Boardgame Cafes are one of the only theme cafes that are not synonymous to Korea. Back home I at least know of two boardgame cafes, however I have never been to one before. This past weekend I was looking for things to do in Gangnam and happened to pass by this boardgame cafe. This cafe looks really old, the chairs were ripped and grungy looking and the games looked pretty used up. They had really cool chess pawn stone statues throughout the cafe.
I'm not sure how it works at other cafes but at this one there is a playing fee per hour and then you have to buy a beverage. The fee was 3,000₩ per person/hour and the drinks vary from 3-5,000₩. There are also snacks to order as well. Once you sit down they take your drink order and write down the time you sat down to keep track of how long you are playing. Then they ask you what game you want to play, there is a book with over 50 different games.
Most of the games in the book we had never heard of and didn't want to waste time reading the directions. At first we played the card game Speed, but the cards were lamenated and very thick was it was difficult to shuffle them because they were so thick.
We decided to play Battleship next. I don't think I ever actually played the game properly until now. We played two rounds of this game, which I won both then we looked for another game. To change games you had to get the employees attention because they bring the games to you. Sometimes it can take a bit long to get their attention. After playing Battleship we were almost at an hour of playing, so we just decided to stay for two hours instead.
For the most part we didn't even end up actually playing boardgames because the ones we knew like Monopoly, Life and Clue would take some time. So, we chose to play Tumblin' Monkeys but there were only two games and they were both being used so we went with Connect Four. I used to think I was actually good at the game but I guess not, I lost two rounds very fast.
While we were playing Connect Four we were brought the Tumblin Monkey's game. I've never actually played this game before but I knew how to play. The point of this game was to not let the monkey's fall, but everytime you took a stick and they did fall you had to collect the fallen monkey's. Whoever had the least amount wins. There is a dice with the three colours; blue, green, orange that you roll to see which colour you take out. I lost the irst round by 2 monkey's. The second game I won!
Our final game was Jenga. Everyone knows this game! There were two versions, the original and the rainbow version. For the rainbow version there is a dice you have to roll which decides the colour tile you need to take out instead of choosing any tile. However, the game was already in use, so we just played the regular version. I haven't played Jenga in forever, I forgot how fun it was. We actually did a good job building the tiles high. Since this was our last game we ecided to up the stakes, loser pays, which happened to be me. For two hours of games and a drink each the price was 19,000₩.
If you ever find you want some downtime in Seoul, look out for the boardgame cafes. They are very affordable and fun!
Wondering what other kind of cafes Seoul offers?
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I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips whilst reading about my adventures abroad.
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