Meet Astoria: Shenanigans Traveling Game Nights

Tyler White and Randall Acosta are Shenanigans.Photos Courtesy of Tyler White and Randall AcostaTyler White and Randall Acosta are Shenanigans.
Photos Courtesy of Tyler White and Randall Acosta

Think fast! What’s the world’s largest ocean? Trivia not your thing? Alright, you hit B5 and know there’s only one battleship remaining. Where’s your next move?

If you’re slowly receiving flashbacks from your childhood play dates, it means it’s about time you brush yourself up on some board game rules and head over to Astoria’s Passage bar.

Every other Wednesday night, Passage bar hosts a game night in collaboration with Shenanigans, a board game group created by Tyler White and Randall Acosta. The duo pack their car to the brim full of board games and travel to Passage and other places in Queens where people can join in on some board game fun.

White and Acosta created Shenanigans just over a year ago with the idea that everyone should get involved in the community in a super fun way. “The really fun part” White started, “is getting to meet all these new people.” The two frequented several board game nights and figured they could create a nomadic board game meet-up themselves.
The gamers of Shenanigans at Passage. The gamers of Shenanigans at Passage.

In their first successful year, Shenanigans has gone from participating in private and public events, to hosting the biweekly game night at Passage, to attending game conventions and meeting like-minded people and businesses. They have high hopes for the coming years.

“We hope to expand into all of the five boroughs and beyond really,” White said.

“We enjoy working with community-based events. I would like to partner with more events bringing the community together,” Acosta added. “There’s a lot of different things to do with meeting each other and bringing the community and people together.”

“Honestly, a lot of it has to do with bringing people out of their bubbles.”

Shenanigans has over 200 games they’ve come to accumulate over the year. They began with a few they had already owned and grew their collection by buying games on sale or from donations.

With such a large collection, it’s no wonder both White and Acosta had some trouble picking a favorite game.

“I don’t have a specific type of game but I like all of these games that prioritize reading the people on your side and not. That’s a game like Werewolf or Saboteur—the kind of games where it’s not necessarily devoted to pieces on a board but more to the players themselves,” stated Acosta.

“I think it varies on who we’re playing with and how long we have,” White started. That being said, she did choose two she’s a fan of currently. “I hate trivia because I’m really bad at it but I love Wits & Wagers which is kind of like a trivia game but not trivia everything. So basically, you can play even if you’re bad at trivia.”

She also added Betrayal at House on the Hill, a game closest to Clue, in which you and several others are in a house, the dealing of different cards produces a different gameplay each time, and there’s one player who unknowingly betrays the other players. “There are different scenarios you can play with depending on what room you’re in and what card you used. So you’re discovering different parts to different rooms.”

White and Acosta not only work full-time jobs, but they also are engaged and are in the midst of wedding planning. “There’s something about being in business with your partner, that makes a different level of communication necessary.” White said. “It’s a different level of strain of sort. It’s something in our relationship that we can weather. Communication is key in any relationship, especially a business relationship.”

“Board games are basically a review to test ourselves in the world and test ourselves and our skills. Board games allow you to test your personality.”

As the duo continues to expand and reach new audiences, Acosta hopes they eventually can have their own a brick and mortar for people to visit on the regular, as opposed to waiting for a game night. Until then, you can visit Passage bar (40-11 30th Avenue) every other Wednesday to check out some of Shenanigans’ amazing collection.— Catherina Gioino

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2018-04-01 digital edition