Board game cafe falls short of expectations

Photo by Kendall McGowan
Photo by Kendall McGowan

It was a dreary Sunday afternoon with the temperature just above freezing. It was one of those days where I just wanted to pull on a sweater and plunk myself in front of a fire – tea in one hand and a book in the other.

But enjoying a board game was not a bad second choice.

Instead of gathering in someone’s living room, our party of six decided to try Coolidge Corner’s newest addition, a board game café called Knight Moves.

Unfortunately, the following hours were not as enjoyable as we had hoped.

Despite calling in advance, when we arrived each of the seven tables in the cramped room was occupied. As we were pushed towards the back to wait beside three hundred cluttered board games, we noticed one family, and many others ranging in age from twenty to fifty – we were the only teenagers there.

Owner Devon Trevelyan, who originally worked across the street at Eureka! Puzzles and opened the café in December, told us a table would be ready shortly.

Ten minutes passed. Then twenty. Finally Trevelyan put together a makeshift playing area practically on top of another group. I get it: There’s a certain charm to squishing together with a bunch of other board-game lovers for a couple hours. Unfortunately, though, our group didn’t quite feel the love.

To his credit, once we were finally situated, Trevelyan eagerly helped us choose a game, and he even modified the pieces to make it playable for our large group.

We settled on Settlers of Catan, a complicated game of strategy and betrayal. Some knew how to play previously while others learned as we went. The game was fun and we highly recommend it, but we had difficulty ridding ourselves of the fact that our pockets would each be $10 heavier if we had played at someone’s home instead.

Although it’s nice to have such a great variety of games to choose from and the café is a nice alternative if you need extra competitors, in our situation, we felt our money was somewhat of a waste.

This feeling was compounded when we tried to order some of the snacks and beverages that were advertised on the café’s website,

Trevelyan informed us that the shop was out of pastries, which was a shock for those in the group who had banked on purchasing an afternoon snack. Instead, we settled on coffee and hot chocolate. The former was decent, but the latter never arrived.

As we finished our heated game, we discussed how the afternoon had played out. We had a really good time, but none of us thought we would return anytime soon.

The unreliable service, crowded room, and steep prices simply aren’t worth the environment and variety of games Knight Moves has to offer.

We would have had just as much fun at home.

 Jeremy Margolis can be contacted at [email protected]