Game Knight, which opened a little while ago in the former Wine Up on Williams spot, is a mini Valhalla for serious board gamers who want to immerse themselves in Settlers of Catan for hours while enjoying a serious beverage. But what of the casual gamer whose experience runs to a few rounds of Bananagrams…?

I got a posse together to find out. Following the bartender’s recommendation, we pulled out a simple-looking game about pretending to be deep sea divers looking for treasure. Another employee came over to explain the rules—with patience and without prejudice to our gaming illiterateness. The simple-looking game, just a few tiles and counters, was anything but. We played a number of rounds, each time thinking we’d cracked it. We didn’t score any points.

Fortunately we were equipped with beverages to help the brain work. There’s a nicely-priced cocktail list starting at $6—the Strategeria, a blend of rum, muddled blackberry, lavender syrup and pilsner top, that had character, though I could have done with a dash more spirit. The beer list was a mix of styles from the likes of Ninkasi, Pelican and Pfreim. Wines are straightforward—Cab, Pinot, Chardonnay etc—and cheap at $4.50. There are sandwiches and salads too. Even though it’s game centered, it has the homeliness of a neighborhood bar. I’d be tempted to go back and have a crack at one of the bigger games—though I’d better learn how to keep my deep sea divers alive first.

Game Knight, 3037 N Williams