Natomas Hot Spot Attracts Readers + Gamers


THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
It’s Friday night and River City Comics + Games is bustling. The proprietor, Joe Scheib, oversees the crowd.

It is, literally and figuratively, a gathering, as in Magic: The Gathering, the trading card game that has players assuming the roles of battling wizards.

Every week is Friday Night Magic.

“We run a $5 tournament which usually gets a turnout of 18 to 26 players,” said Scheib. “The players come from all over the Sacramento area and besides supporting my store they frequent the food establishments around the store, which benefits since the players are here on average over four hours.”

River City Comics + Games in Natomas is one of three Sacramento-area game stores opened in the past year. It’s a standout, in part, due to its large comic book inventory and willingness to welcome all gamers – as long as a major tournament isn’t already on the schedule.

“We welcome anyone to come by and play Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic TCG, Settlers, Axis & Allies, D&D, Monopoly – or whatever game you enjoy – to play,” Scheib said.

September 29 will see a pre-release tournament, where competitors play with newly created cards a week before they go on sale to the public. The tournament starts at midnight and continues until the next morning.

Over 30 players showed up at the July prerelease event, which is not merely child’s play. Scheib explained, “Magic the Gathering tends to have an older crowd than say our Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments. The Magic crowd tends to be later teens and over 20.”

Readers also come here for the latest comics by the major publishers and back issues and trade paperbacks culled from Scheib’s personal collection. River City is “a good even mix of both comics and games,” said Scheib.

“The major difference is the comic collectors buy their comics and go home,” he said. “The card game players buy their cards and sit at the tables, open everything, trade with one another and build their decks.”

Regular Josh Hinkle calls it “one of the chilliest magic card stores around,” but do not expect the place to stay the same. Scheib has plans.

“We’ve rearranged this store multiple times…Eventually we would really like to take down one of the back walls and expand the game area,” said Scheib.

To redesign, he needs to see business increase.

“As of right now we’ve been open almost 10 months and the store is just paying for its products and the bill,” he added. “Our ultimate goal of course is staying open and thriving in the Natomas area for years to come.”

Scheib values the Natomas community. “As we learn more of what the Natomas area buyers are interested in the store will morph into servicing those customers the items they look for. Product evolution is a must for success.”
River City + Games is located at 4740 Natomas Blvd, Suite 130 in the Park Place II shopping Center. The store is open Monday 11-7, Tuesday 11-7, Wednesday 11-7:30, Thursday 11-7:30 (but often stays open later for Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournaments), Friday 11-10, Saturday 11-7:30 and Sunday 12-5. (916) 285-9808.

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