The Alt Holiday Gift Guide: Gaming

The Alt Holiday Gift Guide: Gaming

Have a Nerdy Christmas!
By: David Howard King

Nintendo has the most sought after gift of the season and it isn’t 1985. The NES Classic Edition is a miniaturized version of the console you grew up with, along with 30 pre-installed games and a modern HDMI connection for televisions. The new system has some nice new perks but retailers have mostly sold out at the recommended $59.99 suggested retail price and secondhand dealers are charging nearly $300 for one unit. Sure, you or your child may desperately want one of these neato gadgets but there is a pretty clear and accessible alternative to getting ripped off–go to one of our fine local purveyors of retro gaming consoles and pick up an original NES. Hell, go nuts! Get a SNES, Genesis, Turbografx 16 and Neo Geo while you’re at it. 
Here’s a selection of local shops where you can get your retrogaming fix.


Pastime Legends
292 Lark Street Albany, 73 4th Street Troy, 73 Mohawk Ave. Scotia

Joe and Emily Pirro run three well-stocked shops in three easy-to-get-to locations. They’ve got a wide range of retro consoles and games as well as new consoles and recent releases. They also host game nights for fans of fighting games and Smash Bros.


Forgotten Freshness
127 Saratoga Ave. Mechanicville NY

Owner Frank D’Aloia can get you what you need. He’s got a wide selection old-school titles as well as new releases. But he specializes in rarities and hard-to-find games. He’s aso got an interesting stock of homebrew cartridges. The store also hosts Magic The Gathering tournaments.

Jay Street Games
Colonie Center, Crossgates Mall

This local retailer has became an absolute behemoth over the years–spreading out satellite stores across the northeastern corridor. They’ve got a mix of games, collectibles, comic books and specialize in recently manufactured systems that allow you to play games from a mix of old cartridge-based systems.

Kirwan’s Game Store
369 Main St. Catskill

If you’re up for a drive, Catskill is a bastion for gamers of all stripes–board gamers, collectible card gamers, and video gamers. The store is well stocked in all of the items and also has an arcade cabinet or two.

Flipside Games
1 Barney Road Suite Clifton Park
598 Columbia Turnpike East Greenbush

Flipside has taken over as the area’s preeminent Magic: The Gathering hub. They also have a wide selection of adult board games–Settlers of Catan anyone?


Foam Brain
71 4th Street Troy

This store aint foolin around about board and dice games. They’ve got a nice selection of card games as well.

Zombie Planet
1238 Central Ave. Albany

Talk about a one-stop shop, Zombie Planet has roleplaying games, miniatures, dice games, card games and board gamers. That’s without mentioning their stout offering of comic books, action figures and collectibles.

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