Nothing spells fun more than a good ol’ board game sesh. With attentive staff, a great selection of games plus a solid menu of brunch items, here are some of the best ones in town to check out with your best mates.
Tucked away in Little India just minutes away from Lavender MRT, Experience Point is a no-frills, almost minimalistic cafe devoting its efforts towards the curation of tabletop games. Here, you’ll see a decent variety of games, about 200, including card games, pen-and-paper roleplaying games, and more. However, unlike other board game cafes, Experience Point has all but scraped the classics and dove straight into obscure titles involving murderous abbey monks and competitive knitting. But fret not, they will still personally handpick options suited to your tastes. They carry games like Limpeh Says, the local version of Cards Against Humanity, too.
Address: 803 King George’s Ave #02-190, Singapore 200803
Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm (Mon to Fri), 12pm till late (Sat & Sun); Closed on Wed
Located smack in the centre of Singapore, this underrated, unexplored games haven proves the point that Ochard Road is more than just upscale malls and boutiques. At [email protected], it’s all fluorescent office lighting and racks upon racks of games for sale or rent. Together with the staff, you can browse and learn more about the scene. The retail area is out front, while the back area is dedicated to casual plays and tournaments alike. Pick a few to try, and if you fancy, purchase the games here too. Regular patrons appreciate the fact that [email protected] are very up to date with their offerings.
Address: Midpoint Orchard #03-01, Singapore 238852
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon to Sun)
King and the Pawn
On the second floor of a shophouse along Purvis Street is homey 55-seater King and the Pawn. With a solid menu of hearty grub, locally-roasted coffee and laidback vibes – and best of all, no imposition of a time limit, this is one of our favourite hangouts. All the cafe asks for is a “cover charge” of $8 per person (Tues to Thurs) and $13 (Fri to Sun) for whoever’s playing. Easy crowd favourites include Riff Raff , a game that tests your dexterity by having you balance tiny game pieces atop a precariously swivelling ship; and Cards Against Muggles – a clear Harry Potter twist on the notorious Cards Against Humanity (also available) – that’s bound to have Harry Potter fans and non-fans alike in stitches. Try the Tomato and Roasted Grape Bruschetta that comes with a generous tub of feta cheese; as well as the aromatic Truffled Honey Croque Madame.
Address: 24 Purvis Street Level 2, Singapore 188601
Opening hours: 5.30pm – 11.30pm (Tues to Thurs), 5.30pm – 2am (Fri), 11am – 2am (Sat), 11am – 10pm (Sun)
For 12 solid years, the longstanding Mind Cafe has seen many a gathering of board game geeks and casual groups. Conveniently situated at Dhoby Ghaut, it boasts an impressive list of 500 games with classics like Snakes & Ladders and Monopoly. As the go-to cafe for the uninitiated and experts alike, do not expect the games to be in pristine condition but depending on the purpose of your visit – including team building – your group can even enjoy having its own personal facilitators. The basic fee is $5 an hour but other packages that come with free flow drinks and snacks from Old Chang Kee and Polar will see hours of mindless noshing and gaming.
Address: 60A Prinsep Street, Singapore 188664
Opening hours: 2pm – 11pm (Mon to Thurs), 12pm – 6am (Fri), 10am – 6am (Sat), 10am – 2am (Sun)
A cash-only, fun-loving cosy space, Play Nation, with a wide variety of board and console games, closes late at 11pm earliest. It has expanded to four branches, two in the Orchard area and one in Tampines – east siders take note; and most recently, the newest one in the Philippines. Each store is a different concept, but all equally welcoming, with jaunty beanbags, a smorgasbord of Insta-worthy cafe grub such as pancakes, eggs benedict and open bagels; and beverages, as gaming accompaniments.
Address: 58 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188686
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon to Thurs), 12pm – 2am (Fri), 2pm – 3am (Sat), 2pm – 11pm (Sun)
Settlers’ Cafe’s veritable list of 600 board game titles is its biggest draw. Being in operation for 15 years, this much-raved about halal-certified space has its loyal fans. Ambience is made cosy with low lighting, low-slung furniture and the nostalgic oak racks of well-worn games. A strong contender with the younger King and the Pawn, Settlers’ Cafe will serve you a heaping plate of fries along with other snacks that come in sharing portions. Sip a cuppa as you contemplate your next move, or order from the thoughtfully curated menu. Try the Seafood Laksa Pasta, the Pistachio Rose Cake or the Matcha Lava Cake. Here, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Address: 39 North Canal Road Singapore 059295
Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm (Tues to Thurs), 2pm – 1am (Fri), 1pm – 1am (Sat), 2pm – 8pm (Sun); Closed on Mon