The Cube Café – Board Game Center

Dating back thousands of years, board games have been played in numerous countries. Rolling some dice and moving playing pieces not only brings tons of fun but also fosters life skills for players.

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The second floor of The Cube Cáfe  

Located on Tran Vu Street, ‘The Cube Café’ is one of the first board-game café shops in Hanoi. 

It has become a popular spot for young competitive crews to get their game on by accessing a library of more than 300 games, while enjoying good food and beverages.

Wandering on Tran Vu Street, you can easily find a café to enjoy Truc Bach Lake’s view. But if you enter ‘The Cube’, board games are what occupies your mind instead. 

On the first floor, you can choose a drink from a diversified menu with hot and cold beverages like milkshakes or hot chocolate. 

Loyal customers often order some snacks, sunflower seeds, and dimsums as they can end up spending the whole evening on the second and third floors to explore hundreds of games, both old and new, many of which are placed on the bookshelves. 

the cube cafe – board game center hinh 1

Game designer Nguyen Truong of Board Game Vietnam Company shares tips of making a boardgame

It will not take newbies much time get used to the games. Nguyen Truong, game designer and developer of Board Game VN Company said "Board games may sound unfamiliar with some people. 

But it actually refers to many popular games that most of us have played including Monopoly and Mandarin Square Capturing. The games require objects such as dices, cards, and boards. 

Players must have direct interaction, face to face communication, unlike playing video games. It’s also called the tabletop games. Howerver, you can play it not only on the table but also any plane surfaces." 

This heaven for board-game lovers has attracted people from different ages as they can easily find a game which meets their needs.

"Many board games are very simple so children from 8 years old can start playing them. Some games are for family, helping to strengthen family bond. 

These games are often easy to play. Strategy board games are more complicated, requiring you to analyze. There are also party games, which need a large group from 10 to 20 people to participate in."

"I come to The Cube every week with different groups. Some enjoy simple party games like werewolf. Others are crazy about hard-core games like quantum and zombie dices. We had a really good time together."

 "I have played many board games of different genres. Some only depends on luck which requires a short time to play. Economy and strategy board games are more complicated so my crew may spend the whole morning for them." 

The cozy café is designed with comfortable space for customers to sit on chairs and play around the tables. It has plenty of room to host party games. 

Amateurs and those who like simple games should go to the second floor. If you prefer more challenges, the third floor will welcome you a vast selection of hard-core games. 

All games on the second floor are free. Hard-core games on the third floor are imported from the US but the shop only charges 25 to 50 cents for each player. 

The café’s staff in black uniform is always by your side if you want to learn more about a brand new game.

 Game master Bui Bao Ngoc said "If customers need, we’ll give instruction on how to play the game. Before we start working, we had to go through a training course to master game’s rules. Sometimes, we also join the customers to play some party games like werewolf. It’s really fun."

the cube cafe – board game center hinh 2

The Cube's owner Nguyen Viet Hung hopes that more people can learn about board games

The Cube’s third-floor is a nest for a group of young Vietnamese people, who want to design and issue their own board games. Once a week, they gather at The Cube for playtesting. Tran Anh Tuan, a mobile game designer is a member of the team. 

"I’ve known The Cube for a long time. It’s a wonderful place for board game lovers. Here, I can find many friends sharing the same hobby and passion for board games. Earlier this year, some members of our group won the special price for Hanoi Game Jam 2017. Their board game is under development for establishing soon. As long as you are serious and have passion for board games, come and join us to turn your ideals into reality." 

The shop owner is Nguyen Viet Hung, the marketing manager of Board Game VN Company. Noticing that more Vietnamese people are interested in board games, he opened The Cube, the largest board game center in Hanoi last year. Hưng said the café has hosted a wide range of events. 

"We focus a lot on community activities so that more and more people can learn about board games. UNO contest is the latest board-game’s event taking place at The Cube, which attracts 50 people to come and play with a standard deck of UNO playing card. It was a dramatic contest. We are going to host more events like that to expand the board-game community. In the future, we want to have more franchises of The Cube so board-game lovers can have more places to make friend and have fun."

The cost for snacks and drinks range from 50 cents to $2. Its menu is diversified with young people’s favorite beverages including milkshake, yogurt, smoothies, moctail, and tea. Good food, good drinks, and good company make for a perfect day for many customers at The Cube.

"I get tired after hours of playing video games. However, playing board games with friends really help me reduce stress. We laugh hard. The drinks are quite good, too."

"The staffs are friendly. They explain thoroughly to customers about the game’s rules. They also help you choose the suitable games with your level."

"I like board games which foster reasoning, memorization, and communication. I started playing them to be more open after doctor told me that I have autism syndromes. Now, I can’t stop talking. I think the drink’s fee is reasonable, same as most other café, but we can play many games for free." 


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