Rain City Games is the newest business to set up shop in River Market. After getting its start in Vancouver, co-owners Andrea Robertson and Channing Guenther recently opened a second location in New West and are thrilled to be part of the downtown community. The Record checked in with Robertson to get the details on the new shop.
When did Rain City Games get its start?
Channing and I bought Rain City Games in September 2017, back when it was One Stop Shop Cards and Games in the International Village Mall in downtown Vancouver. Since then, we've been making the place our own – curating a huge selection of games, hosting events, and making Rain City Games a welcoming place for gamers of all stripes.
When and why did you open up a shop in New West?
We opened our doors in New West on Nov. 1. We had already been thinking about opening a second location, so it was a good sign when the River Market approached us last summer and asked us to move in. We toured the market and spent time in the surrounding area and fell in love with the vibrant neighbourhood and community spirit – exactly the sort of place we could see ourselves making a positive impact.
What products can folks find at Rain City Games?
We offer a bit of everything! Board games, card games, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, jigsaw puzzles, science kits – everything a proud nerd could want.
Are games popular? Who plays?
Board games are huge now. We see people from all walks of life playing board games, and the industry is certainly responding – around 3,000 new board game titles are released every year. We think it's a mix of nostalgia (remember when you played board games as a kid?) and a desire to spend some time away from smartphones and computer screens. Board games are a fantastic way to get some real human interaction. And, you know, some fun.
Do you have games for people of all ages?
Our youngest games teach toddlers about everything from colours to feelings, while our most strategic games teach adults about overcoming your teammates' questionable decision making and the values of mercilessly crushing your opponents' armies. Life skills all around!
What kind of special events do you offer at the New West location?
Our events calendar is growing quickly. Last year we started our Friday Night Board Games and our Thursday D&D sessions. This year we're adding kids' D&D on Saturdays, miniatures painting classes, and more – including both the Catan and Pandemic Regional Championships. Win one of those and you could find yourself competing for the top prize in Canada! You can find our full calendar at www.raincity.games/events.
How many games do you have in stock – and what are the most popular – at your River Market location?
Of the 1,400 different items we have in stock at any given time, around 500 to 600 are unique board game titles. We aren't kidding when we say there's something for everyone! Our most popular titles this fall included Codenames, Dragon's Breath, Coup, Wingspan, and Pokémon cards.
Is there anything else you’d like the community to know about Rain City Games?
Our in-store events emphasize community over competition. They're casual, friendly, and fun – and we wouldn't have it any other way!