Palouse Games offers entertainment variety

From resource management to cooperative games, store offers tables to players without space at home


ADAM JACKSON | The Daily Evergreen

Palouse Games Owner Walter Sheppard says that he originally took over the store because he wanted to build the gaming community in Pullman.

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen reporter

In the small shop of Palouse Games, banners for “Magic: the Gathering” and tabletop games like “Dungeons and Dragons” are displayed on the walls for the neophyte and veteran alike to peruse. Most would walk into this store and find themselves acting like children in a candy shop, unable to browse with self-control.

“I try to have stuff that you wouldn’t find at Walmart or Shopko,” said Walter Sheppard, the owner of Palouse Games.

These take many forms, from resource management games like “Catan” or “First Martians,” to cooperative games like “Pandemic,” where players fight the board game itself. Then there are legacy games, where the players physically alter the board.

“A legacy part of the title indicates that [the game] builds on itself, like a TV show,” Sheppard said.

As players work through the game, stickers or cards are destroyed or tokens are added, which changes the board, Sheppard said. After the game is played a dozen times and finished, the board can no longer be used because the players have revealed all of its secrets.

He went on to explain that while playing the game, players may add and remove spaces, add new rules and even open special booster packs.

While Palouse Games sells many of these board games, alongside simpler party games like “Cards Against Humanity,” they also sell theater-of-the-mind games, like “Warhammer 40,000,” “Dungeons and Dragons,” “Pathfinder Society,” and “Magic: the Gathering.” It is also through these games that the store has built relationships with the community, which they celebrate through a variety of events that they host.

“We used to have a scheduled board game night, but I found it was easier just to have the tables whenever people wanted to come in and play board games,” Sheppard said. “But we do have ‘Magic: the Gathering’ tournaments, and the WSU Smash Club will come down and set up their old TVs and play Smash Bros.”

He said they host “Magic: the Gathering” on Monday, Friday and Saturday nights, with the WSU Smash Club coming on Thursdays. There will be nights of “Pathfinder Society,” “Starfinders” and “Shadowrun” every Wednesday and Sunday. Generally, however, people just come in and take a table to play on, whether for card games or “Dungeons and Dragons.”

“People will come in and colonize a table and play Pokémon,” Sheppard said. “We have all sorts of people who will do their roleplaying sessions here instead of meeting in someone’s cramped dorm.”

Sheppard said he loves being in this community and playing games, and he wants to share them with both Pullman and WSU students.

“We’ve been here for a long time, but we still have people who have lived in Pullman for years who didn’t know we were here,” Sheppard said. “If people are willing to go see what Pullman has to offer, we’re here.