Board games for everyone

© T.Joly
In these times of electronics and high technology, why not rediscover the pleasure and the friendliness of board games ? Café Oya, in Paris has a choice of hundreds from all over the globe to discover. A few hours or a whole evening of fun for family members or friends.

[ Practical ]

25 rue de la Reine Blanche, 75013 Paris
Tel : 0147075959
Open 14.00 to 24.00 Tuesday to Saturday, 14.00 to 21.00 on Sunday.
Prices : 1 game, unlimited time : 5 €, with a drink (no alcohol): 6 €.
Another game : 3 €.
Ice cream and non alcoholic drinks : 2 €.
Snacks to nibble: 1 €
In Paris there are several bars and even restaurants where you can play games while enjoying a glass of wine or nibbling on something. However no one can Match Oya for its atmosphere, its choice and its suitability for all age groups. In this 13th arrondissement venue, board games are all you can see from the moment you walk in the door, covering every available inch of wall space.

© T.Joly
 600 games
And what you see is only the tip of the iceberg. In total Oya has almost 600 games and every year 50 new ones are selected among the 200 marketed. Most of them are not available in department stores and toys shops, and are sourced from all over the planet, although primarily from Germany and the Netherlands. “These two countries are traditionally the largest producers but for a few years more and more are being invented in France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States. We even have one from Japan”, explains Patrick Rutner, Oya’s founder.
The choice of games is as varied as their geographic origins. There are card games, dicing games, games of skill, bluffing, strategy or diplomacy games and general knowledge games which force you to use your imagination and cultural savvy. With some lasting 10 to 15 minutes while others can last 45, 60 minutes or even more. As for the number of players, depending on the particular game it ranges from 2 to 10 or even 15. But the majority are designed for 4 to 6-7 people. And if you don’t have the right number it’s always possible to play with other customers. A nice way to meet people and to make new friends.

© DR
 Relaxing place
A world where kids are not left alone, even the youngest ones, as some games are accessible and understandable as early as three years old. “But I think it’s better to wait until they are five because any earlier and they can’t pay enough attention and get bored quickly”, suggests Patrick Rutner who, along with his team, provides advice to people for choosing the game and, after it’s done, explains the rules. Then it’s action time. According to the game, you can become a settler trying to make his lands prosper, a knight who must conquer castles along the Rhine, a farmer managing a coffee plantation, a traveller trying to go around the world in less than 80 days, an archaeologist who sets up excavations in the Middle East,…. The possibilities are almost unlimited. One quickly gets into the game and while some people play only two or three times, others, seized by passion or engaged in challenging games stay 6 hours or more. All of that for a very reasonable cost as game rental is 5 €, with no time limit. And it’s only an additional 3 € to try out a second one. Definitely a relaxing and enjoyable place to appreciate with friends, or with relatives and children of any age, and if you want to continue the fun at home, all games are on sale.

February 12, 2009
Thierry Joly