If you’re new to Raleigh, or if you’re just visiting, you may not know that the Raleigh area has become something of a gaming hub. On any given night, locals head to one of several venues to play their favorite video games and maybe enjoy a pint or two. Others crowd into their favorite game stores to let dice and cards fly.
In Raleigh proper, Adventure Landing offers many activities. You can enjoy a large arcade that includes classics like ski-ball and air hockey or try a round of laser tag, putt-putt, or go-carts. For the most part, Adventure landing appeals to children and teenagers, but it can be great fun for the whole family. It does include a full concession stand as well.
If you’re looking for video games, you shouldn’t miss Dave & Buster’s, located in nearby Cary, NC. This restaurant/bar/arcade keeps late hours and also has many screens available if you or one in your party wants to watch the big game. The crowd varies with the hours, and people of all ages make their way here.
If you’re looking for a place to play your favorite board, collectible card, role playing, or miniatures game, you have many options in the Raleigh area. All of the local stores either offer a rewards program that includes discounts, or they have across-the-board discounts. All of them host Friday Night Magic events for Magic: The Gathering players.
Game Theory boasts a large selection of games and probably has the most to offer those looking for a new role-playing game. Not only do they carry many titles for Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder, they also have games from companies like Fantasy Flight games, White Wolf, Catalyst Game Labs, and many others. The community is very active and you’ll always see people of all ages enjoying their favorite games at the tables throughout the store. Games are scheduled on Meetup.
If you’re closer to Cary, Gamer’s Armory has a large selection of games, especially strategy board games like the Advanced Squad Leader series. They also have tables in the store where you can find others to share your hobby with and cater to gamers of all ages.
If you’re travelling further south, Event Horizon is the newest game store to this area. It has a large selection of all kinds of games, but what really distinguishes it from the other stores in the area is its selection of older games. If you’re looking for vintage Vampire: The Masquerade books, for example, Event Horizon is your store. They also have a section of the store with gaming tables, and games can be reserved on Meetup.
If you’re a fan of Game’s Workshop miniatures games (Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40,000, etc.), you’ll be happy to know that they have a store in Raleigh. The store sells everything you need to create your army, and it also has tables to play on and a few stations you can use to build and paint your figures in the store. These stations include full spectrum lamps so you can see your colors more clearly. While all of the other tabletop game stores in the area carry Game’s Workshop items, no one has a larger selection than this store.
While it’s not in Raleigh, nearby Durham, NC is the home to Atomic Empire. Certainly the largest store in the area, Atomic Empire has a strong online presence as well and offers a steep discount on its products. In addition, the store sells a variety of craft beers on tap if you’d like to partake while you game. Once again, games can be reserved on Meetup.
Speaking of Meetup, there are numerous gaming and geek groups in the Raleigh area. These groups gather at several locations (including members’ homes) and may even sponsor local conventions. A few of them are very active. You’re sure to find a group that suits you.
As you can see, there is more than enough in the Raleigh area to keep any gamer satisfied.