Café Review: Castle Board Game Cafe

The place we played: Castle Board Game Café, Toronto, ON
Played in: February 2014

Our thoughts: I would compare Castle to the board game café equivalent of warm soup – Ok, if you were hungry, not something to throw away, but just not quite warm enough to be Castledelicious. That’s basically what I have to say about Castle. It’ll do, in a pinch (if, say, the one day you spend in Toronto happens to be the day Snakes and Lattes closes for a staff party – true story) but really there’s nothing to keep you coming back. The collection was OK, we found some good games to play while we were there. The place was a bit dingy – and the hourly fee is a big negative for us. Flat fees encourage us to stay (and I think most other people as well) and spend more on food, drink, retail etc.
PWP Ranking Score
Space: C
Collection: C
Food: C
Drink: C
Staff: D
Look and Feel: D
Overall Score C-

Other stuff we like
Retail? Yep!
Flat fee? Nope.
Events? Nope.

Great for: In the area, want to play a (quick) game? Check out Castle.

What we played:
Burgundy, Rattus, Kingdom Builder

Ellie Frederickson is an experienced player of many board games and has cred as a purveyor of games from a time working in a game store. She has an inclination towards Euro-style games, but isn’t especially picky. Reading rules is a particular skill of hers (and a source of enjoyment, oddly enough) and she usually gets a game right the first time she plays it. She has a keen eye for good designs; in art, cafés and games; and an aversion to sub-standard food and drink

2 Responses to “Café Review: Castle Board Game Cafe”

  1. Mike says:

    Nothing wrong with hourly fees. Bowling alleys and pools halls charge hourly and sell full price drinks and food. Hourly fees are also more beneficial to families and groups that don’t want to dedicate an entire evening to gaming. You’ve got to see it from different perspectives.

    • Ellie says:

      Hi Mike, it’s definitely a business model that lots of places use, and it can work. However, with most cafes offering a one time fee it can make it more difficult to attract customers. It also may limit the time people want to spend there, and thus the games they are able to play. That’s why we like the flat fee model: more games, more time at a table, more time in cafes and usually more money spent on food/drinks etc. Thanks for the comment!

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