• Game On, Mile Square — Hoboken Game Lounge Officially Opening August 9th

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    Mile Square gamers may have noticed a recent closure on Washington Street. Aether Game Café shut its doors earlier this year and a new Taiwanese bakery called SunMerry is taking over the location. But don’t mourn the loss of Aether just yet — the owners of the café-gaming hybrid are opening the Hoboken Game Lounge this August and there will be more gaming opportunities than you ever imagined. Keep reading to learn all about the Hoboken Game Lounge, officially opening on August 9th.

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    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    What to Expect 

    Located on 1012 Grand Street in Hoboken, the Lounge is celebrating its grand opening on Friday, August 9th — but if you’re too excited to wait until then, you can check out their final preview day this Saturday, August 3rd.

    Hoboken Girl reached out to Hoboken Game Lounge owner Max Mayer to learn more about what Hoboken gamers can expect from the space.

    “We are striving for a casual and friendly atmosphere at Hoboken Game Lounge. Board games are for everyone, from families to students to young professionals to even retired folks,” Max says via email. “We want everyone who comes in to feel safe and welcomed. We purposefully selected our game library to be as inviting as possible, so if someone doesn’t feel like board games are their thing, we can show them something simple and easy to learn that will be fun and engaging.”

    If you were a fan of the Aether Game Café, rest assured you’ll love the Game Lounge, too. After all, it’s basically the Game Café but multiplied by 10.

    “We have a library of over 200 games to select from, with many capable of having the rules explained in under three minutes,” Max says. “These games, while simple to learn, have enough depth to them that will allow you and your friends to have an amazing time.”

    The Games

    According to Max, there are four main categories of board games in the store: Children’s Games, Classics, New Classics, and Specialty. Children’s Games are ideal for kids ages four to 10 years old.

    “[They] will keep them engaged and will help foster spatial reasoning, cooperation, strategy, and fair play, as well as basic math and reading skills,” Max says.

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    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    As for the classics — you guessed it. We’re talking timeless board games like Monopoly, Game of Life, Scrabble, and Chess.

    “[These are] recognizable titles that most of us growing up in this area heard of, if not had,” Max says. “These titles are for most everyone, be they 10 or 50. Many are light and offer a great way to spend some time with your friends.”

    Then you have your New Classics — Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, for example — games that young people are familiar with or maybe are just discovering now. Think of them as kind of the new wave of board games.

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    “They’re the games that have come out in the last 20 years or so that have given birth to a board game renaissance, showing us that games can be light and strategic, where decisions you make affect the outcome of the game in an easy-to-understand, fun, and social way,” Max adds.

    Lastly, there is the Specialty category for the true-blue, not-messing-around gamers.

    “There are the Speciality Games, ones that are for true fans of board games,” Max continues. “The rules can be a bit heavy and the experiences these games offer are worth it for a great deal of people.”

    Beyond Board Games

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    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    But that’s not all. The Hoboken Game Lounge is so much more than just board games.  Outside of the Game Library, the grounds include table tennis courts, billiards, and even golf simulators.

    Each of the additional attractions — table tennis, billiards, and golf simulators — feature their own hourly rates on top of the $5 admission fee.

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    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    Speaking of admission fees, it’s $5 to enter the Hoboken Game Lounge, unless of course, you’re just looking to shop in the Lounge’s retail section. There’s an additional charge of $3 per hour for every hour you’re in the Lounge playing games. It maxes out at $7 for a total of $12 per player out-of-pocket costs. The Hoboken Game Lounge also offers memberships and discounts for children under 12.

    “We wanted to open this new space in Hoboken because we very much believe there’s a lack of variety in affordable family-friendly activities, and that is what we seek to add to the community,” Max says. “Something that brings people together, enables them to forge new friendships, and nurture existing relationships.”

    A love of board games is crucial to getting Hoboken Game Lounge up and running. It also helped inform Max’s philosophy on how gaming can bring people together.

    “I love board games as a vehicle for social interaction,” Max says. “It’s an excuse to get together with friends, to do something mentally engaging, to be able to pause the game at a moment’s notice as we get sidetracked on a discussion about life, the universe, and everything else. When you see the same folks regularly, you can easily run out of things to talk about, and having the game serve as a bit of conversational lubricant to keep the energy up is a wonderful thing to me. I particularly enjoy cooperative games, where it’s us versus the game, so that way we all share in the joy of victory and the heartache of defeat.”

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    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    Don’t worry, gamers. If board game victory — or who knows, maybe even total and utter defeat — starts stirring up your appetite, there is complimentary popcorn and bottled water for guests playing games. There’s also soda, iced tea, and candy for sale. Hoboken Game Lounge also allows outside food and beverages at no additional charge, so if you’re going to be spending 5+ hours playing Settlers of Catan, you might want to pack a snack or two.

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    “We hope that folks know they’re leaving with more than what they came in with, whether it was simply a fantastic way to spend a few hours, building new relationships, or making them stronger,” Max says. “We see the games as a way to bring people together, to engage with their community, and to create cherished memories.”

    Are you excited for Hoboken Game Lounge to open on August 9th? Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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