Roadworthy Retailers: Dungeon Games
By Bob & Jen Brinkman
The backbone of any gaming community is its friendly local game store (FLGS). In Southwest Florida, that store is Dungeon Games. Established Oct 3, 2014, Dungeon Games is owned by the husband and wife team of Josh and Amy Petrik. While other stores in the area have come and gone, Dungeon Games continues to grow, prosper, and host members of the DCC RPG Road Crew. Long-time judge “Big Troy Tucker,” as well as Dungeon Crawl Classics Lankhmar contributor Bob Brinkman, and Goodman Games editor Jen Brinkman have all hosted sessions here. The store has also been home to the “Dungeon Games Crew,” the campaign playtesters of DCC Lankhmar and over a dozen Dungeon Crawl Classics and Mutant Crawl Classics adventures.
Free RPG Day at Dungeon Games is always a big deal and has included Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, Pyramid Crawl Classics, Skull & Crossbones Classics, Transylvanian Adventures, and even 3D versions of MCC as well as the Michael Curtis Fifth Edition Fantasy adventure “Glitterdoom.”
Having just completed their move to their new, larger location, we managed to catch up with Josh and Amy recently to talk about the store.
So, what led you to open Dungeon Games?
Amy: It was always Josh’s dream to open a game store. He discovered them when he was young, and they were a haven for him throughout middle and high school.
Josh: We had wanted to open a business from the first day we met, but they were always just a pipe dream. The idea always changed when we talked about it. We had been married for a year, we were looking for a house, and I was having difficulty with my boss at the pharmacy. While we were searching for a house, our local FLGS, 2d10 Games, closed. We realized that my 401k and pension would cover most of the opening cost of a FLGS, and so it was now or never.
Amy: We wanted to provide an awesome gathering place for the local gaming community.
Josh: We made the store we always had wanted to visit.
The store is fully themed and entering Dungeon Games transports its patrons deep into the adventure. Painted stone walls enclose the shop, replete with chained skeletons on the walls and monstrous rats lurking on shelves and countertops. The private gaming room, the Wander Inn, boasts a handmade wooden table, and is guarded by a monstrous spider lurking upon the inn’s “roof.” Visitors may even spy tentacles erupting from the wall, tearing through into our reality.
Where you aware the original TSR shop was “The Dungeon”?
Amy: (Laughs) We were totally unaware.
So then, why “Dungeon” Games?
Josh: It seemed appropriate. I guess it was more appropriate than I even considered.
Amy: We wanted to make the store a little different than stores we’d been to in the past, give it a really fun theme and make it just a cool atmosphere to spend a lot of time in. The dungeon theme, in particular, was a nod to D&D and playing your way through a dungeon.
How did it feel then, when Ernie Gygax started commenting on posts of the store?
Amy: It was awesome!
Josh: It was like a legend had descended from the sky. Having Ernie Gygax commenting on our store was a HUGE deal to me. It meant we really had gotten it right.
Amy, what is your favorite part of running the store?
Amy: Meeting new customers and bringing them into our little community of gamers. It is wonderful when someone who has just moved to the area can pick up a whole group of friends in a single evening.
Tell us about the rest of the Dungeon Games team.
Josh: We have Juan, who is our go-to dude for board games, Pokemon, and MTG, and Elliott is our miniatures and painting guy. Ask them a question and they generally know the answer off the top of their head. They help keep things running smoothly, and are both avid gamers themselves. Oh, and there’s Burnie.
Amy: (Laughs) Well… Josh wanted our logo to be a skull with d20s for eyes and crossed swords behind it. I designed the skull to look like a cartoony version of what I assume Josh’s skull looks like. But Burnie’s backstory is that he was a super clumsy adventurer with terrible luck, who got separated from his party in a dungeon. He decided to make do as there was no way he was getting out alive on his own, so he put together a ramshackle inn for weary adventurers right where he was.
So, Burnie didn’t survive his first funnel?
Amy: Well, he didn’t make it to the end. We assume he died in a really ridiculous way though.
Any favorite moments from your time running the store?
Amy: There was a Halloween a couple of years ago…
Josh: We really love Halloween…
Amy: A group of customers came in dressed as different versions of John Cena. One of them was dressed as “Josh Cena” – basically dressed as Josh, dressed as John Cena. We had a great time at the store that night.
Josh: We always try to do something special for Halloween. We’ve done costume contests, store-wide games of Werewolf, and even turned the entire store into a traveling circus for a Carnival of the Damned funnel tournament.
Finally, where can people find Dungeon Games?
Amy: Our new location is 17650 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 202, Fort Myers FL 33908.
- Location: 17650 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 202, Fort Myers FL 33908
- Phone: 239-221-8523
- Website: https://dungeongames.ionsuite.com/
- Game Room: Yes
- DCC / MCC Products: Yes
- 3rd Party Products: Yes
- Snack / Drinks: Yes