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Game sales climb as more people stay home due to Coronavirus concerns

Video game and board game shops are selling a lot of games this week. Here's what they're selling and recommending.

MINNEAPOLIS — When the outside world seems scary and overwhelming, people long for simpler times.

A time when 8-bit video games ruled the world, long before anyone knew what a Coronavirus was.

“We’re selling a lot of retro games right now,” High Score Games manager Tommy Toohey says.

They’re games that technology-wise, are old and outdated, but for many hardcore gamers, the older, the better.

“People want to play what they played when they were little, or they want to show their kids the types of games they played when they were kids,” Toohey says.

The shop has been busy all week, Toohey says.

Customers are buying up old Nintendo and Sega video game systems, but Toohey says the most popular product this week has been Playstation 2 games.

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"When we first opened, nobody wanted them, you couldn't get rid of them. When people would trade them in, we'd be like oh no, what are we going to do with these? Now, everyone who comes in is looking for the PS2 games they played when they were growing up," Toohey says.

Board game shops like Tower Games are also seeing a boost in business.

"They were actually doing a fair amount of shopping this weekend," shop owner Bob Seabold says.

Saturday was one of the shop’s busiest days in several months, but Seabold says come Monday morning, foot traffic came to a screeching halt

In just a few days he managed to scramble together a small online shop so he could keep selling games.

"We're still fine tuning it, but we've already had two orders come in this morning," Seabold says.

And his biggest seller?

"There's a game called Pandemic and we've sold out of that. We're getting more in," Seabold says.

"It’s a cooperative game where you’re trying to race around the world stopping or minimizing outbreaks."

Bob says the game came out 12 years ago, but ever the first outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, he says copies of the game have been selling fast.

He says other hot sellers include Settlers of Catan and Dungeons and Dragons.

He has also sold a lot of gift cards to regulars who don't have a game in mind now, but still want to help out the shop.

"We have a lot of regulars who really jump in and want to know what they can do."

KARE-11 asked viewers to send their own game recommendations so that people can stay entertained in the coming days.

Here’s a list of some of their recommendations:


-Five Crowns

-Settlers of Catan

-Ticket to Ride

-Mansions of Madness

-Trivial Pursuit Family Edition

-Code Names






-Hungry, Hungry Hippos

-Cut Bait



-Plague Inc.

-Elder Scrolls Online

-Mario Kart

-Nintendo Switch


-Legends of Runeterra

-Magic Arena

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KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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