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Visitor Info & July Update

It’s been a busy two weeks!

We’re so glad that lots of you have come out to check out the café despite the pandemic still raging on around the world. Your support really means the world us. Special thanks to the good folks who have even donated a few additional games for our shelves (and for future events/prizes).

We’ve been working hard, problem solving and generally getting the café to run smoother day by day. Our new staff are both amazing, proactive and brilliant with customers – we’ve plenty to learn from them!

July Update

Rules & discounted rates

Currently loving…

Rhino Hero: Super Battle

Our new signage!

Helping us to get the word out…

Our tasty food!

Not pictured: delicious nachos.

We’ve decided that we need a little less ambiguity about what we expect from our visitors and our pricing concerning collectable card games and D&D nights (when it’s safe to host them, we will!) So we’ve put together these policies for those two areas, and also for children / parents.

Our Kickstarter is about to pay out, which means we’ll have the opportunity to purchase a few extra bits and bobs for the café including a bit more shelving and more games.

We’re also looking into the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme (as silly as the name is…) as it might be somewhat helpful in promoting our delicious food and drink.

Our booking system is getting tweaked/improved regularly to ensure that we’re getting folks onto the right tables and we highly recommend using it to ensure that we’re properly staffed and can give you guys the best possible service!

See you soon!

– Tom x

The dancey-cut of our progress (so far!)

We know we’re a little behind… unfortunately the pandemic has made getting building materials especially difficult. Everyone’s gone DIY crazy which has, in turn, slowed us down a bit.

Fortunately – in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter too much. We’re just happy to be safe and healthy (and making slow and steady progress to boot!)

We’ll see you on the other side of this! <3

– Tom & Melissa

We made a thing!

We just wanted to show off our first table! Constructed using 50% power of friendship and 50% scaffolding boards, we hope they’ll play a big part in creating the warm and homey vibes that we’re aiming for!

#Goodnewseveryone! We’re delighted to announce… ????

Funding secured!

…that initial funding has been secured for West Didsbury’s first independent board games cafe has been secured!

We’ve had our loan approved, so we can go ahead and crack on with the project. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter further down the line, once we’ve done most of the hard work in setting up the location and legal stuff.

– Tom & Melissa

Funding secured!
good news everyone!

It’s High Noon! Two-player games for friends & rivals.

When Tom and I went out to teach English in Taiwan, we knew we weren’t going to be able to bring any bulky board games with us!   Fortunately, a quick Google search showed us that there were a few board game cafés nearby.

We couldn’t wait to try them out, but I was concerned knowing we would have no hope of deciphering Mandarin-only instructions… Fortunately, our favourite spot, called Joy and Gathering had a decent collection of English games. It was the perfect spot to wile away a warm, rainy day.

When we couldn’t coax our friends to come along with us, we had to settle for some boyfriend-girlfriend rivalry! Here are our favourite games for two…


This modern classic card-trading game delivers a wonderful blend of tactics, risk and reward. Playing the roles of two merchants in India, you and another player head to the “market” to trade in silk, spices, camels, silver, gold and rubies. The game is played in three rounds and can be finished in less than thirty minutes, with the richest player winning. It’s a simple concept with plenty of depth. We loved the artwork on the cards as well, the pace of the game and the quest for camels!  

The Mind

Half card-game, half …thought-experiment? Whatever it is, it’s a great example of easy to learn but hard to master! In the deck you’ll find 100 cards numbered 1 to 100. After a handful of these are dealt out to you and another player. Without any communication, you take turns placing your cards down in ascending order. Sounds easy right? It’s not. As you progress through the levels, you’re both given more cards, and the difficulty ramps up forcing you to burn through lives and ‘ninja stars’ which let you both discard your lowest number. We love this little game and think it’s best played in a pair rather than in a group. Great for a short blast of fun to round-off or begin your gaming session with.

7 Wonders Duel

Across three rounds (or ‘eras’), players build up their civilisation and battle it out head-to-head in this intense two-player version of the classic ‘7 Wonders’. There are twelve unique and powerful wonders in total, with seven up for grabs in each game. The game expertly combines chance and strategy elements through the well-illustrated card deck that forms a ‘tree’ as you play – with half the cards left face-down. It takes about thirty minutes to play- perhaps forty on your first play-through. This does mean that you can push for a ‘best of three’ if you’re a sore loser (looking at you, Tommo). Games can certainly take a bit longer if you’re less impulsive, so it’s worth setting a timer for each turn so you’re not pondering whether to focus on military, scientific, economic or cultural advancement for too long. All in all, it’s a great little game and well-worth learning.  


Is a popular spy-themed ‘cryptic clues’ game. With a set of twenty-five words in front of you, you provide your teammate with clues which help them safely complete their mission, through selecting the right words. One careless word and you could land your agent in deep trouble! Code Names is great in a group setting, also fun in pairs as you work a fine-tooth comb through your vocabulary.  

Monopoly Deal

This game turns the family classic Monopoly on its head, and is worlds away from the slow, soul-destroying experience that is losing a game of monopoly! Right now, it’s our go-to travel game because it requires very little in the way of space or setup time. This small-scale version is simple, portable and very addictive. It is better in groups of three but still very playable with two players, and definitely pairs well with an alcoholic beverage or two. There are always twists and turns throughout a game and despite luck often being the deciding factor in who eventually wins, it’s quick and fun enough that none of it matters! It’s not perfect or particularly well-balanced but we still play it enough that it has to be on this list!


7 Wonders: Duel

Monopoly Deal


The Mind

WTF is… a board game cafe?

We love board game cafés, we think they’re awesome. They’re perfect for an evening’s entertainment with friends, colleagues or complete strangers. But… what is a “board game cafe”?

For the uninitiated, as they’re still relatively uncommon in the UK. It’s simply a spot to play tabletop or board games with friends and family. The advantage being, that there’s a big selection of games for your to play and (usually) lots of lovely food and drink available.

Right now, South Manchester doesn’t really have a dedicated board games café/bar- and we’re on a mission to change that! Ours will be a space for everyone to enjoy; whether you’re a complete beginner, casual player or a seasoned strategist.

We’ll ensure that the experience is always affordable, accessible and that the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. We’re also committed to establishing ourselves as an ethical business, one that treats staff, suppliers, customers, and the environment with respect. So, alongside the massive collection of board games, we’ll be serving simple and tasty vegan/vegetarian snacks and light-bites together with carefully selected fairtrade coffees.

Our mission is give people access to a massive games library for around the same price as a craft beer, without the need for that the big investment. In keeping with this, we’ll also be offering a membership discount package for our repeat customers (and our early-backers!)

Assuming we hit our fundraising goals, our selection of games will really showcase the variety that modern board games have to offer, right from day one!

If you’d like to hear from us when our Kickstarter goes live, subscribe from our home page or follow our journey on social media.

– Tom

Hello world!

And we’re off! Website development has started and we’re making lots of decisions about what services to use in the day-to-day running of the café. Our company ‘Goodtime Games Limited’ actually exists now, and should have a business account within a few days.

When I’ve got that sorted, I can migrate this website to a paid-for host and begin purchasing some more business essentials. Obviously, we’ll need to secure a startup loan and premises along the way but I’m confident that can be sorted before the end of December 2020.

The next big steps will be developing our menu and board game library. We’re aiming to stock around 300 board game titles from our opening day. Things like marketing will all go into overdrive once we’ve secured a location.

I’ll be sure to post regular updates as I’m sure it will help me stay sane whilst we get things off the ground. Until next time!

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