Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bar A Jeux in Montreal

I promise I have some upcoming posts on some Arduino projects and gaming stuff, but while I was in Montreal last month for a Refused concert I was fortunate enough to catch some of the Just for Laughs festival.

Apart from great comedy the Just for Laughs festival really takes over a good chunk of downtown Montreal and features all kinds of events and buskers and cool stuff... and food trucks, delicious, delicious food trucks.

One of the really neat things that I almost missed (A friend actually noticed it) was the "Bar A Jeux", which, despite my tenuous grasp of the French language immediately piqued my interest.  They had a dozen or so tables set up with umbrellas and chairs and a booth full of boardgames. We walked over to have a look and a super friendly young man asked us if we'd like to learn how to play a game.

I took a quick glance at the selection for something quick (we didn't have as much time as I would have liked) and noticed a couple copies of Zombie Dice on the shelf along side dozens of other dice/card games and even some more significant games like Agricola and 7 Wonders. Having seen Zombie Dice on an episode of Table Top and being interested in it as a quick game that my friend (not a boardgamer) might enjoy that was our selection.

The volunteers offered to come over and show us how it worked which would have been super helpful if I wasn't already familiar with the game. I asked if they needed my id or a CC number or something but they just said to bring it back when we were done with it, another small gesture that I appreciated. It was really nice to see how excited they seemed to help people learn about some of these cool new games and to see how many people seemed interested in sitting down and learning/playing.

Zombie Dice was a fun game, we played through 3 times while enjoying shade and a couple beer. The booth supplied a nice little dice box which made playing on the smallish tables very easy (Agricola might have been a challenge to fit).

After we were done I asked if it was possible to purchase a copy of the game from them and they said they weren't selling them but there were a couple games shops (and apparently a pub that has games which I really wish I had time to visit) around that sold them.

Next to the boardgame booth was another booth with wooden dice games and magnetic foosball/hockey type games and some neat puzzles. There was also a large game with a balancing platform and odd shaped blocks that people were playing with, like some sort of super-sized tip-it game.

I hope they bring this back for future festivals, even if I can't make it there it's great just to know that somebody is getting to sit out in the shade and learn a new game. Thank you Just For Laughs.