Phoenix Nest Games specializes in retro and role-playing games
Originally published in The Post.
A new gaming store on West Union allows students and locals to come together to play games which were once in their prime.
Ohio University students who plan on packing their gaming systems need not worry about finding spare parts should the box take a tumble in the drive down to Athens.
The new gaming store Phoenix Nest Games, 540 W. Union St., sells vintage games that can be quite hard to find nowadays.
Phoenix Nest is the go to for the rare cable-cords that retired game systems such as the Nintendo 64 requires.
Phoenix Nest opened in May, and owner James Harrod said the store caters more to Athens locals than to students, but is overall a successful startup.
“Business is doing better than I expected,” Harrod said.
Opening up a gaming store, Harrod said, has been what he has wanted for 15 years.
Athens residents have taken a liking to the small business, allowing the store to gain a local following.
“We get a mix of all kinds of people,” Harrod said. “A fair amount of students come in, but we cater more to the Athens locals.”
The store takes pride in its wide selection — its most popular items are role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons along with used games that reach as far back as the Atari gaming system.
“People come in looking for a little bit of everything,” Harrod said. “Original Nintendo merchandise is what goes fast. Game Boys, Nintendo 64 games and a lot of our retro selection are what’s popular.”
The entire store is encased with wall racks of Game Boy games and GameCube games. It also has a large open space for meetings for Dungeons and Dragons tournaments.
Brooke Hastings, an Athens local, returns often to the store because of the excellent staff, the broad selection and even the cleanliness.
“The store is clean and the staff is incredibly friendly,” Hastings said.
Harrod said he tries to make sure the store is one customers want to keep coming back to.
“We always update our inventory and give customers something new to look at,” Harrod said.
The owner may aim for customer satisfaction, but employee Sarah Loudner said Phoenix Nest has helped her become a better gamer.
“The atmosphere is great,” Loudner said. “I’m a big gamer myself, so I love learning a lot about the different games we carry.”
Students have expressed interest in these old-school games they used to play when they were little.
“The oldest console I ever played was the Super Nintendo." Jac Honline, freshman studying mathematical statistics, said.
“I think I played Mortal Kombat a lot. There are still a lot of great games for these old consoles that for me, will never get boring. There’s also the nostalgia about playing those games, you just want to go back and play what you used to play.”