I passed another Israeli toy store that I hadn't checked out, so I stepped in for a glance around the game shelves.
Almost all toy and game stores in Israel appear to be owned by the same company. At least, they all get their toys and games from the same importers, because by and large they all have the same stuff. Still, it's interesting to see what that stuff is from store to store. Some will have more of a selection and some less, depending on ... I don't really know, actually.
Unless I am out of touch with American games stores, which is probable, Israel is doing pretty well by comparison. The stores have selections of games from the European divisions of Foxmind, Asmodee, and Winning Moves. The game catalogs of the European divisions are different from the American divisions. The game Jungle Speed, for instance, appears to be published by both Foxmind and Asmodee. Games that are published by one of these publishers in America might be published by the other in some parts of Europe, and vice versa.
Good games lying around, which I have reported on before, include: TransAmerica, Hive, Blokus and Travel Blokus, Quarto, DisX, Quoridor, Gobblet, and Abalone. Abalone is omnipresent in all Israeli toy stores, after chess, backgammon, checkers, Race, and Taki. I didn't see Connections (Ingenious).
Hive was reasonably priced here at 109 NIS which is about $24 including tax. I almost bought it. The young lady who was alone in minding the store saw me looking at it and advised me not to get it because it wasn't good. She said that it didn't sell well. I asked her if that was because her customers didn't like it or because nobody knew about it, and she assured me that it was because her customers didn't like it. She suggested Blokus, the Da Vinci Code (they were out of it, so I don't know which game she meant), and her personal favorite Tantrix ($26), which she plays every day.
They had Scotland Yard, which I hadn't seen in any other toy store. Also Octi, which has always looked intriguing, although not something that I feel like I would need to own. Others I saw and haven't noted before include Penguin Pile-up and Labyrinth, children's games I believe.
Last night I played two games of Lift Off with Tal. I'm not impressed. I think that's just because it is not my type of game.
Here's some more input on the video game's are bad for you commentary. This one weighs in against the knee jerk reactionary blind defenders of video games. It is extremely well written.
P.S. Grumpy Gamer was kind enough to include a link to me in the latest Carnival of Gamers.