Family-friendly games: Charleston Game Club offers something for all

Hannah Shillo, Entertainment Reporter

Members of the Charleston Game Club met Friday night at County Market’s mezzanine to play a variety of games and socialize with each other.

The group can usually be found at County Market on Friday nights, as well as Jackson Avenue Coffee on Tuesday nights and The War Zone in Mattoon on Saturday nights.

Peter Wiles, a frequent Game Club goer, said there are also monthly tournaments on the second Sunday of each month at Jackson Avenue Coffee.

While there was a full table of six people Friday night, Wiles said there are sometimes many more people who participate, and the group has had about three tables at once going with games.

Ian McCormack, another member of Game Club, said he has been attending the club since he moved to Charleston in August.

“It’s a good way to spend time,” he said. “We usually hang out for a few hours until we get exhausted.”

With around 15 different games on the table behind them, the group’s members were ready for a few hours of gameplay.

Sonny Sotomayor was among the six playing games Friday night, and he said the club plays a lot of different types of games, including strategy, action, cooperative, competitive and card games.

That night, the group was playing “Rush ‘n Crush,” a game McCormack said they had never played before.

McCormack, who was winning at the time, described the game as a dark board game version of “Mario Kart.”

Another club favorite is “Spyfall”—a game McCormack said was a more advanced version of “Clue.”

“It’s a quick game,” he said. “It’s good for in between games because you can play it in about five minutes.”

Wiles said of all the types of games the club plays, his favorites are the cooperative games, where members are all working together to complete the objective of the game.

Justin Clark, another Game Club member, said his favorite games are the ones that cause him to think more.

“I like a lot more of the heavier games that are very complex, involved and where strategy plays a big part,” he said. “I like the lighter ones, too, but I gravitate more towards the heavier stuff.”

Wiles said anyone interested in Game Club can attend at any time during their meetings on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

McCormack said joining Game Club is a great way to get involved and make friends in the community.

“It’s fun, free and you get to try new things,” he said. “(Game Club) is a nice social event to engage in, and some games even include a nice mental challenge.”

McCormack also said there are plenty of games to choose from, including some that people may have never heard about.

“When you play a lot of board games, you realize ‘Monopoly’ is actually an awful game,” he said. “It lasts forever and you really don’t have fun after the first few rounds.”

Wiles said people should join the Game Club to learn about how many games are different these days.

“Some people might be surprised at the way games have changed since they remember as kids, but they’re really not geared toward kids exactly,” he said. “There is a lot to think about when you’re playing, and it’s very creative the way that (creators) have designed some of these games.”

Sotomayor said he enjoys coming to the Game Club meetings more than he would enjoy a night out at a bar.

“If people are looking for a family-friendly atmosphere on a Friday night, like if they don’t want to go out drinking, this is a chill atmosphere,” he said. “This, to me, is way more engaging than going out to a bar.”

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].