Oasis Games: A Smorgasbord of Board Games
With winter and the holiday season comes a lot more time spent indoors. If you’re tired of killing time with the same old board games that spark family arguments every year, why not try something new? The world of games has been experiencing a renaissance over the last decade, and the options are more creative and engaging than ever. Here, Oasis Games Owner and Director Alex Sittner talks what board games offer during the darker months and which games you can pick up at Oasis Games.
SLUG: For those unfamiliar, what is Oasis Games?
Alex Sittner: Oasis is a retail store for any games you don’t need a computer to play with another human. We operate a beautiful and welcoming community space for tabletop gamers to meet friends new and old. We offer a massive variety of board games both new and used. We also have a program for buying people’s older games so that they can get new ones even easier.
SLUG: How did you get into tabletop gaming, and what do you enjoy about it?
Sittner: I have been gaming for my entire life, since my brothers started getting me into Dungeons & Dragons at age 5. I love it as an outlet to solve puzzles, build my problem-solving abilities, compete and meet people who liked those things as much as I do.
SLUG: Everyone has played classic board games like Risk, Monopoly and Clue. What do newer board games do to make their experience different?
Sittner: The largest difference is that the games have gotten very diverse, and because of the growth, they have been able to create games in a lot of categories that would have never been explored before. If you are someone who loves science fiction and space travel, [or] if you are someone who loves wine and touring vineyards around the world and learning about vintages, there is a game for you.
SLUG: How has the pandemic affected board game retail at Oasis?
Sittner: People love games, and because there is so much more time being spent at home, folks are playing them a lot more. We have seen a big rise in family games and games that can be played with a varied number of players.
This couple came in to find a game they could play together. Unlock! is basically an escape room in a box. They purchased the first one and brought it home that night and played it together. The very next day, they came back in and said it was so much fun [that] they had to get another one. They came in each week for a while going through every Unlock! game we had in stock.
We have another gentleman who comes in regularly and gets games to play with his sons. They do not live with him, and the time they have together can be limited. The shared experience that you gain from learning to play a game and then playing it with other humans is tremendous, and you see this even more in children.
SLUG: What games have been selling best recently?
Sittner: Cover Your Assets, Secret Hitler, Settlers of Catan and Pandemic, the cooperative game of preventing a deadly virus from overthrowing the world.
SLUG: Can you share some games you think are destined to be classics?
Sittner: First off is Klask! Fast-paced and taking 10 seconds to learn, it has become one of our favorite ways to settle inter-office disputes. Sheriff of Nottingham is a bluffing game by Arcane Wonders. It is a quick-moving game that everyone is constantly involved in. It gives a chance to figure out who the best bluffers in your friend group are. The last is Age of Dirt, a brand-new game in which each player is given a tribe of cavemen. I don’t want to give too much away, but on your way to earning 10 points, you will fight tigers and bears, and even use a giant hammer.
SLUG: Why should people be playing and gifting games right now?
Sittner: The shared experience with other people—learning and enjoying the game together can be such an amazing experience and a great way to spend time with family members who may not have tons of things in common.
SLUG: Why is Oasis a premier local spot to get games?
Sittner: Our amazing team of rock-star employees who know more about board games than just about anyone, … [and] we offer a selection of over 2,500 games to buy and play at home with friends.
Whether for gift ideas or just something to fill time, check out Oasis Games and have some fun! Learn more or shop online at oasisgamesslc.crystalcommerce.com, and check out the store itself for some socially distanced browsing.