If you’re a console gamer and you live in Hollywood, then you know that until recently there was a dearth of local resources with which to feed the addiction. Needless to say, my toes curled with excitement when Target and Best Buy opened their doors; even more so to see EB Games also has a store planned for the West Hollywood Gateway. But last weekend I discovered the real cherry on the sundae: Acme Game Store at La Brea and Melrose.
If you’ve been in WeHo lately, then you’ve probably seen their recent poster campaign featuring a silhouette of an anvil on a white background. They tout themselves as a “different kind of game store” and, while I might question the originality of their marketing, I can say it really does seem like a different kind of place. This isn’t a bland, uniform chain store or a super-sized wallet-eating monolith. It’s a simple place with a tasteful layout and reasonable selection of games and peripherals. Sadly, there’s not a lot fluctuation in game pricing so you’ll find no surprises there. But you will find an interested and helpful staff and some curious miscellany. Along with the games, they had yellow and white Japanese PS2’s and collections of Xbox tchotchkes, as well as some cool T-shirts, a few bits of assorted gadgetry and other small things that appeal to the multi-faceted nature of the modern gamer. One of the partners (I believe it was Jason) happily invited me to try out any game I wanted on the big plasma screens scattered around the store and chatted amiably while I fired up Red Dead Revolver and traded shots with some scurvy outlaws. In addition to everything else, they’re planning on playing host to some unique sounding events down the road, so be sure to put your name on the mailing list if you stop in. The shop is just east of La Brea, on the south side of Melrose.
Acme seems like a game store by people that love games and take them seriously, but in a Game Girl Advance way, not an obsessive-internet-fanboy way or a maniacal-fourth-grade-Pokeman-fan way. It’s the cool indie record store of game shops, and it’s about damn time.