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COMPASS MAGAZINE > February 2016

Indoor enjoyment: Tabletop gaming takes off in Taichung

By Jeff Angelovich
Translated by Carrie Chang Chien

With the winter season upon us, a common complaint is a lack of things to do indoors with friends and family. In Taiwan, solutions mostly revolve around dining out, using social media or online gaming to connect with friends. However, over the past few years, another trend has been steadily gaining in popularity for its positive and fun image--tabletop gaming.

Tabletop gaming, or board gaming, was once considered only suitable for kids, for when you were bored, or for gambling. Today, however, there is an entire industry catering to adults actively searching out tabletop games to play with their friends while testing their strategy and dexterity. As part of this trend, there are now a growing number of board game restaurants where one can play a variety of games for free, usually with a meal.

Beyond Taiwan, tabletop games are a worldwide phenomenon. The success of the German game "Settlers of Catan" was a catalyst for unique tabletop games that are quick to learn and fun to play. These newer games are not the typical '"roll & move" games that rely more on luck than on skill, and are seen as a much more positive social answer to the rise in online gaming, which is usually enjoyed in seclusion.

Indoor enjoyment: Tabletop gaming takes off in Taichung Indoor enjoyment: Tabletop gaming takes off in Taichung Indoor enjoyment: Tabletop gaming takes off in Taichung

In addition to board game restaurants, many local groups and clubs starting to entice people to enjoy this relaxed and enjoyable social experience. The Taichung TableTop Gamers (台中桌遊玩家俱樂部) Facebook group is one of the more popular, but there are groups in many Taiwanese cities. There are also people actively designing games at TableTop Game Design and promoting newer "mega" games at the Taiwan Megagames group. In addition,special events are sponsored by Swan Pan Asia and Taichung Tabletop to introduce more people to the art of "tabletopping".

If you're eager to play some cool games, search Facebook for the above names and/or head over to the following board game spots for some good indoor fun with friends.

Game Farm is one of the most established game cafes in Taichung.
227, MeiTing St, North Dist.; (04) 2235-9456
31, Alley 42, Lane 3, Taiwan Blvd, Sec 5, Longjing Dist.; (04) 2652-7022

BG (Board Game) Leisure
197, GuangFu Rd, Central Dist.; (04) 2225-0952

TableTop Terrace is a new gaming space with free drinks and snacks for admission.
45, ZhongQing West 2nd St, 7F, Xitun Dist.; 0986-891-526.

Wonderland is another up-and-coming gaming cafe.
81, Lane 59, NanMen Rd, South Dist.; (04) 2285-8599

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