Venues, Games and Shows this Summer

Draughts (Board Game Cafe)
Hackney, London

What they say:
“Draughts is London’s first board game café, a haven for game lovers. We have a team of experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly staff to help customers select from a huge library of games – 500 and counting! We serve high quality food and snacks, and a range of local craft beers, ales, ciders, and wines for all those late night sessions. We also host tournaments, themed evenings (like zombie games on Halloween) and design workshops (with professional board game designers there to teach).”

How I Found it:
This place is great!

A friend of mine invited me along to Draughts and I went without properly thinking about it. After concerns that we’d mucked up our table booking we dived straight in. It’s £5 per person for a table, and you can choose a number of board games and play as long as you want.

We started off with what was described as a ‘gateway game’ (an easy and fun boardgame to ease newbies) called Cash and Guns, then moving on to Tsuro of the Seas (we added extra dragons for some reason…) and finally seeing off the night with the more ‘hardcore’ Small World. These were all fantastic games so credit to my friend Alex Murphy who chose them.

Brilliant venue, brilliant staff, brilliant games and brilliant drinks – what more do you want?



The Simpsons Tapped Out
Available from the App Store, Google Play

What they say:
“Springfield has been destroyed.

Play today and create your own living breathing Springfield!

Homer accidently caused a meltdown that wiped out Springfield. D’OH! Now, it’s up to you to rebuild it! From the writers of The Simpsons, tap into a city building game that lets you create your own living, breathing Springfield… for FREE.

Start Tapping Today!

How I Found it:
This might feel like a cop out of a review but essentially I just can’t be doing with games that need data. I like playing games on the train, tube and just general travelling. In most of these cases my 3G signal will be pretty dodge. It seems like a fun game but it’s pisses me off that I need to be online to play it. This is a recurring theme with mobile games.


Alice’s Adventures Underground
Until 30 August – The Vaults

What they say:
Deep under Waterloo Station come and experience immersion like never before at Les Enfants Terribles Alice’s Adventures Underground; ‘the perfect remedy for grown-ups who have forgotten what it is to play’. (The Observer)

Fall down the rabbit hole and enter Wonderland, wandering through this ‘topsy-turvy world wide-eyed’ (The Times) with ‘visual and tactile treats embedded everywhere’ (The Evening Standard). Make a series of choices; will you shrink of grow? Take tea at the biggest un-birthday party with the maddest of Hatters; let the Cheshire Cat take you hither or thither or join the underground movement to rise against the fearsome Queen of Hearts.

How I Found it:
The first thing I should mention before saying anything on this show is that I work for The Vaults. I saw the set being built earlier in the year and have seen the spaces outside of ‘performance mode’. I should also mention that I was ‘on shift’ when seeing the show. These two factors meant I couldn’t quite get fully invested. The biggest strength of the show is the set design that you wander through, it’s fantastic and unfortunately this was dampened for me by having seen it before. I like the linear narrative (something lacking in other immersive productions) but felt like some scenes were a bit like filler and didn’t contribute that much to the story. Still very entertaining though!

All in all I’d say go see it, it’s an amazing show to see, don’t let my slightly estranged experience put you off.


Post by Oli Back

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