Photo by Frank Prager
Mike Tidball opened Otherside Games in Edwardsville on Aug. 1. The store sells board games, miniatures and hobby supplies in addition to offering game nights and other activities.
EDWARDSVILLE — Board games have come a long way from the days of simply rolling dice and moving pieces around a playing surface.
Today’s games often involve complex strategies and cooperative tactics. They also incorporate hobbies like constructing and painting the elaborate miniature game pieces used to play them.
Otherside Games in Edwardsville sells games but also provides an entire spectrum of materials and supplies for all aspects of the pastime. Alex Tidball recently graduated from SIUE and opened the store on Aug. 1. His wife, Carolyn, as well as customer associate Mike Zanger, help with the business.
“I’ve always been interested in playing these games and felt the local area could use a business like this,” Tidball says.
He explains that while some businesses sell these types of games, they are usually focused more on comic books or other items and sell the games as a sideline.
“We not only sell games and game pieces but also the paints, brushes, glue and other items needed for the overall hobby,” he adds.
Tidball says Otherside Games sells board games, card games and miniatures that appeal to a broad range of ages and interests.
“The age demographic for these games ranges from teenagers to people in their 50s,” he says.
The store stocks popular games such as “Settlers of Catan,” “Pandemic,” “7 Wonders,” “Carcassone,” “Warhammer 40K,” “Star Wars X-Wing,” “Malifaux,” “Infinity,” “Magic: The Gathering” and others.
While some games like “Magic: The Gathering” are competitive, other games such as “Pandemic” involve more cooperation among participants. Players try to work together to achieve or prevent some common element.
Some players can be outgoing and socially inclined, while others might be introverted by nature. Tidball points out the games offer a community element for all kinds of personalities.
“These games are very unique and provide a forum that brings all types of individuals together,” he says.
A distinctive feature of Otherside Games is the store’s large gaming area. Customers are free to attend game nights and other activities the store schedules weekly.
Board game night is 6 p.m. until midnight every Saturday. Tidball notes players are free to come and go and do not need to arrive at a particular time or stay the entire evening.
“It is free to come and play,” he points out. “There are not a lot of other activities where people can go and do something for free.”
Sessions are also available Wednesday evenings for people to paint.
“We have painting challenges and players can share ideas and painting techniques,” he says. “This is unique to this store. There is nothing else like this around.”
Otherside Games, 231 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, is open from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. until midnight on Saturday and noon until 8 p.m. Sunday. Customers can get more information, including activity schedules, by searching on Facebook for Otherside Games or by calling (618) 692-5525.