Fresno California has a great game store. It warms my heart to be able to write that. If any you traveling gamers happen to be driving through Fresno, you need to take the time to visit the Crazy Squirrel Game Store.
A couple of years ago, I thought it would be a neat idea to write a little review if I happened to visit a really good game store. I decided that I would only write positive reviews, because I didn’t see the point of writing a negative one. After visiting a handful of stores, the only review I had bothered to write was about Endgame in Oakland California. The other stores I visited were really nothing to write home about, especially the one where the merchandise was covered in dust and the ferret loving employee couldn’t be bothered to answer any questions.
How satisfying that the next store worthy of review is just a few miles away. The Crazy Squirrel Game Store, or the squirrel, as we are fond of calling it, is the result of a great deal of hard work and intelligent planning by its owners, Scott Martin and Jennifer Ward. In less than a year, they have managed to not only provide a good inventory of games, but have also become the center of the local gaming community. I think that’s really important. A good game store will have a copy of that game you might want, but a great game store also provides you a with place to sit down and play that game, or try out some new games and maybe make some new friends in the process.
The squirrel has a weekly calendar of events that range from tactical minis to RPGs to boardgames. I tend to go to the board game meetups on Thursday evenings, when I can manage it. I had a great time last week on Free RPG Day. I once brought my kids in for a bit while my wife was at a doctor’s appointment nearby. We sat and played one of the many games available in the store library. Great job Scott and Jennifer!
Update – August 7, 2012: Crazy Squirrel has only gotten better over time. It continues to maintain a sense of community and provides a safe and clean place to play, while never losing that feeling that it is a business and not a clubhouse.