in the front door, you see before you a long rectangular shop. The door is against the left wall, and to your right, there are three couches arranged in a U shape around a coffee table with a tabletop-sized video game cabinet on an end table beside them. Along the left wall in front of you are several shelves with their supply of retail games. Opposite that is the counter, where the cash register sits alongside their cafe. They sell various coffees and teas, pastries from a local bakery, bottled drinks and snacks like Ruffles and Butterfingers. They also have working arrangements with three local restaurants: Pizza King, Asian Cuisine (warning: the Asian Cuisine website has loud music autoplaying on most of its pages) and Billy Sims Barbecue. You can order from any of those restaurants, pay at the counter without leaving the shop, and have their food delivered right to your table!
There are a few taller tables with barstool-height chairs between the counter and the retail shelves. But it's when you get past the counter that the fun really begins. They have ten or so large tables, with at least six chairs at each, and both walls are lined with shelves that are chockablock with games of every sort. From Candy Land to Twilight Imperium and everything in between, including older selections like Frank Herbert's Dune and small indie releases like Asphodel. For a mere $5, you can purchase a game pass, which is good for the full day, even if you leave and return later on. With this game pass, you can play any game in the shop's library, as many times as you want (until they close, of course). If you don't know how to play, the staff can teach you; they know how to play pretty much every game there. And they're constantly expanding their library with new releases!
They have events, such as tournaments and trivia nights, and are in the process of becoming an official sanctioned Magic: The Gathering site. They even have roleplaying games available, and some groups meet there for their weekly gaming sessions!
It's hard to compare them to other board game cafes, because I've never had an opportunity to visit any others. But if there's something that is missing from Loot & XP, I sure can't think of what it might be!
So if ever you happen to be in or near Norman, Oklahoma, I highly recommend stopping in and playing some games with these great people in this great store! That's all for now. Until next time,