Top 3 game board cafes university students can visit to kill time

Picture yourself “accidentally” getting an 8 am class and a 6 pm class on a Tuesday. Where can you and your blockmates go to kill a lot of time while having fun? The answer is all over the board.

For the past two to three years, many board gaming cafes have sprung up to address the need to play games with friends. Despite us being more connected to the internet than ever before, our desire for meaningful interactions remains most satisfied when done physically, in an environment that’s conducive for social exchanges. Board gaming cafes have a niche (yet increasingly popular) way to satisfy this need: through various, adventure-filled experiences hiding under every box.

Photo c/o OnBoard

Onboard Game + Gastro Pub

Just as their namesake, Onboard is an inviting pub where they ask everyone to come “onboard” and have fun. It started off as a weekly game night and drinking session with friends, according to Marvin Moreno, the Managing Partner of OnBoard, “We decided to translate this into a fully-fledged business to get as many people as possible to experience this firsthand.”

We decided to translate this into a fully-fledged business to get as many people as possible to experience this firsthand.

There is a board game for anyone as their stock runs in full spectrum when it comes to variety, from funny to serious or simple to complex, the main goal is to laugh, socialize, move around, debate, and have fun.  “More than the concept, we focus on the experience,” said Moreno, “We like to think that we’re primarily in the business of selling a great experience, and the board games are just a piece of that.”

Address: Level 1, Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati, A.P. Reyes Street, Olympia, Makati City

Photo c/o Table Taft

Table Taft

Inside the University Mall in a convenient area where many students reside, lies Table Taft, where any La Sallian or anyone along the university belt can go and have fun in-between classes. To Kevin Cruz, the Marketing Director for Table Taft, it wasn’t until the popularization of heel culture that everyone started to see board gaming as something fun.

With board games, the growing inquisitive minds of the students will be pushed further to develop their critical thinking skills along with the bonus of influencing their social skills.

Board games were considered something boring or too ‘geek-y’ that forces everyone to remain quiet while surrounding the table. The new wave of modern board games has trumped all of that and more. “What makes us different from other board game cafes is that we want to target the student market. We want to bring the experience near colleges and universities where young people can have alternative means of recreation aside from the usual computer shop and coffee shop,” Cruz shares, “With board games, the growing inquisitive minds of the students will be pushed further to develop their critical thinking skills along with the bonus of influencing their social skills.”

Address: 2507, 2nd floor, University Mall, Taft Ave., Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila

Photo c/o Ludo

Ludo Boardgame Bar and Café

Ludo was established in 2013, its name derived from the Latin word, “Ludology,” the study of games. “The people behind Ludo are extremely passionate about board games,” answers Christine Marie Palma-Tanco, Managing Director of Ludo, “We felt the need to share our passion and spread the love of gaming, which we believed the best way would be to open up a board game café.” For Palma-Tanco, board gaming has always been there, it was just a niche market or a small community. Now, it’s more popular because people are always looking for something new to experience, and with board games, the experience changes every time. Ludo also hosts mega games and social gaming events, where anyone can join in on the fun.

We felt the need to share our passion and spread the love of gaming, which we believed the best way would be to open up a board game café.

Anyone who has played Monopoly or Uno knows how quickly tides can turn and how friendships and families can get destroyed in one huge swoop. For the less familiarized, maybe you’ve played a tense game of Chess, or dug desperately through your brain for words to place in Scrabble. What may be a childhood thing for some of us is now considered the new geeky hotness, and if you take the plunge, you’ll discover that games have evolved to become deeper, more explosive, and more fun.